Talk:New Urbanism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Does someone have a reference for the 13 principles in "Defining Elements", i.e. where was it originally written/spoken? dml 22:28, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

I have not seen the quote but I did an internet query and came up with the book produced by an organization Duany (supposed author of the elements), Congress for the New Urbanism. Here are the bibliographic references. Can someone confirm one of these books has the 13 principles in it?

Duany is one of the contributors to the "charter".

  • Congress for the New Urbanism (1999). Michael Leccese (Ed.), ed. Charter of the New Urbanism. McGraw-Hill Professional. ISBN 0-07135-553-7. 
The Congress for the New Urbanism considers the charter their "seminal document" defining the work and here's a PDF they produced. They also consider this charter "The defining document of the New Urbanist movement".
I found that they have more than just 13 principles though.... they have broken down 1 - 9 items for A) The Region (City) B) The neighborhood and C) The block. [1]
I also took a closer look and saw that Duany and Elizabeth Playter-Zyberk co authored the below book that also contains "elements" of new urbanism. The Duany-Zyberk duou also have a company they formed called Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company. They are also working on a work to be published called The Smart Growth Manual.
  • Duany, Andres; Plater-Zyberk, Elizabeth; & Alminana, Robert (2003). The New Civic Art: Elements of Town Planning. New York: Rizzoli Publications. ISBN 0-84782-186-2. 
  • Duany, Andres; Plater-Zyberk, Elizabeth; & Speck, Jeff (2000). Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream. North Point Press. ISBN 0-86547-557-1. 

Rhallanger 02:08, 27 November 2005 (UTC)


Criticism of Peter Gorton Criticism: The car-oriented city may not have been what people wanted.

Wikipedia won't save you or play devil's advocate because it's always scared of the truth. Might as well tell the idealist fools to just see it for themselves and decide. But list a lot of examples, because Wikipedians love to list examples.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:51, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

In my opinion, this is very uncritical. I added the last two paragraphs, but could someone have a look at the grammar?

I added a bit of critique based on, and cleaned up the grammar a bit. Bryce 03:01, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

A lot of the content in the final two paragraphs was factually incorrect, so I've deleted them. I've added a link to the FAQ About New Urbanism that addresses the criticisms listed in the final paragraph.
Of course, there is no new urbanist development that is perfect, and new urbanists spend a lot of time hashing out the flaws in various projects and how to avoid them in the future. There are several books and magazines that record those discussions but I'm not sure it's possible to summarize them in two paragraphs. LaurenceJA 23:10, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I'm not that knowledgable on the subject (I mostly look at other's work) but I can say right off the bat that the section is a good idea. I'm suprised the person(s) who wrote the article didn't even think of a criticism section.HereToHelp 12:20, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

Note to all: walkable is NOT A WORD.

I'm surprised there has been no discussion of the Criticism section for 18 months. The New Urbanism certainly begs critical analysis, but I don't think this rambling and wordy section is much help.

I recommend editing down the entire article, which I have started to do; deleting the present Criticism section; and creating a new one, based on the updated content as it develops. -- Mukrkrgsj 02:48, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Walkable, perhaps, perhaps not, yet, dangerous for everyone. Not just is the mindset horrendously dangerous, the design being implemented is very dangerous to those riding bicycles~ including so~called "bicycle friendly" areas. Maybe, even, particularly, "bicycle friendly" areas. Unfortunately, the bicycle organizations have been taken over, as well as making deals with developers, & any "community involvement" is just a way to get approval & shut down opposing voices. How such a humongous scam has gained so much traction is beguiling. It will take enormous effort to weed out this distinction & truly make safe & well designed streets, again.

Nantucketnoon (talk) 06:27, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

Listing Projects[edit]

Wikipedia is not a good format for an open source listing of new urban projects. Here's why.

Debates about what does and does not constitute new urbanism have been ongoing since the Congress for the New Urbanism was founded and its charter was written. Widespread discussions about a rigorous appraisal or certification scheme have been ongoing at least since 2000. There's a lot of intractable disagreement about a number of critical issues -- what factors to measure and how to weight them. The issue has become more pressing as numerous developers and marketers adopt the new urbanism moniker without necessarily including new urbanist principles in the design of their projects.

Therefore, a Wikipedia list of projects will be subject to endless disagreement, revisions, and appeals. Furthermore, it is duplicating the existing lists and databases which have the benefit of years of development, fairly consistent standards and resources for updating and maintenance.

However, there is still a great need for an open source evaluation of neighborhood quality. Open source taps into the wisdom of crowds, and avoids the flaws of top-down administration.

One good way to accomplish this would be a rating system that rates neighborhoods on a selection of characteristics. Since there is so much disagreement on rating criteria, the user could choose the investigators whose ratings they wish to see and to average together. And anyone could be an investigator; they simply would need to spell out the criteria they use.

It's going to take some resources and software development/customization to put this into practice, but it's the only productive way to accomplish open source neighborhood ratings.

