A DPZ Master Plan for Roswell

This is the first post in a series of posts this December that will chronicle the 25 things we would most like to see in Roswell. None of these are actually happening... at least in the way we'd like them to. Please enjoy and have a happy holidays!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I like the Imagine Roswell 2030 process. I think as many of us as possible should participate and I think we will get a decent master plan out of it. However, we need a company that specializes in new urbanist and smart growth planning to come in and organize a master plan that will give us the tools to grow into a truly sustainable community over the next 20 years and beyond. We need to further invest in our city center, reduce the amount of placeless sprawl, create more diverse communities, restructure our land-use policies to be more efficient and continue to embrace our built heritage. The company that the city is currently working with , POND|ECOS, has experience in the Atlanta area and are doing some interesting projects that are environmentally progressive. I’m optimistic but the jury is still out.

Now, when you look at DPZ (Duany Plater-Zyperk), they are simply the best in the game (although their website could use a little work). The company was founded by husband and wife partners Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, pioneers of New Urbanism and Smart growth. Sure other companies come close but none have the New Urbanist and Smart Growth street cred that DPZ has. If you are not familiar with DPZ, they have authored more New Urbanist plans than any other company and they essentially created the Smart Code and they designed Seaside. Need I say more? The ideas and logic that they could bring to the table for improving Roswell would be incredible.

Compare POND|ECOS to DPZ, and there is no contest. DPZ is a firm that has done plans and/or codes for cities like Miami, Baton Rouge, Fort Meyers, Naples, Downtown LA, Sarasota, West Palm Beach… you get the drift. Now, I’m not saying that POND|ECOS can’t get the job done but if we truly want to differentiate ourselves from the rest of North Fulton, we should be looking in another direction for our planning. If we don’t we’ll end up just like the rest of the suburban cities in and around Atlanta.

Now, don’t take this as a railing of POND|ECOS because it’s not. It’s my personal wish for the best there is to offer for Roswell.

Now here’s my take on the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Experience – DPZ planners come with unparalleled experience Place Making - Exceptional plans that accomplish the ultimate goal of place making
Cons

  • Price – I’m sure DPZ is crazy expensive