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Kelly’s Blog is about the concept of “New Urbanism” and stating main principles to make an ideal city to live in. She has highlighted, how new urbanism is focused on strong community connections and easily accessible and human scale spaces or building within the city. After the World War II, The modernist urbanism emerged. During that period cities were started being separated in different social and economic zones, streets became more vehicle dominated, And sprawling of a neighborhood had begun.But, In late 20th century, New Urbanism concept emerged as an anti-modernist urbanism design. I would like to add some of its features as an expansion to her blog such as a Flexible design, Street Network and Placement of important buildings or spaces in city fabric.

Figure 1: Conceptual drawing of a Town center showing social activities and mix-used building

Flexibility of a Design

Neighborhood blocks are compact and easily accessible in new urbanism. And to define the boundary of those blocks “corridors” are being used which can be of natural features like canals, canyon, or green belt. These in the future may turn into parks, natural preserves, travel paths or a combination of all of them. These corridors may also serve a purpose of social gatherings from the surrounding neighborhoods and work as a multi-purpose space. So, instead of a boundary being just a separating line or a vehicular road making it in a way which promotes social and biodiversity is a good example.

Street Network hierarchy

Figure 2: Traditional Neighborhood Diagram
Figure 3: Peter  Calthrope’s “Freid Egg” TOD Diagram

 

New Urbanism follows the same old traditional pattern for a road network. The street pattern is conceived as a network, to create the greatest number of alternative routes from one part of the neighborhood to another. This has the effect of providing choices and relieving vehicular congestion. The streets form a hierarchy, from broad boulevards to narrow lanes and alleys. Which is again makes it walkable and prioritize the pedestrians.

Important Building Placement

Promoting culture is also an important aspect of new urbanism. All civic buildings, Historical buildings and Public squares represent the city culture which needs to be placed at the end of the main streets where view down the street terminates. That gives those buildings and squares an impression of a landmark and highlights its symbolic importance in the city. This kind of placement often can be seen in old medieval cities.

Conclusion

New Urbanism has good sensible ideas to make a city better.In my opinion, We will be facing the shortage of the resources and space in near future as well as global community separation if we don’t change our modernist thinking of urban design. It also has some good features which promote green spaces and parks which can be retained but zoning and automobile dominated streets should be avoided.


References:

CNU – https://www.cnu.org/

Bettercities.net – http://bettercities.net/article/new-urbanism-better-way-plan-and-build-21st-century-communities

Figure 1 – http://keywordsuggest.org/gallery/321316.html

Figure 2 – http://bettercities.net/news-opinion/blogs/peter-katz/17919/cnu-20-recollection

Figure 3 – http://bettercities.net/tools/images?page=72

 

School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509

Email: nicola.rutherford@ncl.ac.uk


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