LaurenceJA 15:21, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I'm much more pragmatic about this. If there is such a thing as "New Urbanism", then we should list some projects which could be categorized as such. Ofcourse there can be (endless) discussions on what makes a project fall into such a category, but we don't need to list all possible NU projects, just a few clear case ones to make this article more complete. NU is mainly about changing 'traditional' late 20th century, western, urban planning habits, and as such is an evolving movement rooted in Urban Planning traditions. NU is part of an ongoing cultural change in the way the western 'building industry/governments' perceive good/better urban environments, something that has been going on for many decades already. "Neighborhood quality" is something different than NU, and is a complex thing to measure in many ways. Also, the concept of quality always has some subjective elements in it, and in the case of urban planning there are many of these elements. Eg. the neighorhoods quality also depends on the people and their activities: social networking, violence/crime, gardening, pollution (trash, noise, dust), etc.. Walden 15:55, 2004 Sep 28 (UTC)

Yes, of course you're right about neighborhood quality. I should have said "neighborhood design and planning quality." And your description of new urbanism movement is beautiful. I can only hope the built results live up to the ideals you mention. In some cases they do; in some they do not.

How are we (Wikipedia users) going to agree which developments can be characterized as new urbanism? There have been several already listed that I do not consider to be representative of CNU charter principles. At any rate, it would be better to mention significant projects in their historical context. I have asked the author of an excellent, comprehensive “About New Urbanism” article for permission to reprint it in the Wikipedia. LaurenceJA 03:36, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I obtained copyright release from Robert Steuteville to post his article in Wikipedia. I hope that the authorship attribution meets Wikipedia standards -- I've styled it like a citation.LaurenceJA 22:47, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)

TND and TOD[edit]

Some writers have stated that transit-oriented development (TOD) and traditional neighborhood development (TND) are two different camps; however, this is factually incorrect. In practice, new urbanist designers employ the same principles whether or not transit service is available to a particular location. Of course, it is always preferable that convenient transit be provided to new urbanist developments, but the lack of transit is not a make-or-break condition, and certainly does not indicate a failure. This is according to the mainstream, prevailing principles of new urbanism as derived from sources such as the CNU Charter, the practice of leading firms, and academic studies. LaurenceJA 01:17, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)


Is "New Urbanism" really capitalized that way in all references to it? That would seem to be a tad unusual for terms like that. — Stevie is the man! Talk | Contrib 23:17, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

It varies by writer, but capitalization of the term is becoming less common. A publications firm I work with uses the rules of the "Associated Press Stylebook," and based on that they do not capitalize new urbanism.LaurenceJA 02:17, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
There's already a redirect from other capitalazations. If EVERYONE starts using lower case, we could consider moving the page accoringly. For now, it's fine. As for references, use the grammar used by the author. HereToHelp 12:23, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

List of Firms[edit]

I recommend against keeping a list of new urbanist firms in Wikipedia for a number of reasons. First, several of the external links already refer to organizations that maintain directories of new urbanist firms. Second, I just checked the CNU website and there are 537 architects and 266 developers listed. If there is going to be a list of new urbanist firms in Wikipedia, which ones should Wikipedia include and which ones should be left out? What about the planners, researchers, activists, NGOs, media people, realtors, attorneys, etc., who also implement new urbanism? Third, a links list is a high-maintenance proposition. If broken links aren't constantly corrected, the list quickly becomes useless.

Please note that I'm not talking about articles and other items about new urbanism that firms make available on their websites. Some firms provide valuable information about the principles and practice of new urbanism. It can be a good idea to link to material like that.LaurenceJA 20:23, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Maybe there should just be Internal Links to Wikipedia pages about those firms. The two that were listed, DPZ, and Wolff Lyon are considered the forerunners in New Urbanism Design, and their sites give excelnt examples of New Urbanism. DPZ was listed in the Refrences.
I concur. If a site has valuabe info, link it. If it is just to say "this is a new urbanist firm" or worse, and advertisment for a firm (Wikipedia is not a free hosting service, propaganda machine, etc.), don't link it.HereToHelp 12:16, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

More Criticism[edit]

Responses to SlightlySlack's additions of 05-09-25:

1. New urbanist principles bar the privatization of civic space and gated communities. 2. Claims that "provision for interchange is .. very limited" are unsupported, especially when compared to conventional suburban developments. 3. There are only a handful of new urbanist resorts in Florida, and they are not typical of the hundreds of new urbanist developments throughout the U.S.A. 4. New urbanists do not claim to supplant the long-term cultural interactions that create community, nor do they seek to freeze those interactions. 5. Many new urbanist developments include a significant component of affordable housing. 6. Many mainstream academics teach that new urbanism provides an alternative to conventional suburban development, and that students should learn about it. 7. Kunstler is just one supporter of new urbanism among many. He is not a founder of the movement, and he is not even very involved at this point in time. A focus on his rhetorical techniques is not representative of the work or positions taken by thousands of new urbanist practitioners and the industry associations that support the movement.LaurenceJA 17:17, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

