Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Is `new urbanism' truly a step in right direction?

By Arrol Gellner

In recent years, a whole passel of architecture has marched under the banner of "new urbanism," a movement that seeks to counter the alienation of suburban sprawl and to rekindle human interaction in our communities.
Inspired by the smaller-scale and pedestrian focus of turn-of-the-century towns, a lot of new urban design has had heartening success.
In big cities such as Chattanooga, Tenn., and tiny ones such as Suisun City, Calif., revamped neighborhoods that combine human scale, mixed-use planning, carefully varied architecture and a focus on foot-traffic have yielded vibrant places in which humans, and not just cars, can interact.
In residential design, new urbanism has its own set of hallmarks. Prominent front porches, for example, are meant to encourage neighborly interaction, while garages are banished to the rear of building lots to help break the automobile's stranglehold on the street.

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previous articles about New Urbanism:

From Suburb to City: An Opportunity Born of Necessity

New globalism, new urbanism: gentrification as global urban strategy

New Urbanist Silverback Andres Duany and the Young Locusts

The New Urbanism: Kichijoji Style

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