New Urbanism: A Smart Way to Grow

Architecture / April 23, 2015 / No Comments /
This paper provides a look at the principles of New Urbanism, a land development movement designed to combat ugly urban sprawl, by redeveloping inner cities and/or making the most efficient use of open space development.

This paper examines the topic, New Urbanism, synonymous with the term “Smart Growth” which is a way to develop land efficiently, whether it may be a new development using open space land, or a redevelopment of a part of an inner city- called “infilling”. The paper explores the ten principles that New Urbanism is guided by and gives examples of developments across the country that have used this method and prospered.
“Small, picturesque towns like Nantucket and Savannah dot the eastern landscape of the country. These towns are the illustration of the principles America was founded upon: closeness, unity, community, and family. The neighborhoods were compact and had mixed-uses. Everything a family needed in the normal course of the week was all within walking distance. There was a town square where the townspeople met and talked. In the youth of this country small developments like these were common, however in the last 50 years America has seen development practices take a turn for the worse. The current practice of building suburbs nationwide sprang up after World War II, and development has sacrificed hundreds of thousands of acres to this practice ever since. Now the majority of U.S. citizens now live in automobile-oriented, unattractive suburbs full of strip malls and four-lane roads with four-foot sidewalks. Although this is still the norm, there is a new kind of development that is making an impact on the way communities are built. This new method, called New Urbanism or Smart Growth, has caught on in the last 20 years and is now popping up all over the country. New Urbanism is a way to combat ugly urban sprawl, replacing it instead with small, interconnected communities that are pedestrian-friendly and contain housing, work places, shops, entertainment, schools, parks, and other amenities essential to the daily lives of residents, all within easy walking distance of each other. New Urbanism involves using the principles it sets forth to fix and redevelop existing cities, called “infilling”, as well as to create new, high-density, compact towns and villages.”


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