1-5. I didn't add most of the text in these sections. The BoBos comment is a gibe, admittedly, but one might argue that what this country needs is a whole lot more BoBos. Looking at The Glen and Stapleton, I think it's safe to say that NU developments have been quite mixed in socioeconomic groupings; however, their addiction to subsidies to create affordability is a consistent problem that is going to make NU developments unattractive to developers who don't want to get involved with the bureaucratic nightmares that go along with subsidization and set-asides. (One of the problems with Stapleton is that big-box retail--specifically a Wal-Mart, where none of the residents shop--is the only way that the property-tax-starved Denver government can create enough of a tax increment to pay for the subsidies going into the development.) Part of my long-term research agenda is figuring out ways of getting affordable ped-transit housing (such as NU communities) built without having to resort to such explicit or implicit subsidies and without pissing off the neighbors. I stand by my comments about the declining supply of brownfields and Kelo. In areas where there's actually sufficient demand for housing to make infill developments relatively attractive, there is fierce competition for brownfield sites because government entities do not like having to ED residences for things like schools and police precincts. The Kelo backlash is going to make this that much more of a problem. Let's also not forget that as time marches on, the existing supply of brownfields is going to be of an ever-lower quality with a higher chance of the sort of environmental contamination that typically scotches any sort of development.
6. Wanna bet? In my department at USC (which, admittedly, displays an uncommonly wide ideological diversity, ranging from hardcore libertarian econocentrists like Peter Gordon to design mavens like Tridib Banerjee), there is a vigorous chicken-and-egg debate concerning design and society. Even folks who are sympathetic to the NU movement are uneasy about its obsession with design. The well-respected planning theorist Ann Markusen, head of the planning department at Rutgers and hardly a sprawl apologist, has dismissed NU as theoretically flimsy because of its obsession with design and has recommended that it not be taught to urban planning students.
7. That's fair, but the Nowhere books are sacred texts to most students of urban planning, in large part because of their narrative strength. Also, Kunstler is one of the founding fathers of the movement--he signed the charter and calls himself a "card-carrying" member of the movement[2]. He addresses the Congress on a regular basis. I would argue that NU needs to distance itself from Kunstler (which it has not) if it wants to academically defensible; most "lay" supporters of NU don't get much past him and Jacobs, and both authors' rhetoric and methods have been savagely attacked over the years. (Read James Dunn's pro-sprawl screed Driving Forces, which is intellectually dishonest in many areas but has trenchant criticisms of the Marxist "false consciousness" arguments that intellectually underpin the 1960s-1970s criticisms of autocentricity that are the direct intellectual forebears of NU.)
I hope these clarify the graf I added. I admit to great rhetorical sloppiness of the sort that could be misconstrued as the work of a right-wing vandal (which I most definitely am not), which is why I shouldn't be Wiki'ing at 5 AM.--Slightlyslack 21:28, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
One more thing to add to point #6: Because Calthorpe and Duany are architects, and most NU practitioners are other architects or urban designers, the planning academy distrusts the movement. Academic planning study has long incorporated economics, engineering, policy analysis, sociology, and geography into its analytical framework, and generally treats design and architecture as secondary to these on the grounds of "form follows function." The idea that urban form itself can cause or cure social ills is hardly new, BTW: it goes back to the Garden City movement, and to the progressive housing movement of the 1920s and 1930s. I think we all know how well these places have done in the job of "uplifting" their residents: some of the most critically acclaimed Garden City housing projects include such magnificent urban paradises as Los Angeles' Aliso Village and Jordan Downs.--Slightlyslack 02:32, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments. Affordable housing is the subject of extensive debate among new urbanists. Some of the discussions are collected in the "New Urban Post II: On Gentrification" and "New Urban Post X: On Affordable Housing." (1). You may be familiar with "New Urbanism: Comprehensive report and Best Practices Guide" which has a chapter on affordability. I happen to agree with your criticism of Stapleton, and new urbanists continue to debate whether affordable housing can be provided in hot housing markets without subsidies. The research you describe may be of great value.
Your speculations about brownfields and Kelo may or may not prove to be correct. We don't know how the technology of brownfield remediation will progress; we don't know what unknown pollutants remain to be discovered; we don't know if the Kelo backlash will be lasting. Conclusions based on such speculations aren't appropriate for an encyclopedia article.
In regards to academic involvement and research into new urbanism, the CNU Educators Task Force provides extensive and broad-based bibliographies.
Kunstler is not a founder of new urbanism, although he is one of its most visible supporters. If you look at the Timeline of New Urbanism you'll see the movement began gathering steam in the mid-1970s and the first generation of projects broke ground in the early- to mid-1980s. A small group of architects and town planners formally organized the CNU in 1991. The Charter was not presented for signing until several years later. If "card-carrying" means membership in the CNU, there are several thousand members -- all that's required is a fee payment. But more importantly, why should new urbanists distance themselves from Kunstler? You might as well argue, "Journalists (or muckrakers, Germans, libertarians, etc.) must distance themselves from HL Mencken if they want academic respectability, because Mencken wrote to shock and scandalize his readers."
As to your final point, you're absolutely right that planning is a generalists' field, and that many disciplines and viewpoints are needed besides physical design. No new urbanist that I'm aware of says otherwise, and indeed there are new urbanist engineers, sociologists, policy analysts, geographers, and representatives of many other disciplines who are very active in the field. However, after a strong involvement through the 1950s, it seems the planning discipline drifted away from physical design, with some notably negative effects as a result. The new urbanist focus on physical design has provided a valuable corrective to that drift, and it continues to promote best practices in the field. Also, new urbanists do not claim "urban form itself can cause or cure social ills" -- that's a red herring. This essay and this essay by Emily Talen are good discussions of the issue.LaurenceJA 06:34, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
I don't think Mencken is taken very seriously as a journalist--the guy barely ever left Baltimore. He's more beloved as a social commentator and a misanthrope, neither of which is a "legitimate" calling with a certain degree of respectability to maintain. (Both of which are absolutely necessary for a well-functioning society). Regarding urban form, when Talen says that "[C]ommunity defined as common good can be legitimately engendered through design," how can you say that this does not imply that design can cure social ills? Surely the decline of social capital inspires hand-wringing among New Urbanists the way it does among, say, governance scholars; is not "community defined as common good" really just a synonym for social capital?
Excellent points overall, and I concede that the tone of my statements probably isn't meant for an encyclopedia--but on the other hand, when the vast majority of text in an article about a movement comes from an official publication of the movement, the issue of NPOV should be in play.--Slightlyslack 10:55, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
Talen says, "Clearly, the community-design link is tenuous when community is conventionally defined, i.e., within the confines of social science." This includes social networks, as Talen states explicitly. She goes on to offer an alternative definition of "common good" based on the goals of social diversity, accessibility and neighborhood identity, and achieved by the provision of mixed housing types, mixed uses, pedestrian access, compactness, and public space. These elements by themselves will not build community; they only constitute physical patterns that can potentially support some forms of community. Residents may or may not choose to use that potential.LaurenceJA 02:35, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

