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New Urbanism: Principles and Benefits Research Paper


Urbanism and its development are normally associated with the way a society appears at the state level. There is no universally accepted definition of urbanism, but scholars define it as the way of life in modern cities (Rae 68). The determinants of urbanism include changes in population size, cultural shifts from pre-urban to urban, and the settlement pattern of the populace. Urbanism varies with place and time and it is competitive and fluid.

Beyond this description, more emphasis is put on the energy and influence of urbanism. Urbanism procession is recorded to have started after the Second World War and it intensified in the twentieth century. It was characterized by the development of centralized industries and convergence of the political, social, and economic groups, which saw the elites locate their economic interests in one place, and the development of local social organizations. Since then, urbanism has kept evolving with changes in times with the current being referred to as new urbanism.

The modern day urbanism, which is also referred to as new urbanism, started as a movement in the last decade of the 20th Century. Its intent is to promote developments in the various diverse, compact, and assembled communities. These developments include “workplaces, parks entertainment centers, adequate housing, and other facilities that are essential to the daily lives of the residents of the urban centers” (Rae 93).

The facilities should also be within a reachable distance from each other. Modern day urbanism is a revival of the lost art of making places and it is interested in re-ordering the built environment that takes the form of complete cities, towns, and neighborhoods just like the way communities around the world have been built for centuries (Dreher par. 8). It also entails the rehabilitation of desolate cities and the emergence of new towns.

New urbanism is grounded on a number of principles, which include quality architecture and urban designs (Kay 90). The emphasis on the beauty, aesthetics, and human comfort rests on these elements. The construction of cities focuses on creating a sense of place for the residents, which is in tandem with the current architecture. It is believed that beautiful surroundings and human scale architecture nourishes the human spirit.

Another key principle is smart transportation. Numerous cities in the world have invested heavily in transportation systems within cities. Quality transport should ensure easy connectivity of towns, cities, and neighborhoods. Roads should also be designed in a pedestrian friendly manner by ensuring that there are designated areas for cyclists, scooters, and other people who opt to walk. A city that invests in a good transport system incorporating all people is bound to grow at a fast rate. Transport is integral in the growth and development of any city or town.

Diversity and mixed-use are key principles in achieving urbanism. An urban center should be diverse. This aspect could include a variety of shops, offices, and apartments among other set-ups within neighborhoods or buildings. These establishments should cater for the needs of all participants in the towns and cities. Sustainability is another important principle. For a long life span, towns and cities should ensure that the activities going on should have minimal negative impact on the environment. Urban centers that do not consider environmental conservation are at a risk of becoming extinct. Therefore, urbanism should entail an environment with less use of finite fuels, more walking and minimal driving to avoid environmental pollution and the danger of using technologies that tamper with the ecology.

Urbanism brings about several benefits that can be classified according to the various participants (Davis 63). To residents, urbanism ensures that they enjoy quality life by providing better living and work places. The value of property within urban centers is highly stable. In addition, residents enjoy healthy lifestyles, due to more walking and minimal driving, and there is less stress due to the close proximity of street retail and service.

The benefits of urbanism to businesses include increased sales due to the large populace operating within the cities and towns. There are also better economies of scale in marketing due to the cooperation and close proximity to other businesses operating locally. To developers, urbanism creates more income due to the high density and mixed-use projects. Property value goes up with properties in cities selling faster. The mixed-use of facilities helps developers to save costs due to the concept of sharing.

Municipalities are beneficiaries of quality urbanism. They enjoy stable and appreciating tax base. They also spend less per capita income on infrastructure and other utilities to the development of high-density nature projects. A direct connection exists between the urban space and the growth and development of the human race. Urbanism fosters civility and as such, it is central to the development of humankind. For successful urbanism, principles that ground the concept of urbanism must be observed. As the quest for better urbanism continues, the stakeholders should keep exchanging ideas and engaging a broad spectrum of people in the envisioning, rebuilding, and revitalizing the urban centers.

Works Cited

Davis, Mike. Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the Us City, London: Verso, 2001. Print.

Dreher, Rod. , 2014. Web.

Kay, Kristen. “New Urbanism and the Challenges of Designing for Diversity.” Journal of Planning Education and Research 23.1 (2003): 83-95. Print.

Rae, Douglas. City: Urbanism and Its End, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2020, June 25). New Urbanism: Principles and Benefits. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/new-urbanism-principles-and-benefits/

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IvyPanda. "New Urbanism: Principles and Benefits." June 25, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/new-urbanism-principles-and-benefits/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "New Urbanism: Principles and Benefits." June 25, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/new-urbanism-principles-and-benefits/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'New Urbanism: Principles and Benefits'. 25 June.

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