New urbanism (Encyclopedia of Environmental Issues, Revised Edition)
The movement known as new urbanism commenced during the 1980’s in North America in response to urban sprawl. It had become clear to some developers, urban planners, and architects that outward city development and automobile dependence lead to the destruction of wildlife habitats, air pollution, water scarcity and deteriorating water quality, loss of farmland, high infrastructure costs, racially and ethnically segregated neighborhoods, and the isolation of human beings. In contrast, new urbanism is based on sustainable planning principles that promote compact urban forms and greenfield projects in sparsely populated suburbs and inner-city areas.
New urbanism began with Seaside, Florida, a community created in the early 1980’s by developer Robert Davis and architects Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. Seaside was designed to resemble a small, pre-World War II town, with walkable communities, a mix of public and private constructions, and civic spaces. In 1993 Duany and Plater-Zyberk helped to found the Congress for the New Urbanism, a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting the conservation of natural environments; the rebuilding of neighborhoods and regions into mixed residential, business, and retail developments; and the rediscovery of old communities—such as Boston’s Back Bay, downtown Charleston, South Carolina, and Philadelphia’s Germantown—where social life centers on a courthouse square, public commons, plaza,...
(The entire section is 605 words.)
Further Reading (Encyclopedia of Environmental Issues, Revised Edition)
Grant, Jill. Planning the Good Community: New Urbanism in Theory and Practice. New York: Routledge, 2006.
Haas, Tigran, ed. New Urbanism and Beyond: Designing Cities for the Future. New York: Rizzolli, 2008.
Platt, Rutherford H., ed. The Humane Metropolis: People and Nature in the Twenty-first-Century City. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2006.
Talen, Emily. New Urbanism and American Planning: The Conflict of Cultures. New York: Routledge, 2005.
(The entire section is 63 words.)