Smartcode, what is it?[edit]

I ran across this Smartcode on Duany Plater-Zyberk website. It looks like a model planning code but I'm not an architect. Would this have any use in putting in the article, or is it too proprietary? Maybe a better option is to mention some examples of info obtained from a review of the code. Smartcode 7.0 PDF File 7Mb

As I understand it, the SmartCode is indeed a proprietary product: a "form-based" model code for cities to adopt, replacing their previous zoning codes. A local New Urbanist planning firm installed the Central Petaluma SmartCode in Petaluma, California, in 2004: [3] Newspaper stories implied that the Smartcode may not be consistent with California planning law. -- Mukrkrgsj 01:45, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Straw Men[edit]

For "collectivist plot" reference, see Freedom 21 Santa Cruz. See also Thoreau Institute editorial that conflates new urbanism and Soviet planning. For representative example of "capitalistic excess" charge, see Mike Davis' widely-disseminated feature in Mother Jones magazine. For examples of "good instantly" criticisms, see evaluations of newly-built new urbanist developments by Wendell Cox, Alex Marshall and Michael Sorkin, among many others. LaurenceJA 18:26, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

I went ahead and removed two of the criticisms; they were unsourced and seemed to be very "out there", as if the writer was channelling Ayn Rand and Mao Zedong. --Bletch 12:11, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
What do you mean they were unsourced? I provided the sources above. Check them out. LaurenceJA 12:57, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
Hi Laurence, I like the contributions. Could you source them in the article itself? Ed Sanville 13:01, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Change category name from New Urbanism to...[edit]

I have proposed changing the name of Category:New Urbanism. My best alternative is Sustainable urban planning or Sustainable urban design but perhaps there is something more suitable.

See discussion at Category talk:New Urbanism. (Don't respond here) --Singkong2005 13:49, 30 March 2006 (UTC)


I think we should find a more attractive image to use as an example of New Urbanism. The building architecture in the current photo leaves much to be desired, IMO. I'm certain there are better examples to use. (Also, what is that trailer doing out front? Is this example still under construction?) Ed Sanville 13:40, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Human Scale[edit]

Would it be accurate to note that many of the tenets of New Urbanism were inspired by (or at least foreshadowed by) Sale's Human Scale? It certainly seems that way to me, but I don't have significant domain expertise here. Tlesher 19:12, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Projects by state?[edit]

Do we really need that section? Why not spin it off into a list article? The article already has a lot that aren't in that section --AW 18:43, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

I spun off the list, in the "Examples" section into a new article, Examples of New Urbanism. It still needs some of the examples from the body of the article added to it. Scott182 21:26, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

If the article on the New Urbanism doesn't need a section containing examples of it, how can that section stand alone? Why not bring it back here, and edit it down to a few representative examples? Or if it genuinely merits a separate article, why not rename it something like New Urbanist communities? -- Mukrkrgsj 01:09, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

New Urbanism - a US phenomenon?[edit]

