free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 165. NEW URBANISM

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

165. NEW URBANISM

Urban design makes a huge difference to energy use. Long hauls to get food and to get to work means more overall energy use, and basing urbanism around cars means congestion, waste and more fuel waste.
Typical Walgreen's in the U.S.

New urbanism is one movement in town planning which aims for 'smart growth', although in effect there's nothing new about it. Older suburban and urban developments were laid out around compact, mixed development and people moved around about on foot and mass transit. These areas still exist in much of Europe and more traditional parts of the US.

Walgreen's in a new urban context (U.S.)

In its most extreme form it eliminates cars and minimises energy use. In the future this is likely to be coupled with heavy use of IT, providing information and energy sustainability. New urbanism is happening now to reduce congestion and produce alternative neighbourhoods.
THE PRINCIPLES OF NEW URBANISM

The principles of New Urbanism can be applied increasingly to projects at the full range of scales from a single building to an entire community.

1. Walkability

-Most things within a 10-minute walk of home and work
-Pedestrian friendly street design (buildings close to street; porches, windows & doors; tree-lined streets; on street parking; hidden parking lots; garages in rear lane; narrow, slow speed streets)
-Pedestrian streets free of cars in special cases

2. Connectivity

-Interconnected street grid network disperses traffic & eases walking
-A hierarchy of narrow streets, boulevards, and alleys
-High quality pedestrian network and public realm makes walking pleasurable

3. Mixed-Use & Diversity

-A mix of shops, offices, apartments, and homes on site. Mixed-use within neighborhoods, within blocks, and within buildings
-Diversity of people - of ages, classes, cultures, and races

4. Mixed Housing

A range of types, sizes and prices in closer proximity

5. Quality Architecture & Urban Design

Emphasis on beauty, aesthetics, human comfort, and creating a sense of place; Special placement of civic uses and sites within community. Human scale architecture & beautiful surroundings nourish the human spirit

6. Traditional Neighborhood Structure

-Discernable center and edge
-Public space at center
-Importance of quality public realm; public open space designed as civic art
-Contains a range of uses and densities within 10-minute walk
-Transect planning: Highest densities at town center; progressively less dense towards the edge. The transect is an analytical system that conceptualizes mutually reinforcing elements, creating a series of specific natural habitats and/or urban lifestyle settings. The Transect integrates environmental methodology for habitat assessment with zoning methodology for community design. The professional boundary between the natural and man-made disappears, enabling environmentalists to asses the design of the human habitat and the urbanists to support the viability of nature. This urban-to-rural transect hierarchy has appropriate building and street types for each area along the continuum.

7. Increased Density

-More buildings, residences, shops, and services closer together for ease of walking, to enable a more efficient use of services and resources, and to create a more convenient, enjoyable place to live.
-New Urbanism design principles are applied at the full range of densities from small towns, to large cities

8. Smart Transportation

-A network of high-quality trains connecting cities, towns, and neighborhoods together
-Pedestrian-friendly design that encourages a greater use of bicycles, rollerblades, scooters, and walking as daily transportation

9. Sustainability

-Minimal environmental impact of development and its operations
-Eco-friendly technologies, respect for ecology and value of natural systems
-Energy efficiency
-Less use of finite fuels
-More local production
-More walking, less driving

10. Quality of Life

Taken together these add up to a high quality of life well worth living, and create places that enrich, uplift, and inspire the human spirit.
Source
-- by Wildwell

12 Comments:

At Wednesday, November 16, 2005 at 1:14:00 AM PST, Anonymous p said...

James Howard Kunstler is quite interested in New Urbanism:

http://www.kunstler.com/spch_prov.html

"The New Urbanism was a return to tradition, a return to successful precedent, a return to patterns of human existence and human ecologies that had a proven record of success: neighborhoods, towns, villages and cities. Integral human communities composed of places to live and work and a public realm that supported the project of a civilized exisitence. Places that do not require the mandatory use of cars or compulsory commuting.
This is the one thing we absolutely know that we can do in the face of our new and compelling circumstances.
"

 
At Wednesday, November 16, 2005 at 4:23:00 AM PST, Blogger Roland said...

Go new urbanism!

 
At Wednesday, November 16, 2005 at 4:33:00 AM PST, Anonymous p said...

What is the opinion here on James H. Kunstler?

 
At Wednesday, November 16, 2005 at 6:59:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lovely idea (no sarcasm - I seriously want to live there), but doesn't help people stuck in old-urban or -suburban communities.

 
At Wednesday, November 16, 2005 at 9:10:00 AM PST, Blogger James said...

Anon: To some extent, New Urbanism can applied to existing suburbs, which almost function as cities within themselves. Zoning changes, and improvements in mass transit are preliminary actions that can be taken in that regard.

 
At Wednesday, November 16, 2005 at 9:21:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That shot of the walgreens in the down town area (the new urbanism) looks like my town, unfortunately except for the part of town I live in, it's very spread out, but we have a good bus service where you can haul your bike with you (unusual for the midwest!)

The reason being is that part of this town was developed as a home for union officers and generals back in the civil war, so the core of the town is designed such that you could walk or trot your horse to get anywhere you need to.

See we don't need a techno fix, we just need to go back to how towns used to be built.

 
At Wednesday, November 16, 2005 at 9:51:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's still the issue of growing food and getting it to people though.

 
At Wednesday, November 16, 2005 at 11:14:00 AM PST, Blogger dub_scratch said...

James wrote: "New Urbanism can applied to existing suburbs, which almost function as cities within themselves. Zoning changes, and improvements in mass transit are preliminary actions that can be taken in that regard."

One model we have for fixing our vast sprawling network of urban sprawl is in the Brazilian city of Curitiba (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curitiba).

 
At Thursday, November 17, 2005 at 8:30:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh... is the USA going to end up looking like England then?

That photo of Walgreens in a 'New Urban' context looks just like a typical English market town center...\

lurve the faux Elizabethan half timbered...

 
At Thursday, November 17, 2005 at 8:31:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh... is the USA going to end up looking like England then?

That photo of Walgreens in a 'New Urban' context looks just like a typical English market town center...\

lurve the faux Elizabethan half timbered...

 
At Thursday, November 17, 2005 at 9:20:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" There's still the issue of growing food and getting it to people though."

Now why would there be a problem there? Even if (contrary to all evidence) you can't get more fuel efficient than we are now in that department, there will be enough fuel to supply that for decades after peak (the government simply earmarks fuel for essential services)

 
At Wednesday, November 30, 2005 at 10:23:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

James Kunstler is a racist doomer. He thinks that that poor people are going to live in those old-fashioned buildings without central air conditioning.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home