News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, August 22, 2011

Flashback Monday: Clusters and Sinews, But No Texas Donuts

Take a look at the two neighborhoods below -- which is more appealing to you? To paraphrase America's Greatest Comedian, if you answered "the top one, duh, because I see enclosed courtyards that retain pools of mosquito-breeding rainwater and maybe a swank jet-age communal carport or two," you just might be a Restonian:


This helpful comparison between clustered and conventional housing from Reston's original promotional brochure points out how all that "otherwise useless land space" (translation: yards) is shifted into "large open areas." It goes into more detail about Reston's zoning plan, which "took more than a year to create," and allows architects to follow the "contours of the land" and avoid endless rows of Ashburnesque identical houses.

The brochure also helpfully explains the genesis of another concept that's caused some headaches of late: the humble sinew.
Instead of the usual pattern -- a crowded city center surrounded by row on row of houses -- Reston's concentration of urban housing and shopping is arranged in sinews which wind from one end of the city to the other.
What better place for a Texas donut than a sinew, right?


  1. Sinew= secluded, un-lighted, unsafe path through wooded area with a spattering of graffiti-lined tunnels for your night-time enjoyment.

    Great idea.

  2. Anon 8:31:

    Nope. A sinew is not a path. It's a stretch of high-density, high-rises connecting the village centers and Town Center. The sinews from Simon's original plan were never built, but developers are demanding that they be constructed now (because they were part of the original plan) using redevelopment plans such as Fairway Apts.

    For instance, all the clusters, apartments, and condos between Lake Anne Village Center and Tall Oaks Village Center would be pulled down and replaced with high-rise apartment buildings. Everything between South Lakes village center and Hunters Woods Village Center would be replaced also.


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