New Urbanism Viewed through Maps

On February 1, 2008 · 1 Comments

An urban design movement began to coalesce in the early 1980’s as a counterbalance to what planners and architects viewed as the sprawl of modern suburbs arising from the postwar environment. The label “New Urbanism” came to be applied to this movement, and it’s hallmarks have been promoted by organizations such as The Congress for the New Urbanism. Some of the features typical of this design (very generally) might include: neighborhoods with a diversity of housing, building types and people; interconnected and relatively narrow streets; abundant and nearby recreational and open space; automobile parking hidden behind buildings; convenient access to public transportation; nearby perimeter shops and businesses that cater to a majority of basic needs; and an emphasis on walkability in general. With so many features designed to be within close walking distance and with a de-emphasis on automobile transportation, communities subscribing to New Urbanism also promote environmental stewardship and healthy lifestyles as an attractive byproduct.

Basic design features can be observed from the footprint these communities leave upon the surrounding terrain. The following images provide some representative samples.

Seaside, Florida, USA

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Seaside is generally considered the movement’s birthplace. It is an unincorporated town along the Florida panhandle that caters to both residents and vacationers. Notice the latticed network of streets and the clearly defined center.

Kentlands, Maryland, USA

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Kentlands, part of a Maryland suburb of the District of Columbia, was another early proponent. It is one of the largest New Urbanist communities in existence, with more than 8,000 residents when combined with its companion community, Lakelands.

Celebration, Florida, USA

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Celebration is perhaps known best for its development by the Walt Disney Company and it rests conveniently right outside of Disney World in central Florida.

Garrison Green, Alberta, Canada

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While the movement originated within the United States, it has spread to other countries too. Garrison Green an 80-acre site in Calgary, Alberta, Canada involves the redevelopment of a former military base that had outlived its usefulness.

Midland, Western Australia

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Indeed, New Urbanist designs have circled the globe. Midland, near Perth, in Western Australia is undergoing an extensive redevelopment on a grand scale through the efforts of the Midland Redevelopment Authority. This satellite image shows construction underway, with new streets being laid out in an interlocking pattern. It resides on what was once a declining industrial property.

On February 1, 2008 · 1 Comments

One Response to “New Urbanism Viewed through Maps”

  1. […] and built upon compact lots in a grid pattern, ringed by shops and restaurants (an envious layout copied by the New Urbanism design philosophy in the modern era). So it was common for me to pass down this busy street on my way to the more […]

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