Faux-nostalgia, or a sign of things to come?

The Indianapolis Business Journal has posted on a project that has been shelved in Madison County called “Simpler Times Village.” The project’s website is quite off-putting, with cartoonish 19th century figures that scream “ye olde shoppes”. However, it must be noted that the idea is not terrible. They would have been built to incorporate small farms. The buildings and streetscapes are human-scaled. Also, the businesses would be locally owned.

The fact that this would have been a green field development gets a thumbs down, though. I suspect that a good chunk of people who move to these greenfield New Urbanist developments still drive to work. Public transit would be non-existent. Overall, it is a mixed bag, but it would have been an interesting experiment to see had it been approved. I hope that in the future, this type of project would incorporate a less nostalgic take on human-scaled development.

Comments 3

  • This puts me in mind of the 19th-century Utopian societies who emigrated to the new world to make a new beginning.

    These New Urban “ye olde townes” in whitebread suburban areas are simply a modern manifestation of that yearning. More like “New Utopia” than New Urban, with “good schools” (i.e. “people like us”).

    Skilled readers can read between those lines. I’ll stick with Center Township, thank you very much.

  • You’re right, it does seem to be a bit Utopian. I also enjoy the diversity of a real city. Think of all the great ethnic food we’d miss out on out in the middle of nowhere….mmmm…

  • Mitch’s aedgna is really in trouble. Roads plan appear dead.Sale of lottery appears dead.Economic Development funding cut.Expansion of Gambling proceeding forward.His first two years appear to be catching up with him.

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