In this episode, John re-connects with
Victor Dover, Co-Founder of Dover, Kohl & Partners Town Planning

They discuss why starting with the green parts, the parks, greenways, open spaces, wilderness, and even street trees when planning our communities is critical. They talk about the importance of getting our streets designed right and how that can help more people feel more comfortable while walking and riding a bike.

Show Notes:

This episode has been produced as a video with some rich visuals, so to get to the full experience click on this link

Victor Dover made the move from Alexandria, VA to Miami to co-launch the firm Dover, Kohl & Partners Town Planning with his business partner Joe Kohl some 34 years ago. Victor is a charter member of the Congress for the New Urbanism and has worked for many public agencies, developers, and citizen groups to create appropriate methods of land development regulations.

The two main inter-related themes Victor presents in this episode are when planning a community, start first with the “green parts”, the parks, greenways, and parkways and then shape the rest of the city around these accordingly and second, street design is the thing we can least afford to get wrong. It becomes obvious how these two themes are intimately related when we consider that our streets should be traffic-calmed people-oriented places, featuring beautiful tree canopies, frequently referred to as the lungs of the city.

And speaking of street design, that happens to be the title of the fabulous book Victor co-wrote along with John Massengale seven years ago and the truly big, breaking news is that Street Design: The Secret to Great Cities and Towns will be coming out as new, completely refreshed second edition in 2022. Here’s the first edition link if you can’t wait and want to get the original, which is highly recommended.

We also discuss the need to make our streets safe and inviting for “All Ages & Abilities” across all mobility modes drawing inspiration from Dutch cycling network design and from public spaces in Copenhagen and other beloved cities in Europe as well as historic places right here in the United States such as Alexandria, VA, Charleston, SC, and even Buffalo, NY.

We talk about normalizing the act of riding a bike to carry our everyday activities by creating environments that are comfortable for everyone through the implementation of protected and separated infrastructure paired with ultra-low speed shared spaces.

Additional Helpful Links:

Dover Kohl YouTube Channel – for an entire series of brilliant guidance

Barnes Dance or Pedestrian Scramble

Cities Aren’t Loud, Cars Are Loud – NJB video

Designing Cities by Starting with the Green Parts – Frederick Law Olmsted

The Underline Trail

Ludlam Trail

East Coast Greenway

Miami Dade Parks Foundation – #LiveAParkLife

National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA)

Missoula Montana Downtown Master Plan and the Dover Kohl Update

Benton MacKaye – helped pioneer the idea of land preservation for recreation and conservation purposes

Gabe Klein – a good article about Gabe

Incremental Development Alliance

Ross Chapin: Pocket Neighborhoods – Our Episode featuring Ross and our award-winning video on Pocket Neighborhoods

Climate Planner book by Jason King

Steve Wright – a writer advising on issues of accessibility

Show Credits:

Audio Production by Active Towns

A not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping communities create a Culture of Activity.

Creative Commons License: Attributions Non-Commercial No Derivatives 2021

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You can reach John Simmerman by email at john@activetowns.org

Music: Various Logic Pro X mixes by John Simmerman