Independent on SOM site plan approval; neighbor’s lawsuit; public lecture and discussion of urban design

Dear Friends:

The press has just discovered the lawsuit that was filed on May 5th in opposition to the city of New Haven granting a Planned Development District (PDD) to Sir Norman Foster’s design for  the School of Organization and Management (SOM) project on Whitney Avenue. A link to the article is provided below.

We strongly opposed this design, because it required the demolition of two historic buildings and because the new design was grossly inappropriate to it’s historic neighborhood setting.

We had hoped to bring Ronald Lee Fleming of The Townscape Institute to testify at the Board of Aldermen’s hearings, but the board changed the hearing dates so we where unable to do this.

Mr. Fleming will be in New Haven next Thursday, May 27, to speak about:

“The University and the City: Reflections on Civic Design and Good Urban Manners”

Ronald Lee Fleming — FAICP, urban planner and designer, preservation advocate, environmental educator and critic — is an advocate of using public policy to enhance  place meaning and identity. His work seeks opportunities to create a synergism of effort among the often disparate forces affecting the quality of the built environment.  Mr. Fleming is recognized for planning, public art and urban design projects seeking to merge the skills of architects, historians and artists. His most recent publication, The Art of Place Making: Interpreting Community Through Public Art and Urban Design (Merrell Publishers 2007) is the culmination of ten years’ research. To learn more see: http://www.townscape.org/

In the context of the destruction of the historic streetscape of Whitney Avenue and the civic debate on Foster’s design SOM, Mr. Fleming will discuss pattern language and urban design, he will show examples of harmonious and inharmonious developments, and he will explore techniques used by communities to support good planning outcomes.

We will also celebrate the civic contributions of David Cameron, Professor of Political Science at Yale University, recipient of the League’s 2010 Urban Angel Award.

Annual Meeting
Thursday, May 27, 2010
6 PM
First Presbyterian Church Parish Hall
704 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, Connecticut

*** Refreshments and Reception ***

Look forward to seeing you all,

Anstress Farwell, President
New Haven Urban Design League