New Urbanism is an American planning movement that arose in the 1980s to create and promote
walk-able, neighborhood-based development as an alternative to sprawl. Based on a set of principles
described in the Charter for New Urbanism, the movement is based on the urban centres of the past.
Sharing many philosophical tenets of Smart Growth, New Urbanism encourages the re-establishment of
mixed-use urban neighborhoods and the efficient use of existing infrastructure and preservation of
The building block of New Urbanist SmartCodes is the Transect. The transect uses environmental
methodology towards the creation of community design by developing zoning areas that encompass the
natural progression from rural, natural settings to dense urban core environments. The most effective
way to implement New Urbanism is to plan for it, and write it into zoning and development codes. This
directs all future development into this form.
Principles of New Urbanism:
1. Walkability -Most things an individual needs should be 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)
-An interconnected street grid network disperses traffic & eases walking.
-A hierarchy of boulevards, streets, and alleys.
3. Mixed-Use & Diversity -A mix of shops, offices, apartments, and homes on site. Promote safer neighborhoods with a diversity of people.
4. Mixed Housing -Provide a range of types, sizes and prices in close proximity.
5. Quality Architecture & Urban Design - Emphasis on quality in workmanship, aesthetics, human comfort, and creating a sense of place.
- Human scale architecture & beautiful surroundings.
6. Traditional Neighborhood Structure -Discernable center and edge. Public space and activity located at the center of town or neighborhood. 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.
8. Smart Transportation
-A network of high-quality transit alternatives connecting cities, towns, and neighborhoods together.
-Pedestrian-friendly design that encourages a greater use of bicycles and walking as daily transportation.
9. Sustainability -Minimal environmental impact of development and its operations. Read more on Low Impact Development.
-Eco-friendly technologies, respect for ecology and value of natural systems.
" -Energy efficiency.
For more information: see Sustainable Development / LEED. 10. Quality of Life