New Urbanism

Community Design, Community Planning, Planning, Sustainable Development, Urban and Regional Design

“New Urbanism aims to build hamlets, neighborhoods, villages, towns, and cities rather than subdivisions, shopping centers, and office parks like those found in conventional suburban development (CSD). A fundamental goal is a proper balance between the needs of the automobile and the needs of the pedestrian. Maximizing walkability is essential.” – Comprehensive Report & Best Practices Guide

Seven Principles: (Comprehensive Report & Best Practices Guide)

1. Building blocks->neighborhood->village/small town/bigger town/city

2. Well-defined edge: a quarter-mile distance that everyone can reach.

3. Corridors are connecting different neighborhoods.

4. Human scale.

5. A range of transportation options.

6. Hierarchy streets.

7. Civic buildings as landmarks.

Or, Four Principles: 

1. Livable streets arranged in compact, walkable blocks.

2. A range of housing choices to serve people of diverse ages and income levels.

3. Schools, stores and other nearby destinations reachable by walking, bicycling or transit service.

4. An affirming, human-scaled public realm where appropriately designed buildings define and enliven streets and other public spaces.

Three Essential Elements:

1. Neighborhoods: compact, pedestrian-friendly, and mixed-use

Characteristics of neighborhood:

1. A discernible center. (often a square or a green, or bounded by busy streets; transit stop)

2. Five minutes walk to the center. (a quarter mile)

3. A range of housing choice.

4. Shops and offices located at the edge.

5. A small ancillary building in each house.

6. A very close elementary school.

7. Small playgrounds are within 1/10 of every dwelling.

8. Street networks. (a variety of pedestrian and vehicular routes to any destination)

9. Relatively narrow street shaded by trees.

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

11. Parking at the rear of building.

12. Civic buildings located at prominent sites.

13. Self-governing.

2. Districts: compact, pedestrian-friendly, and single use. e.g. college campus 3. Corridors: any built or environmental linear features that connect neighborhoods and districts. Case Studies:

  • Seaside, Florida, 1981
  • Clinton, New York, 1986
  • Kentlands, Maryland, 1988
  • Windsor, Florida, 1989
  • Highland District, Arizona, 1990
  • Laguna West, California, 1990
  • Communications Hill, California, 1991
  • Rosa Vista, Arizona, 1991
  • South Brentwood Village, California, 1991
  • Bamberton, British Columbia, 1992
  • New Village, Florida, 1992

Sustainable Urbanism: walkable and transit-served urbanism integrated with high-performance buildings and high-performance infrastructure.

Characteristics of Sustainable Urbanism:

Size: limited size with a minimum of 40 acres and a maximum of 200 acres. Neighborhood center comprising between 6 and 10 percent of the total land.

Benefits: walkable, sociability encouraging, also encourage citizens to take responsibility for their maintenance and evolution.

Compact: an average of seven or eight dwelling units per acre.

Benefits: save land, walkability, save energy systems and energy consumption, etc.




Three Steps of Sustainable Urbanism: (to be continued)


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