I had made some earlier edits to this article, but the whole thing has seemed problematic from a European persepctive. New Urbanism has been seen as very much an American phenomenon (and one can look to various US architects, activists and theorists, such as Jacobs, Sales, and so on, who have attempted to champion what can be regarded as typical historical European urban models). So what may be called "New Urbanism" in USA, may simply be "urbanism" in Europe. This is hardly to say that Modernism has not decimated European cities and even become a standard model for planing in many European countries (e.g. former east bloc): and so, in Europe, too, many of these lessons are now being re-learnt -- ironically somewhat making pastiches of their previous living traditions. It is somewhat unfortunate that as it stands the examples are given as USA, followed by the individual US states and then "the rest of the world". --TTKK 09:27, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, maybe it should be stressed that this is largely an American movement, at least so far as regarading the tenets as "new" (or even "urbanism"). The Brits have a more extensive New Town track record, but even in the US the principles were evident in planning of the early twentieth century. The retro taste for historic models is exemplied by many suburban developments of that period, and more recently in Britain by the Prince of Wale's new town project, Poundbury [[4]].

The notions of New Urbanism have derived from architects' perspective of urban issues. This presentation might integrate more views of others, such as historians and sociologists, who might place the movement in the context of class and cultural eilitism--and the movement warrants this sort of critique. Phmalo 16:30, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Agreed, and I believe it is largely a result of how much of America's development has occurred during the automobile age. As stated, Britain has some notable programs that could be equated to New Urbanism, as does Australia -- another location whose growth has largely occurred during the automobile age. --Thisisbossi 23:58, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

To the extent that the New Urbanism is the product of a few American architects and planners, it is certainly an American movement. But there is little that's new about the New Urbanism. Part of it is nostalgia for the pre-industrial, self-contained agrarian village; and part of it is a rationale for both renewing inner-city neighborhoods, and building new subdivisions, based on that archaic, idyllic model.

IMHO, the question is whether the New Urbanism really has anything to offer not only the U.S., but the U.K. and Europe, and the developing nations of the Third World. To be successful--dare I say sustainable?--the New Urbanism must propose genuine mitigations for the negative impacts of the Industrial Revolution, including the current issues of "peak oil" and "global warming".

Maybe the "New Ruralism" is a better response to the impacts of industrialization and international development than the aging New Urbanism. Maybe the ultimate answer is worldwide population control; a few highly specialized, urban centers of science, technology, and industry throughout the world; and a multi-national network of independent, self-sustaining agrarian villages, linked by electronic communications, with limited ground and air transport between them.-- Mukrkrgsj 03:37, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Indeed, Deleted "Worldwide View" Template?[edit]

I agree, this is an American phenomenon. It's responding to American circumstances. That's why all the conferences have been held in the United States. We should delete the template on the bottom section about it not representing a "worldwide view". NittyG (talk) 17:20, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Solving the Commute[edit]

I didn't spot anything on this in the article... I hope to clean it up and find a good place to add it in myself should I find the time; but I welcome others to expand upon this criticism and insert it or critique it as need be:

While New Urbanism addresses traffic issues such as retail or dining trips, it does not typically address what is often the primary source of traffic congestion: the daily commute. In many cases, the residential property values greatly exceed the demand of the equivilent upper-scale workforce, as most of the local commercial and industrial properties are staffed with lower-income employees whom cannot afford the residential properties within the development. Therefore, a socioeconomic disparity remains: causing the residents to continue commuting elsewhere and the local workers to continue commuting in. While this could, to some degree, be address through a centralised mass transit mode, such transit-oriented developments are still a relatively rare occurrence.

--Thisisbossi 23:58, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

I understand you to say something like this:
"The New Urbanism does not adequately address what is often the primary source of traffic congestion: the daily commute to and from NU developments. Housing can be so expensive that employees of local business and industry can't afford to live there. They must commute in, and some residents may also commute out. The NU's solution is mass transit, but transit-oriented developments are still relatively rare."
I think you're pointing at the fundamental weakness of the New Urbanism. Whether they are within existing cities or are new suburban subdivisions, New Urbanist communities are not, in fact, self-contained, independent villages.
The ideal NU community would provide for its residents to live, work, and satisfy almost all their daily needs within a mile or so of their homes. Thus the New Urbanism does not, in fact, seek to recreate the traditional urban design of American cities before WWII. Its real model is an isolated farm village before the Industrial Revolution.
-- Mukrkrgsj 00:59, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

List of examples[edit]

I think we need to clean up that list. It's awfully big --AW 18:41, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

I made a simple bulleted list of the examples. This definitely looks better than the long list. Scott182 01:35, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

This list has now been spun off into an article, Examples of New Urbanism, but still remains in this article for now. Scott182 14:52, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

I just deleted the reference about the project in Lisbon. I am not an expert in New Urbanism, but the project does not fit in the definition for sure. For instance, take the central avenue of the Alta de Lisboa where the following picture was taken: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:12, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

This article is unreadable[edit]

How can this article be considered to be of "top importance"?

If there is any genuine substance to The New Urbanism, why haven't its proponents produced a readable Wikipedia page that clearly defines and explains it?

