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Troy project aims to create walkable downtown amidst urban sprawl

Stateside’s conversation with Bob Gibbs, an urban planner and mastermind of Troy’s downtown development proposal.

If you live in a city or town that dates back to before World War Two, you've got a "Main Street," you've got parks, and you can walk around town to restaurants and stores.

Cities that sprouted up after the war? Not so much.

Those are largely made up of shopping strips, office buildings, plenty of subdivisions — and you definitely need a car. There's no "downtown" that's the center of the community.

Urban planner Bob Gibbs is working with city leaders in Troy to build a walkable downtown with “all kinds of housing for all kinds of people.”

Gibbs is an evangelist of “New Urbanism,” an architectural philosophy that focuses on walkable living spaces that include different types of housing in the same neighborhood in order to foster community and diversity.

According to Gibbs, neighborhoods where people don’t have to rely on driving in order to get groceries or grab dinner after work is something that a growing number of people want.

“There’s a very unique market demand where the millennials and baby-boomers … both want the same house,” Gibbs said. “Never before have the two largest demographic groups wanted the same [type of housing], and it turns out they like living next to each other.”

Listen to the entire conversation with Bob Gibbs, president of Gibbs Planning Group, above. 

(Subscribe to the Stateside podcast oniTunes,Google Play, or with thisRSS link)

Copyright 2021 Michigan Radio. To see more, visit Michigan Radio.

an aerial view of the proposed Troy downtown development plan by Gibbs Planning Group
Bob Gibbs / Gibbs Planning Group
Gibbs Planning Group
an aerial view of the proposed Troy downtown development plan by Gibbs Planning Group

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