New Urbanism promotes walkable neighborhoods that contain housing, workplaces, shops and merchants, schools and civic institutions. It arose in the United States in the early 1980s and continues to reform many aspects of real estate development and urban planning.
New Urbanism is influenced by urban design standards prominent before the domination of the automobile and encompasses the principles of traditional neighborhood design and transit-oriented development.
Seaside is recognized as the cradle of New Urbanism.
A growing movement, New Urbanism recognizes walkable, human-scaled neighborhoods as the building blocks of sustainable communities and regions. The Charter of the New Urbanism articulates the movement’s principles and defines the essential qualities of urban places from the scale of the region to the individual building.
Although compact, mixed-use urban form predominated before 1950, separate-use zoning codes and high-volume road standards subsequently helped to make sprawl today’s default development option. New Urbanists are providing leaders with tools to reverse course and strengthen the character, livability, and diversity of their communities.
Through grids of streets, transportation choices, and the siting of buildings along the sidewalks of compact blocks, New Urbanism brings destinations within reach and allows for frequent encounters between citizens, in sharp contrast to sprawl.
A key measure of connectivity is how accessible communities are to people with a range of physical abilities and financial resources. New Urbanism is repairing the damage done to our cities through environmental degradation, misguided infrastructure projects and designs that isolated the poor.