Is it a theory and philosophy of urban planning, or just an excuse for continuous, unmitigated growth and development? Mukrkrgsj 11:40, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

You're right, the article is not in very good shape. For a clear overview, visit the website of the Congress for the New Urbanism ( Continuous, unmitigated growth and development in the USA doesn't make any excuses for itself, and it doesn't have too, since it has the law on its side. Given that it will take sea change in the law, in people's attitudes towards taxes and property rights, and in the economic foundation of the country before there is a healthly approach to the development of land, New Urbanism is the best thing we have to ensure that new development is not awful. But blaming New Urbanism for growth is preposterous. The overwhelming majority of new developments (I would guess well over 95%) continue to be the standard cul de sac, segregated use, 100% auto-dependent suburbia.Sylvain1972 15:05, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments! It should be obvious that I don't blame the NU for growth per se.

My point is that in my own city of more than 150,000, and county of close to 500,000, outspoken local advocates of the NU and "Smart Growth" are touting their principles as justifying and excusing continuous urban and suburban growth--even as the traffic congestion, and other impacts of that growth, become increasingly severe. Let me add that I'm in California, and what the developers and local politicians are doing, is not necessarily consistent with local and state law.

I copied three sections this evening, reorganized them, and edited them for brevity and clarity, while keeping as much of the original thought as possible. I don't necessarily agree with them--I'm just trying to boil this unreadable page down to its essence, to see if it has one!

Once again, I hope responsible proponents of the NU will jump in at some point, and clearly and concisely explain what they're up to. Mukrkrgsj 04:35, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

New Ruralism?[edit]

I'm thinking of deleting this section. It seems to be added by someone from Simpler Times Village, the link in the section. The drawing Image:Aerial-Perspective-artist-d.jpg, which I removed, was hand drawn by User:Villagemaker, and is also the same one from the Simpler Times website. I suspect they created that section as an ad. There may be a valid thing called New Ruralism, but it needs some real sources. --AW 20:43, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Google finds several references to the New Ruralism. Here's a headline from the planning site Planitizen, which reprints an article Defining The New Ruralism: "Peter S. Rummell, CEO of The St. Joe Company, outlines a vision for the development of new real estate products based on a concept he calls 'the New Ruralism'."

If the NR is more than a real estate gimmick, it may still be little more than a rehash of the post-'60s hippie back to the land movement. If there's something to it, maybe it should have its own page, and just a reference here? -- Mukrkrgsj 01:25, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

"Unreferenced" claim[edit]

I substituted the recent "unreferenced" tag with the more appropriate template. Some parts of the article are clearly referenced, and the "References" section is rather big. However, I would agree that essay-like parts need referencing badly. --Futurano 20:41, 13 May 2007 (UTC)


Umm, rather than an element of nostalgia for a pre industrial age, isn't it more for the late 19th century, the time of wonderful new inventions such as streetcar suburbs and bicycles? Thus, post industrial nostalgia for an industrial age? Jim.henderson 23:47, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

  • I think it meant pre-automobile, so I changed it. --W.marsh 23:55, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Tigne Point[edit]

Would this be considered a form of New Urbanism? Marcus1234 12:25, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Reversion by excessive and described inaccurately[edit]

Undisputed changes were lost in the shuffle. I'll revert the change, then resurrect the original see-also list. 08:18, 29 July 2007 (UTC).

Neutrality Problem in One Particular Passage[edit]

I find the following paragraph to be more editorial than educational; note particularly the perjorative phrase "lego projects":

It is very unlikely that the members of this congress have a comprehensive understanding of the real effects of New Urbanist "lego projects" on the people that live within them. These effects are not always positive. New Columbia If grassroots participation is not the scaffolding of the New Urbanist model of mixed-income development, which it is not, the projects will suffer lack of cohesion. Until high-level bureaucracies such as HUD and HOPE VI make great efforts to build a common sense of identity through participatory planning, there will be no essential foundation of social stability upon which to construct new buildings.

I suggest this passage be deleted, since I can imagine no way of revising it to remove its biases (because the entire passage is an opinion). --Skb8721 (talk) 18:17, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

whats this?[edit]

The New Urbanist preference for 'permeable' street grids has been criticised on the grounds that it gives private motor vehicles an advantage over walking, cycling and public transport. i suggest removing this part, this grid street system is clearly much more advantageous to walking, biking and transit that hierarchical streets.

there are some criticisms listed that are just random baseless charges against the new urbanism (like calling it fascist), we need to filter out these and strengthen the the major and most common criticisms of the movement mainly that some view it as old fashioned, that some communities are still quite autodependent, some NIMBYs finding it too dense, etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pdxstreetcar (talkcontribs) 21:33, 17 December 2007 (UTC) Pdxstreetcar (talk) 21:49, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

I suggest removing this part. It appears to be a minor group trying to get visibility by setting itself up as common critique of New Urbanism. I think I can edit to say it criticizes NU for not going far enough to prioritize peds Tebici (talk) 00:45, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

adding a section about style issues and urban new urbanism[edit]

I think there needs to be more mention about the issue and role of architectural style in new urbanism, people seem to think new urbanism=traditional architecture. Certainly a lot of NU projects use traditional architecture but there are a good number of projects that either have a mix of styles or are modernist and the CNU charter is specific in stating that NU not be style specific.

