"A growing movement to replace charmless suburban sprawl with civilized, familiar places that people love." So wrote Time Magazine in a recent article about Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Peter Calthorpe, leaders of the dynamic urban design revolution coming to be known as the New Urbanism. Their breakthrough planning conceptspropose a vision of the future that combines the best of the past with the realities and modern conveniences of today.
Part of a broader trend toward the restoration of community and concern for a more sustainable environment, the New Urbanism addresses many of the crucial issues of our time: the decline of America's cities, the rebuilding of its crumbling infrastructure, housing affordability, crime and traffic congestion. Not without controversy, the proponents of this new design approach suggest bold alternatives to the present sprawl and isolation that they see as the consequence of five decadesof poorly planned suburban growth. Like the successful older neighborhoods and small towns where many of us grew up, the designs of the New Urbanism integrate housing, shops, workplaces, parks and civil facilities into close-knit communities that are both charming and functional. Walkability is key, but cars aren't excluded.
Public places lie at the heart of these designs which set aside their most valued sites for parks, schools, churches, meeting halls and other civic uses. Affordability is also an important considerationa wide range from Seaside, the acclaimed new resort town in Florida's panhandle, to a revitalization plan for the deteriorating core ofdowntown Los Angeles. Also included is a mobile-home village in Arizona (cited by Progressive Architecture in its annual design awards), the rebuilding of the nation's largest "urban renewal" housing project in Texas and a "sustainable community" for 12,000 in British Columbia.
Initiated by developers, government agencies and/orcitizen advocacy groups, these pioneering new communities and infill projects offer simple yet compelling solutions to many frequently encountered planning problems. The extensively documented case studies in this book include photographs, drawings, diagrams and urban design codesmore than 500 images in all, a majority of which are in color. Essays by the movement's leading practitioners clearly articulate the principles of the New Urbanism. Commentaries by prominent architecture and urban planning theorists complete this comprehensive publication.
The New Urbanism advocates an ambitious yet pragmatic agenda for the building and rebuilding of our neighborhoods, towns and cities. This book provides an invaluable guide to this emerging movement forarchitects, urban planners, civic leaders and concerned citizens; it is also must reading for anyone who cares about the future of America's communities.
Peter Katz is a design and marketing consultant based in San Francisco, California, and Seattle, Washington. He has directed real estate-related projects throughout the U.S. and the Pacific Rim. Katz studied architecture and graphic design at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York, receiving a bachelor of fine arts degree and the Royal Society of Arts (London) honor award upon graduation. Katz lectures frequently on urban issues to university audiences and citizens' groups.
The New Urbanism is a movement that seeks to restore a civil realm to urban planning and a sense of place to our communities. It is a tangible response to the failed Modernist planning that has resulted in unchecked suburban sprawl, slavish dependence on the automobile, and the abandonment and decay of our cities. Katz, who heads a marketing and design firm, brings together in this informative and accessible book the voices and case studies of the young architects and planners who practice the New Urbanism--Peter Calthorpe, Andres Duany, and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, among them. They gear their designs to the scale of the pedestrian and seek to promote a symbiotic relationship between urban development and public transportation. An often published example of this movement is the community of Seaside, Florida. Extensively illustrated with plans, diagrams, and color photographs and renderings, this highly instructive book is a must for architecture and urban planning collections, and suitable for general readers.-- Thomas P.R. Nugent, New York