Melting Pot

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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on April 12, 2000. All rights reserved.

Between the Lines

A Survival Guide item beginning on page 11 of this issue

previews the upcoming seminar sponsored by the Sandra Starr Foundation

on Saturday, April 15, on the subject of building urban-suburban alliances.

The keynote speaker at the 1:30 p.m. session is a Princeton-trained

architect who is a founder of the "New Urbanism" and the author

of a forthcoming book titled "Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl

and the Decline of the American Dream."

The conference begins at 9:30 that morning with a host of Princeton

leaders discussing these issues as they relate to Mercer County. And

among those participants is U.S. 1’s own Richard K. Rein.

Now we don’t want to second-guess our boss, but we do wonder if he

knows what he is in for. The subject is suburban sprawl. The keynote

speaker espouses a new "urbanism" — not "suburbanism."

And if our Survival Guide article is correct, the speaker believes

that downtown Princeton is a worthy example of this kind of pedestrian-friendly,

mixed use community — that’s downtown Princeton, not the Princeton-Route

1 corridor.

Can it be, we wonder, that our boss is throwing himself to the wolves?

No, we will not second guess him, but we will urge him to stand tall

for the kind of new and improved suburban development covered in Barbara

Fox’s cover story beginning on page 17 of this issue. While some anti-growth

forces are still gnashing their teeth over the Merrill Lynch development

in Hopewell Township, Fox’s story shows that the development will

place 6,000 workers on 150 acres — about five times as many workers

and half as much acreage compared to the Educational Testing Service

campus on Rosedale Road, just to pick one of many examples.

That Merrill Lynch development may not be "new urbanism" but

it is certainly a step forward compared to much of the suburban development

that has preceded it.

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Melting Pot

A SENSE OF COMMUNITY, of course, can well up in the most sterile suburban

wasteland. A decade ago U.S. 1 toiled in an old farmhouse a few feet

from Route 1 itself. The building literally shook as trucks ground

to a stop in front of the Plainsboro Road intersection. But people

managed to find their way to our door to do some old-fashioned kinds

of business.

U.S. 1’s Barbara Fox received this letter just a few days ago:

"Remember me? Eleven years ago I came from France hoping

to find a job and live in this country. I came to your office to pick

up your special edition about business in the Princeton area. You

were there and gave me some advice. A few weeks after, you took me

for lunch and gave me my first lesson in networking."

"I never forgot how kind you have been to me. I am having a party,

`The Dream Came True: American at Last,’ to celebrate my new citizenship.

It would mean a lot if you joined me."

All of us send congratulations to our French friend and all other

new citizens. In the intervening years, two of our staff members have

also obtained their citizenship. Vive la France, vive la USA, and

— perhaps — vive les suburbs!

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