Also I think it is worth having a section on 'Urban New Urbanism' or large scale urban infill projects that employ new urbanist principles like Hoyt Street Yards/Pearl District in Portland, South Lake Union in Seattle, South Waterfront in Portland, Yaletown/Concord pacific in Vancouver BC, LoDo in Denver, Victory Park in Dallas, Capital Center/Waterplace Park in Providence, South Boston Waterfront in Boston, Mission Bay in San Francisco, to name a few. Pdxstreetcar (talk) 21:48, 17 December 2007 (UTC)


Does merging Congress for the New Urbanism into this article look like a good idea? I think that most of the material is already here. Comments? --Stormbay (talk) 23:01, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Michael E. Arth / New Pedestrianism[edit]

This "variant of New Urbanism" seems to be just one individual, whose personal Wikipedia entry was recently nominated for deletion. Even if it were a notable school of thought with many disciples, it doesn't deserve mention within the first five sentences of an article about New Urbanism. Even under the person listing -- he's the only person not on that list who isn't either extensively published (on topics relating to urban design) or honored as a Fellow of the AIA. Paytonc (talk) 21:58, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

New Urbanism Advantages[edit]

I just got done browsing the New Urbanism wikipedia page and I see nothing there regarding the ADVANTAGES of new urbanism. It was mentioned that the New Urban design philosophies are about human-scale enviroments and walkable communities, but these descriptions come off looking like industry jargon. The average Joe aint going to know what that means in layman's terms. These terms should be extrapolated.

What about all the advantages inherent in human-scale enviroments and walkable communities? For example:

1) More walking means a healthier citizenship. If you ain't driving to the nearby Wendy's, but instead you are walking there... you might just have enough walking distance between your house and the local Wendy's to burn off any excess calories gained from your cheeseburger. With driving (urban sprawl) those calories would just end up in your rear end.

2) Healthier citizens means less time at the doctor and lower medical bills. Good health also promotes increased self-esteem and self-confidence. It also may mean fewer suicides and domestic disputes.

3) Reduced driving time also decreases automobile accidents. This means fewer automobile fatalities and fewer patients in the hospital to care for (for those who survive violent car crashes). More money saved.

4) Reduced driving time cuts back on the amount of gasoline and/or alternative energy needed to fuel automobiles. This saves money individually and nationally. IMPORTANT.

5) Walkable communities promote increased social interactions. This reduces crime rates and reduces social isolation, which lends itself to happier citizens and an overall improvement in mental well being.

6) High density NU communities also reduces municipality requirements and highway construction costs. This is due to a more efficient and elegant use space.

These are some of the main points, I would guess. Perhaps they could even be ellaborated upon. In any case, if there is going to be a CRITICISMS catagory, there should be an ADVANTAGES catagory in my opinion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:44, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Too much criticism[edit]

Although I generally prefer criticism sections (and even "Trivia Sections") in articles, I believe that this one is way over-the-top in being negative and excessive. In fact, it makes it seem that nearly everyone is staunchly opposed to New Urbanism, ranging from conservatives/libertarians to far-leftists and anarcho-primitivists. It sounds (reads) like this article has mainly been edited repeatedly by persons diametrically opposed to it who are willing to use any and all arguments against it. I admit that I come to this topic out of near total ignorance, but I find it incredible (unbelievable) that there is really almost no support for this (New Urbanism)---academic or otherwise---from any middle-of-the-road or more moderate/mainstream "liberal" and pro-environmental interests, whether in the establishment or more counter-establishment. These issues really need to be addressed. Shanoman (talk) 17:57, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

The article should outline significant criticisms of the topic, but shouldn't give an undue weight to one side or another. Is there some information mentioned in the criticism that you think is exaggerated, unfair or insufficiently supported? TastyCakes (talk) 20:20, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

New Pedestrianism[edit]

Though this article is in need of a general cleanup, one place to start would be a consideration of the prominence of "New Pedestrianism." New Pedestrianism is not a significant subdivision of New Urbanism, unlike TOD or TND. Seemingly all of the references about New Pedestrianism can be traced back to Michael E. Arth, its founder. This is inconsistent with WP:NOR, and unless someone wants to make the case that New Pedestrianism is, as the article seems to suggest in its current form, a significant part of NU, I'm going to scale back its role to fit its limited impact on the New Urbanist movement. LDNash (talk) 15:27, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Seeing as how this issue as been brought up before in this talk page, I'll go ahead and proceed with the edits. LDNash (talk) 20:51, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

I dunno, I think it's part and parcel of the same thing. The very beginning mentions walkable neighborhoods, for example. Some references should be ok. You really didn't remove very much at all. --AW (talk) 21:24, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
You're right, the differences aren't particularly great. But New Pedestrianism is an uncommon way of discussing and treating space that isn't used very often by New Urbanists. Considering both its similarity to NU and its small base, I'm not even sure it's worth mentioning in the intro. On that note, actually, the next thing I'm going to follow up on some of the edits you made and work on cleaning up the intro. It's too long as it is right now, and some of the info can be moved down into other sections. I may edit the caption for the picture you put back in as well. I can't find the term "walk street" in any New Urbanist literature or online.LDNash (talk) 22:12, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Ok. Maybe just pedestrian street. --AW (talk) 14:11, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Defining Elements section[edit]

