Thursday, December 30, 2010

Visions for 2011 – Hello Village, and Bye Bye Vibrant

How will 2011 differ from years past? Jenny Sullivan at predicts a village revival with small eco-green cottages. Surprisingly, homes are still being built, more modest in number and size. Sullivan claims that trends are changing as “America continues its search for a new normal.” Sensibility is a new theme along with natural interior finishes. Walking is “in” and AIA chief economist Kermit Baker reports that smaller scale infill will help create “light urbanism.” Multigenerational housing is also being incorporated into the mix as families are blending to economize. An increase in accessory units is also slated for 2011.

Aside from design, what else will 2011 have in store for us? Kaid Benfield at NRDC contemplates the outcome of transportation reform – “the collapse of the Democratic Congress, along with public backlash against federal spending, have dealt a serious blow to the once-promising prospects for reform.” He wonders if highspeed rail proceed and asks, “Are outer ‘burbs really done?” Will the ‘burbs rebound? And lastly, Benfield vows to never use the word “vibrant” in a post again. We’ll be watching, stay tuned, and Happy New year.