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What is New Urbanism anyway?

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New Urbanism is just a silly name for the same old thing. There isn't anything urban about it. Maybe New Suburbanism would be a better word...because that's all it is. Putting the cars in the back means very little...these are still car dependant communities. New Urbanism...for it's falseness...will actually prove to be a negative in the long run.

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Krazeeboy sent out an article before you made the above comments. An important point made in the article is "From proximity, community will respond and develop."

The values of new urbanism are very different compared to suburban values. The design is a world away and the thinking is practically another language for some.

I think the easiest way to learn new urbanism is to raise ones standards of neighborhood and home and develop a sense of taste for such things. This is a road that can take years for some...

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I admit I was feeling pessimistic when I posted my previous comments. I just don't know that this new urbanism is anything more than a fad. I would love to see some real change in the way we build our cities. I'm just not sure this is it.

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Well , if it's a fad, it's one I've been participating in for 20 years :lol:

If you look a little deeper than the ususal media reports (including NYTimes) you will find both a clear set of principles and many useful strategies that are being used all over the country in infill, brownfeild, greyfield and greenfield as an alternative to degradation and sprawl. There is at least another 30 years worth of work to undo the mistakes of the previous 50 years (I hope you are young).

The best place to start is CNU.org and then follow their links.

Things are changing, and while New Urbanism is applied imperfectly, it is of great worth in making positive change.

I admit I was feeling pessimistic when I posted my previous comments. I just don't know that this new urbanism is anything more than a fad. I would love to see some real change in the way we build our cities. I'm just not sure this is it.
Edited by Citydweller

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I would not consider a 27 year thing a fad. Bradsp makes some solid points on what it is. Well I think some in here have not educated themselves on the principles of what New Urbanism is all about. People such as Inkdaub. Go and look at CNU and research the principles. I will agree, it is not perfect and does not address all of the cities problems, but it does address many. In the suburbs, you can have new urbanism thrive. Look at places such as kentlands, verrado, stapleton and see how they integrate with suburbia and bring back traditional community building principles.

Truly look at the design of these places (a tract home development vs. a New Urbanism development) Inkdaub and you will see the differences.

Here is the

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And I am not trying to attack anyone, but the above info is some good stuff on what New Urbanism is all about. These are the founding principles back in the early 90's when CNU was organized.

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Here's a rather scathing critique of New Urbanism--at least in terms of transportation mismanagement--that is the cover story in the latest edition of the LA Weekly (LA's sister alternative paper to NYC's Village Voice)

http://www.laweekly.com/general/features/w...t-growth/16507/

I'm posting it since many of you don't check the Western U.S. or California forums much.

Yet New Urbanism and Smart Growth principles have brought on great improvements in Hollywood, Koreatown/Mid Wilshire, and many other areas.

In the LA Weekly article there's a photo of Councilman Eric Garcetti sitting on the roof of a restored early-20th-century building at Hollywood Blvd. and Western Ave. Two mixed-use developments are in the background (the one on the right is incorporated into a Red Line subway station). What was built isn't necessarily gentrification since both projects have some subsidized units and contain a variety of things in the storefront areas, even a bank branch and one of the secondhand boutiques operated by AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Of course there are the chain stores and eateries, all quite welcome at a corner that didn't have much retail before--at least places where you'd want to spend money.

On the other hand, the Weekly's expos

Edited by Cmuse

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Would any of these communities in the Metro Orlando area be considered "New Urbanist?" Some are being built from scratch and some are suburban cities adding new "downtowns;"

www.uptownaltamonte.com

www.baldwinparkfl.com

www.avalonpark.com

www.celebration.fl.us

www.ci.maitland.fl.us/downtownredevelopment

www.winterspringstowncenter.com

www.verandapark.com

www.oviedoonthepark.com

My main concern about all these projects as well as the development in downtown Orlando is affordability?? Isn't New Urbanism supposed to combine rich and poor? Thanks for any input! Also commuter rail is slated to go through some of these communities.

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Ok, say new urbanism is the widespread norm. My favorite bakery is in the next town, the doctor I like is two towns away, and I now have to drive 20+ minutes to the old suburban sprawl to get to bestbuy because the local electronics shop is more expensive due to the small amount of people it caters. Is new urbanism really an answer? I think we should be designing cities around a 5-10 minute car drive, not a 5-10 minute walk.