This section is pretty lackluster as it stands. It only discusses the neighborhood scale and lacks citations. I think the best way to go about redoing this section is to use the scales referenced in the New Urbanism charter: region, neighborhood, street/building. I'd guess most of the information in this section can be based off of the charter, perhaps with some references to examples. It is, after all, basically a "defining elements" section in itself. LDNash (talk) 19:16, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

"a collectivist plot designed to rob Americans of their civil freedoms..."[edit]

The full sentence: "Some libertarians and Conservatives view new urbanism as a collectivist plot designed to rob Americans of their civil freedoms, property rights, and free-flowing traffic."

This is cited as the source:

I'm reading the whole thing. It doesn't once contain the word collectivist. Yes, it's in a libertarian magazine, Reason (magazine), but that's not what the article says. The article is more subtle than's not some nutcase libertarian propaganda. The article is critical of conservatives at the American Enterprise Institute as well as the traditional liberals who push new urbanism. I'm going to rework this sentence (and possibly this whole section) to be more neutral and more accurately reflect what the article actually says. Cazort (talk) 20:38, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

more cleanup[edit]

I removed this paragraph as it was unsourced, I'm pasting it here in case anyone wants to find sources to salvage it:

  • "Perhaps the most frequent criticism of the movement [citation needed] is that the most famous and highest-profile projects most associated with the movement (primarily Celebration, Kentlands, and Seaside) are all greenfield projects built on what was previously open space and therefore are just another form of sprawl. (The city of Hercules on the other hand is developing its New Urbanism communities on brownfields.) Other projects like Stapleton (Denver), the Pearl District (Portland) and Glenwood Park (Atlanta) are all newer brownfield projects that are all beginning to undermine this long standing criticism.[citation needed] Critics react to this as a controlled sprawl that assumes that social situations can and should also be controlled, such that preconceived rules of what a town need be are first worked out on paper and then acted out in real space. Often the results are elitist and exclusionary, and are almost always conservative in nature. "

Thanks. Cazort (talk) 20:47, 24 January 2010 (UTC)


Can we please get a new picture for (the top of) this article? It's a terrible representation of what the New Urbanism is. And, more than that, new pictures for the article throughout? There are some really terrible ones here. Pretty much all of them need to be replaced. Someone new to the concept would walk away from this article having no real understanding of what new urbanism is from these pictures. I'd do it myself, but I don't know what replacing the pictures entails exactly; copyrights-wise. (talk) 02:17, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Criticism Removal[edit]

I'm removing the line, "Although the current use of non-mixed ghettoed social housing projects have been a dismal failure..." It's marked with a "citation needed," but quite frankly, there is no citation that anyone can provide that supports any statement such as this as definitively, empirically, and obviously true. If data shows it to be a "failure," then it should say (with a citation), "recent data/sociologists/someone-specific-with-authority-on-the-topic show(s) that the current use of non-mixed, ghetto social housing projects have been unsuccessful. [citation to that data/report on data/etc]" While likes to think that statements like this are simply "truisms" that ought not be questioned, this is just laden with personal-opinion-as-truth. It's gone. (talk) 23:48, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Oops, I wasn't signed in. Original statement by Treefingers1206 (talk) 23:50, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Cotton District[edit]

The Cotton District got its name because it is built in an area that surrounds an old cotton mill.

"an area" is hopelessly vague; I'd make it either it surrounds an old cotton mill or it is near an old cotton mill, depending on whether the Cotton District itself surrounds the mill. —Tamfang (talk) 07:04, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Fixed this, changed it to "vicinity of" —screamingman14 (talk) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:55, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

I think urban renaissance and new urbanism cover the same ground. Since Wikipedia articles are about things, not words, having two separate articles is a form of content forkery. It seems kind of like the former article is specifically about the UK, but that's not enough grounds for a separate article. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 16:03, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Oppose these are distinct terms with different meaning. The assertions of similarities between the two terms made in the urban renaissance article are unreferenced. --ELEKHHT 01:45, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Oppose The urban renaissance page references a general social trend, whereas new urbanism refers to a developed design philosophy, which is distinct from population movement to cities.--Sbrowndc (talk) 17:25, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Oppose: Even if an urban renaissance was solely the result of new urbanist policies, it makes sense to separate a design philosophy from its results. Fitnr (talk) 15:05, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Oppose Tebici (talk) 00:08, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

picture caption error[edit]

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

aggregate housing has no wikipedia page nor clear definition when googled, perhaps the word "townhouse" or "apartment building" would be more accurate? (talk) 11:19, 14 May 2014 (UTC)


the link to "traditional neighborhood design" is useless, as it redirects back to New Urbanism. (talk) 10:56, 3 August 2014 (UTC)