New Urbanism: What Does it Entail?
Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), a leading organization that aims to promote New Urbanism through partnership and other means of establishment, outlines the basic concepts of New Urbanism as follows. All of these concepts are “defined” by their exact wording:
- Creating Enduring Neighborhoods: Creating walkable neighborhoods is one of the cornerstones of the New Urbanism movement. Through their Charter of the New Urbanism, CNU further elaborates their vision regarding this concept.
- Making Urbanism Legal Again: As the advent of New Urbanism comes more to the forefront, there will be an aim to reverse the long traditional form of sprawl-based zoning. Sprawl-based zoning is known for its negative effects on the quality of life. New Urbanism helps to give practitioners the tools to make this happen.
- Making Connections a Priority: New Urbanism can bring people together. Since the very nature of New Urbanism aims to promote walkability and mixed-use, the design concept hopes to make positive, beneficial interaction among citizens an everyday occurrence.
- Celebrating Shared Spaces: New Urbanism engages the community through its approach to building cities. The public realm can help foster a strong life through interaction.
- Achieving Sustainability-From Building To Region: New Urbanism’s principles help cities achieve new fronts in sustainability. This approach to building, land, transportation, and other facets are all aimed at achieving sustainable results.
- Reclaiming Urban Places Once Thought Lost: New Urbanism has the potential to reverse damage done to cities, such as environmental and poor planning consequences. CPU themselves has contributed to this phenomenon, with the Highways to Boulevards project.
The Benefits of New Urbanism
- Decreases reliance on transportation. New Urbanism promotes alternative transportation and cities that put emphasis on on-foot transportation. Through mixed-used design, New Urbanism helps bring a wider variety of city uses together in close proximity. This helps reduce pollution, keep congestion down, and helps residents live a healthier, more active lifestyle.
- Increases economically viability. Lower costs per capita, increase of tax base, and greater accessibility to patrons, allow people to spend less on transportation, as well as numerous other benefits which add to a healthier economy. The economic benefits reach many groups, such as residents, businesses people, developers, and municipalities.
- Builds a healthier community. Through an emphasis on form and urban design, mixed-use design and similar concepts provide a healthier and more engaging city life. They also help promote safer city planning. Form-based codes are a good example of this principle in action.
- Creates a more sustainable city. Due to its principles, New Urbanism encourages green transportation, and utilizes various sustainable building methods. This helps cities achieve a greater level of sustainability.