Essay about The Failures of New Urbanism

Essay about The Failures of New Urbanism

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New urbanism is the development of idle land to create utopian environments, which allow for all aspects of contemporary life to coexist within a superficially planned, walk-able environment. The philosophy of new urbanism has redefined the means of subdividing idle land, so as to best utilize the space allocated for a new development. Therefore lot size either for residential or municipal purposes, is restricted based on the determined minimum needed to comfortably occupy the given expanse. The new urbanism philosophy has primarily focused on the process of site analysis and planning, but they have neglected to create architecture which could be considered unique or ideal. Instead they have created shell-like structures and slapped on facades that imitate, for example English Tudor or Colonial architecture. Hence they have created hypothetical signs on “sheds” (Venturi & Brown), which are not avant-garde forms of expression. The site planning within the development is well analyzed and implemented as stated, but the viable connection between the suburban area and the realm of the city has become muddled due to poor means of egress leading to the pre-existing city. These two ideological signs produced by the new urbanist’s utopia, have lead to the failure of this concept, and if not remedied the idea of new urbanism will have limited progressive future.
Local vernacular architecture should be analyzed and infused with modern, not simply copied within new urbanism developments. As mentioned the planning stage of new urbanism project is heavily focused on, and the result is a very sophisticated development that uses land space in the most economical way possible. Despite this, the architecture of the buildings does not showcase a...

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...genious, but the existing context of the local environment cannot be ignored. The idea if creating walk-able towns is optimistic and innovative by they need to be placed closer to pre-existing city centers, so as not to promote isolated environments but create an extension of the existing environment. The architecture of these developments needs to evolve and further develop, so as to create a new form of architectural style unique to the local context. Consequently, refining the local vernacular into a style which inhabitants form a new deeper connection with as an alternative to mimicking a connection they may have with a preexisting architectural style. The idealistic signs promoted by the new urbanism development can be used to attract more followers to this movement, once they become evolved and can be deemed as avant-garde and revolutionary formal expression.

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