New Urbanism, a burgeoning genre of architecture and city planning, is a movement that has come about only in the past decade. This movement is a response to the proliferation of conventional suburban development (CSD), the most popular form of suburban expansion that has taken place since World War II. Wrote Robert Steuteville, "Lacking a town center or pedestrian scale, CSD spreads out to consume large areas of countryside even as population grows relatively slowly. Automobile use per capita has soared, because a motor vehicle is required for nearly all human transportation"1. New Urbanism, therefore, represents the converse of this planning ideology. It stresses traditional planning, including multi-purpose zoning, accessible public space, narrow street grids for easy pedestrian usage and better placement of community buildings. Only a few hundred American communities are utilizing this method of planning, but the impact is quickly growing in an infant field dominated by a few influential architects and engineers.
Perhaps the most well known pioneers of New Urbanism are Andrés Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ), a wildly successful architectural firm boasting three offices across the eastern seaboard.2
Although the company was founded in 1980, it gained national recognition for its design of Seaside, Florida in 19892. Seaside, a beautiful coordination of simple Floridian cottage design along the white beaches of northwest Florida became a model for building pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods and integrating communities by enforcing a strict uniform building code, utilizing sensible and aesthetic planning methods (for instance, every street extends to the...
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8 Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company. "St. Louis." http://www.dpz.com/projects
9 Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company. "Hillsborough." http://www.dpz.com/projects
· Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company. "San Juan Bautista. (Architecture)" http://www.dpz.com/projects
10 Rohn, David. "Chesterton, Ind., Development Project Incorporates Environmental Concerns." Indianapolis Star. July 30, 2001.
11 Coffee Creek Center. "Ecology." http://www.coffeecreekcenter.com/pages/design/ecology.htm
· Coffee Creek Center. "Design Code Book." http://www.coffeecreekcenter.com/media/mediaattn/CCC-Codebook_web.pdf
12 Miller, Jason. "New Towns - Issaquah Highlands, Washington." The Town Paper. http://www.tndtownpaper.com/Volume 5/issaquah_highlands.htm
13 Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company. "Oakhurst. (Suburban Retrofits)" http://www.dpz.com/projects
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