6uwu8KfUTSHc6sHH8HJkCPgZV4w Digital City Briefs - 30 Global Cities: The Demise Of Suburbs

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Demise Of Suburbs

For thousands of years, cities were built by ordinary people based on their understanding about space, form, materials and architecture. The “architecture without architects” resulted in many memorable cities. That was the bottom up approach to building and planning. 

Enamored by the traditional cities and their success in creating memorable public places, the New Urbanism movement started to develop top-down guidelines for what was essentially a bottom up approach.  After an initial focus on redesigning suburbs as a model for the urban future, the New Urbanists have embraced the idea of high density, walkable developments near transit hubs.  Whether it is called, smart growth, transit friendly development, walkable neighborhoods or any other jargon, the idea is quite simple.  The suburban model is simply unworkable for the majority of world's growing urban population.

"The ten principles of New Urbanism are:
Walkability – Amenities are within a ten minute walk from home or work and streets are pedestrian-friendly.
Connectivity – Cities are on a grid to make walking easier.
Mixed Use and Diversity – Residential and business districts are mixed and appeal to people of all ages and walks of life.
Mixed Housing – Neighborhoods have different types and prices of housing.
Quality Architecture and Urban Design – Developments are beautiful, comfortable, and have a sense of place.
Traditional Neighborhood Structure – The center of town is public open space.
Increased Density - Everything is closer together to make walking more convenient.
Green Transportation – A network of trains connects neighborhoods, towns, and cities.
Sustainability - Developments encourage energy efficient living: less driving, more walking.
Quality of Life – Neighborhoods, towns, and buildings uplift and enrich people’s lives."

Here is a video about the demise of suburbs:

Reference: New Urbanism: Planning healthier cities and retrofitting suburbia
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