News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

South Koreans Visit Reston, Sewage Plant

334851_111104924.jpgRemember that time people from a distant, faraway land with vastly different customs came to visit Reston to get a sense of how to develop their own "new town," complete with fancy midscale retail options on the ground level of office buildings? Well, after the folks from Tennessee left, others are now following in their footsteps, including a delegation from Ansan, South Korea.

Ansan’s own "new town" of Banwol-Sihwa is being considered by the Korean government to become one of several "mini-clusters" for innovative technology, so the council visited Reston to learn about its planning and amenities.

With the assistance of a translator, Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) told the delegation that many of the ideas that had formed Reston had come to shape the progress of the county. "The planning and zoning of Reston has served as a model for Fairfax County," she said, noting that mixed-use zoning and diversity in housing were now part of the county’s governance. Reston also pioneered the emphasis on environmental stewardship, trails and parks that the county now embraces, Hudgins said.

Reston founder Bob Simon suggested that planners develop a program for what they wanted to accomplish and how life in the community could be made interesting and beautiful before laying out a physical plan. He said amenities and public art should be added at the same time as buildings and infrastructure.

On the subject of public art, Simon also recommended that such works should be communicative. "A lot of modern art here doesn’t communicate very well," he said, noting that he had requested sculptures that children could play on in Reston. To illustrate the importance of imagination to the planning process, he showed the council the boat-like sculpture at the far end of Washington Plaza, recalling the time he had seen young children playing in the piece of art when one pointed skyward and called out, "Shark!"
Of course, Reston plopped funky mod townhouses in the middle of the countryside in the anything-goes late '60s, so those could very well have been adults seeing sharks in the sky.

So how did the delegation like Reston? We're not sure, but judging by the rest of their itinerary, we're really, really hoping it was the favorite part of their trip.
This was the only U.S. city on the council’s tour, although the group also visited a water treatment facility in Baltimore and went to New Jersey to learn about energy initiatives.


  1. Anybody know how to say "earth-toned colors only" and "no red mulch or white stones" in Korean?

  2. I love Lake Anne but its a crumbling, depressing dump. The modren architecture was never detailed correctly and crumbles and rusts and some of the storefront proprietors are fairly tacky. I'm sure these Korean chaps would prefer Town Center. Lake Anne has run its course - lets learn from it and move on and not get stuck in preservationist fantasyland. The fags have their fair share of retro-mid-century modern in plenty of other locations and the old hippies will have to come to grips with the notion of property values. As an aside - the Brown's Chapel site would be an excellent venue for the farmer's market once Lake Anne is redeveloped. The grass and trees seem more appealing than the asphalt.


  3. Wow -- Anon 8:05.... how do you really feel... anyone else you care to offend...???

    While I agree, redevelopment of Lake Anne will be most beneficial... let's not offend the homewoners, like myself, who chose to live in Lake Anne...

    I believe it still shows its charm and unique architecture -- despite its years...



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