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New Urbanism

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"Neotraditionalism" redirects here. For other uses, see Neotraditional.


Seaside, Florida

New Urbanism is an urban design movement which promotes walkable neighborhoods containing a range of housing and job types. It arose in the United States in the early 1980s, and has gradually informed many aspects of real estate development, urban planning, and municipal land-use strategies.

New Urbanism is strongly influenced by urban design standards that were prominent until the rise of the automobile in the mid-20th century; it encompasses principles such as traditional neighborhood design (TND) and transit-oriented development (TOD).[1] It is also closely related to regionalism, environmentalism and the broader concept of smart growth. The movement also includes a more pedestrian-oriented variant known as New Pedestrianism, which has its origins in a 1929 planned community in Radburn, New Jersey.[2]


Market Street, Celebration, Florida

The organizing body for New Urbanism is the Congress for the New Urbanism, founded in 1993. Its foundational text is the Charter of the New Urbanism, which says:

We advocate the restructuring of public policy and development practices to support the following principles: neighborhoods should be diverse in use and population; communities should be designed for the pedestrian and transit as well as the car; cities and towns should be shaped by physically defined and universally accessible public spaces and community institutions; urban places should be framed by architecture and landscape design that celebrate local history, climate, ecology, and building practice.[3]

New Urbanists support regional planning for open space, context-appropriate architecture and planning, and the balanced development of jobs and housing. They believe their strategies can reduce traffic congestion, increase the supply of affordable housing, and rein in suburban sprawl. The Charter of the New Urbanism also covers issues such as historic preservation, safe streets, green building, and the re-development of brownfield land. The ten Principles of Intelligent Urbanism also phrase guidelines for new urbanist approaches.

Architecturally, new urbanist developments are often accompanied by New Classical, postmodern or vernacular styles, while that is not always the case.


  • 1 Background
  • 2 Defining elements
  • 3 Examples
    • 3.1 United States
      • 3.1.1 University Place in Memphis
      • 3.1.2 The Cotton District
      • 3.1.3 Seaside
      • 3.1.4 Stapleton
      • 3.1.5 San Antonio
      • 3.1.6 Mountain House
      • 3.1.7 Mesa del Sol
      • 3.1.8 I'On
      • 3.1.9 Haile Plantation
      • 3.1.10 Disney's Celebration, Florida
      • 3.1.11 Jersey City
      • 3.1.12 Old York Village, Chesterfield Township, New Jersey
      • 3.1.13 Civita
    • 3.2 Other countries
      • 3.2.1 Europe
      • 3.2.2 Americas
      • 3.2.3 Asia
      • 3.2.4 Africa
  • 4 Organizations
  • 5 Film
  • 6 Criticisms
  • 7 See also
    • 7.1 Urban planners, architects and New Urbanists
    • 7.2 Locations
    • 7.3 Topics
  • 8 References
  • 9 Further reading
  • 10 External links



The Transect

Until the mid 20th century, cities were generally organized into and developed around mixed-use walkable neighborhoods. For most of human history this meant a city that was entirely walkable, although with the development of mass transit the reach of the city extended outward along transit lines, allowing for the growth of new pedestrian communities such as streetcar suburbs. But with the advent of cheap automobiles and favorable government policies, attention began to shift away from cities and towards ways of growth more focused on the needs of the car.[4] Specifically, after World War II urban planning largely centered around the use of municipal zoning ordinances to segregate residential from commercial and industrial development, and focused on the construction of low density single family detached houses as the preferred housing option for the growing middle class. The physical separation of where people lived from where they worked, shopped and frequently spend their recreational time, together with low housing density, which often drastically reduced population density relative to historical norms, made automobiles indispensable for efficient transportation and contributed to the emergence of a culture of automobile dependency.

This new system of development, with its rigorous separation of uses, arose after World War II and became known as "conventional suburban development"[5] or pejoratively as urban sprawl. The majority of U.S. citizens now live in suburban communities built in the last fifty years, and automobile use per capita has soared.

Although New Urbanism as an organized movement would only arise later, a number of activists and thinkers soon began to criticize the modernist planning techniques being put into practice. Social philosopher and historian Lewis Mumford criticized the "anti-urban" development of post-war America. The Death and Life of Great American Cities, written by Jane Jacobs in the early 1960s, called for planners to reconsider the single-use housing projects, large car-dependent thoroughfares, and segregated commercial centers that had become the "norm."

