New Urbanism: A Step Forward

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After the end of the Second World War American cities saw the development of suburban communities. These large planned communities moved a large number of people from the dense urban areas and spread them out on the outskirts of that same city. As the people moved away from the city the business followed as well. The distances that these communities are from the city is dependent on how long people are willing to travel for and by how efficiently an automobile can move individuals from one place to another. As cars have become the main form of transportation vast highway systems have been created to connect the cities with the suburbs that surround it. This concept has come to be known as Urban sprawl.

There are a number of negative effects associated with urban sprawl, most of which are directly related to distance between each building, street, neighborhood, retail area, and city. Having high automobile dependency requires large streets in order to move all of the residents of the community effectively. With larger streets more people will use these for traveling and will just increase the traffic, which is the one of the leading causes of air pollution. Aside from the roads each car also needs a location to park at home, work and retail locations. This paved infrastructure diverts money from other public needs such as good schools, government programs, armed services, police, and firehouses (Duany 66). The paved infrastructure does not only affect us economically, it can also effects the environment. The term “heat island" describes built up areas that are hotter than neighboring rural areas. Heat islands can affect communities by increasing summertime peak energy demand, air conditioning costs, air pollution and greenhous...

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