The fabulous Steve Mouzon talks of "lovable places," those neighborhoods or areas of town where you just love to be. But lovable places don't just happen. They need a Cupid.
That Cupid is, of course, Small area planning. Know it or not - most of us are under Cupid's spell. Any swooning over a Transit Oriented Development, or absolute joy over stunning downtown redevelopment has its roots in some sort of plan that knitted the whole thing together.
Cupid was the one who got the developer to the table, aimed a bow, and Voila - a seamless facade that makes you go "oohlala." Cupid brought all the landowners to the table to make parking the least prominent feature for a new downtown. Cupid's bow went "snap" and suddenly the walk from one block to the next is a sublime experience. My old house in Clarendon has no fewer than four small area plans stacked atop one another to make a leafy suburb and great urban place all at once. Be still my heart.
Happy Valentine's Day.