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Ok, say new urbanism is the widespread norm. My favorite bakery is in the next town, the doctor I like is two towns away, and I now have to drive 20+ minutes to the old suburban sprawl to get to bestbuy because the local electronics shop is more expensive due to the small amount of people it caters. Is new urbanism really an answer? I think we should be designing cities around a 5-10 minute car drive, not a 5-10 minute walk.

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do you like urbanism or are you here just to troll the boards with messages bashing what people here are all about? cities were never built around the car, nor should they ever be. maybe you should consider joining suburbanplanet if you want to use your car for everything. i don't think i've ever been to a city where no one walked and everyone drove because they were designed so things were inaccessible to those walking.

and did you ever stop and consider that the cost of gas and the wear and tear on your car is bringing up the prices of the stuff you buy at best buy to those that you could be buying at the local place?

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Ok, say new urbanism is the widespread norm. My favorite bakery is in the next town, the doctor I like is two towns away, and I now have to drive 20+ minutes to the old suburban sprawl to get to bestbuy because the local electronics shop is more expensive due to the small amount of people it caters. Is new urbanism really an answer? I think we should be designing cities around a 5-10 minute car drive, not a 5-10 minute walk.

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I can buy Harry Potter at Wal-Mart for 18 dollars. Trip in miles, 2. Wear and tear and gas total 80 cents. Or I could walk to a local store. Buy Harry Potter for 38 dollars. Unless the local stores around my house are an anomaly, I would rather buy it at Wal-Mart.

Before you start jumping onto new urbanism and all its greatness, stop and think about what it is really doing. Removing the car (or other similar forms of transportation) is like trying to remove the internet, the world will be worse without it. The car is a step forward because it enables us to go farther quicker and we don't have to carry anything. The car allows us to have breathing space. I don't know about you, but I like my useless front lawn. It makes the neighborhood look nice. I like my big backyard because dogs and kids can roam around without worry. This is just a personal preference, but when you live in the South it gets hot and rains unpredictably. I don't want to walk for 15 minutes in Southern weather.

By designing a city around a car, it allows more people to shop at one store which would allow for cheaper things. If it wasn't true big box stores would not have destroyed local stores. If you don't want to use cars, build a good public transportation system. The only difference between a car and a carless city is the car city would be bigger by a factor of 10-20, but in terms of actual commute times it would be exactly the same.

Ok, say new urbanism is built. It takes 5-10 min walk to get to a store. Why would I walk, when I could just get in my car and be back in 2 minutes? Trying to remove a car will be too hard and people will drive anyway. This then allows for,

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Jascowhiz0 - I think there might be some confusion over New Urbanism versus Urbanism. New Urbanism is a theory of redesigning towns and suburbs with principals of Urbanism. That is, density, cohesiveness, and integration. The principles, or rather the reasons for this, lie primarily in creating a more social environment leading to safety, better involvement in the neighborhood, and less impact on the environment. The idea is to create a more pleasant and responsive place to live.

I think I understand what you are saying about the convenience of a car. And to some extent I agree - there are benefits to a car, and benefits to living in the suburb. Thus, many people seek to move there. However, there are issues with this as well. The biggest is the environmental impact - wasted space, vast paved areas leading to increased heat, temperature fluctuations, and water runoff problems, major water quality issues and water resource issues, unpleasant conditions, and major pollution hazards. In addition to environmental issues, many of our "sprawling" suburbs are subject to rising crime, lack of community involvement and identity, economic problems, as most of the money spend gets siphoned off to corporate centers halfway around the world, and major social issues as people become more defensive of their own world and have less involvement and interaction with others.

So, I think you are right about some of the issues you have brought up about wanting a nice yard, needing the convenience of a car, and your concerns about costs. However, I think you might be being a little short sighted in that you are only looking at it's immediate effects on yourself. What you are saving now is going to cost you much more in the long run - Those big box retailers no longer can respond to local conditions and needs, thus driving up your costs and limiting your selection. Your money is not getting circulated back into the community - most of it goes somewhere else. You now have to deal with those water issues and pollution issues, and you have to deal with traffic issues and greater crime.

Ideally, there is a balance somewhere. But getting to that balance point is going to cost a little money and effort up front, and require a bit of thinking ahead. There very well may be a way to get it all, but it's going to involve some investment.

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New Urbanism is the most important planning movement and is about creating a better future for us all. It is a great thing to built better environment, and is about raising our quality of life and standard of living by creating better places to live.

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