Rooted in these early dissenters, New Urbanism emerged in the 1970s and 80s with the urban visions and theoretical models for the reconstruction of the "European" city proposed by architect Leon Krier, and the "pattern language" theories of Christopher Alexander.

In 1991, the Local Government Commission, a private nonprofit group in Sacramento, California, invited architects Peter Calthorpe, Michael Corbett, Andrés Duany, Elizabeth Moule, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Stefanos Polyzoides, and Daniel Solomon to develop a set of community principles for land use planning. Named the Ahwahnee Principles (after Yosemite National Park's Ahwahnee Hotel), the commission presented the principles to about one hundred government officials in the fall of 1991, at its first Yosemite Conference for Local Elected Officials.

Calthorpe, Duany, Moule, Plater-Zyberk, Polyzoides, and Solomon founded the Chicago-based Congress for the New Urbanism in 1993. The CNU has grown to more than 3,000 members, and is the leading international organization promoting New Urbanist design principles. It holds annual Congresses in various U.S. cities.

New Urbanism is a broad movement that spans a number of different disciplines and geographic scales. And while the conventional approach to growth remains dominant, New Urbanist principles have become increasingly influential in the fields of planning, architecture, and public policy.[6]

Defining elements  

Prospect New Town in Longmont, Colorado, showing a mix of aggregate housing and traditional detached homes

Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, two of the founders of the Congress for the New Urbanism, observed mixed-use streetscapes with corner shops, front porches, and a diversity of well-crafted housing while living in one of New Haven's Victorian neighborhoods.

1. The neighborhood has a discernible center. This is often a square or a green and sometimes a busy or memorable street corner. A transit stop would be located at this center.

2. Most of the dwellings are within a five-minute walk of the center, an average of roughly 0.25 miles (1,300 ft; 0.40 km).

3. There are a variety of dwelling types usually houses, rowhouses, and apartments so that younger and older people, singles and families, the poor and the wealthy may find places to live.

4. At the edge of the neighborhood, there are shops and offices of sufficiently varied types to supply the weekly needs of a household.

5. A small ancillary building or garage apartment is permitted within the backyard of each house. It may be used as a rental unit or place to work (for example, an office or craft workshop).

6. An elementary school is close enough so that most children can walk from their home.

7. There are small playgrounds accessible to every dwelling not more than a tenth of a mile away.

8. Streets within the neighborhood form a connected network, which disperses traffic by providing a variety of pedestrian and vehicular routes to any destination.

9. The streets are relatively narrow and shaded by rows of trees. This slows traffic, creating an environment suitable for pedestrians and bicycles.

10. Buildings in the neighborhood center are placed close to the street, creating a well-defined outdoor room.

11. Parking lots and garage doors rarely front the street. Parking is relegated to the rear of buildings, usually accessed by alleys.

12. Certain prominent sites at the termination of street vistas or in the neighborhood center are reserved for civic buildings. These provide sites for community meetings, education, and religious or cultural activities.

13. The neighborhood is organized to be self-governing. A formal association debates and decides matters of maintenance, security, and physical change. Taxation is the responsibility of the larger community.

United States

New Urbanism is having a growing influence on how and where metropolitan regions choose to grow. At least fourteen large-scale planning initiatives are based on the principles of linking transportation and land-use policies, and using the neighborhood as the fundamental building block of a region.[citation needed] Miami, Florida, has adopted the most ambitious New Urbanist-based zoning code reform yet undertaken by a major U.S. city.[7]

More than six hundred new towns, villages, and neighborhoods in the U.S. following New Urbanist principles are planned or under construction. Hundreds of new, small-scale, urban and suburban infill projects are under way to reestablish walkable streets and blocks. In Maryland and several other states, New Urbanist principles are an integral part of smart growth legislation.

In the mid-1990s, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) adopted the principles of the New Urbanism in its multi-billion dollar program to rebuild public housing projects nationwide. New Urbanists have planned and developed hundreds of projects in infill locations. Most were driven by the private sector, but many, including HUD projects, used public money.

University Place in Memphis

In 2010 University Place in Memphis became the second only U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED certified neighborhood. LEED ND (neighborhood development) standards integrates principles of smart growth, urbanism and green building and were developed through a collaboration between USGBC, Congress for the New Urbanism, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. University Place, developed by McCormack Baron Salazar, is a 405-unit, 30-acre, mixed-income, mixed use, multigenerational, HOPE VI grant community that revitalized the severely distressed Lamar Terrace public housing site.[8]

Date: 2015-12-11; view: 603

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