Friday, January 24, 2014

20+ Years of Urban Design in Maine 2

I grew up in Orono Maine, a small college town in the middle of the state outside Bangor. We lived right on Main Street across from the road up to the schools. I walked to school every day and walked downtown to meet friends. The schools sat behind Main Street as they do in many Maine towns. The downtown had the town hall, police/fire station, post office, etc. all right there. Nice homes and churches lined Main Street close to town.

The state university main campus is on the other side of the Penobscot River which runs through the middle of the town. The University of Maine at Orono (UMO) is organized around a quad with the library on one end and the gymnasium on the other; mind and body. Students walk around, along and across the quad from class to class.

It's about the same distance, 1400 feet, from my house to Pat's Pizza (the original where Pat would stand behind the counter with his cigar and lip burn) as it is from the UMO library to the gym. This is the foundation for my personal sense of walkable neighborhood space and scale. I believe we can use these two examples to strengthen our state's town and city urban fabric ensuring economic success in the long term.

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