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What is New Urbanism?

New Urbanism is a form of city planning looks at moving away from traditional, single-use, low-density building patterns. It emphasizes the use of traditional European towns, which are often more compact and make utilize their location. These more compact communities would allow for a smaller carbon footprint through designing areas to be more accessible by walking rather than by car.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, American cities were more compact, and buildings were usually designed for multiple purposes. The invention of the cable car and omnibuses allowed for cities to expand and develop areas specified for living called suburbs but it was the advent of the automobile that led to the decentralization of cities and further separated land use. New Urbanism arose in the late 1970s and 1980s as a reaction to this urban sprawl. In 1991, the Local Government Commission and architects met at Yosemite National Park and formulated fifteen principles that outlined the direction New Urbanism would want to take. Two years later, some of the architects from this conference went on to form the Congress for the New Urbanism, a group aiming to promote the designing principles of New Urbanism.


Other Sources

“What is New Urbanism?” CNU. Accessed August 11, 2016.

“Principles of New Urbanism.” New Urbanism. Accessed August 11, 2016.

Briney, Amanda. “New Urbanism.” About Education. Accessed August 15, 2016.