The Texas Doughnut

streetview

Walkable Dallas

Developers are finding interesting ways to respond to latent demand for walkable neighbourhoods. As a result, the future of cities, at least in the south, may look like a Texas Doughnut. At least until cities start mandating more rational parking policies. As the The Old Urbanist, explains, the Texas Doughnut is:

a mid-rise residential liner wrapped around interior structured parking.  The product of on-site parking requirements and building codes which permit cheaper wood framing for lower-rise buildings, these structures have proliferated throughout the Sunbelt, though they can be found, with less frequency, outside that geographic range. To the extent these cities are experiencing urbanization near their centers (hello, Dallas), this is the form that urbanism frequently takes.

So the effect is that developers are building something like the image below, where you hide the parking to produce streets like those above. The streets in front of the building are narrow, walkable, and pleasant to linger on. The Texas Doughnut is an interesting innovation from developers in the Sunbelt who are responding to consumer demand for more walkable places, while still finding ways to meet very prescriptive municipal parking requirements.

Aerial

Texas Doughnut

 

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