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Essay Example: Characteristic of New Urbanism

3 pages
808 words
Harvey Mudd College
Type of paper: 
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New urbanism has unique characteristics, which distinguishes it from other land use planning. It is characterized by infilling and fixing cities. The result of infilling cities is compact villages and towns. It is also characterized by wide variety of housing because it accommodates different housing design. New Urbanism promotes the protection of the environment. The design accommodates walkable neighborhoods hence it supports the sustainability of the physical environment.

Smart growth

Smart growth is a special type of urban planning because it advocates compact housing. The design is transit-oriented because the housing allows walkable paths and is bicycle oriented. Additionally, complete streets characterize smart growth. The designers embrace mixed development practices, and give priority to sustainable developments. The aim of smart growth is to protect the culture of the local people and promotes sustainable developments in the urban areas. The values of smart growth are to observe the long-term effect of urban housing. The originators of the idea were to protect the needs of the present population and the interest of the future generation.

Transit-oriented development

It contains complete and workable streets. Most housing densities are located near transit center to boost compactness. It is designed to provide comforts to pedestrians since it has high-quality streets capping. The design comprises of houses used for commercial purposes and for residential. The homes are located in places that are working distances from the main highway.

Similarities between smart growth, new urbanism, and transit-oriented development

Smart growth, new urban and transit-oriented developments have many factors in common. They all embrace walkable streets. The three types of urban development support sustainable developments in the cities. They all advocate for different housing designs and designs. Besides, they all advocate for mixed developments and compactness.

What are some of the critiques of these three approaches?

The motivation of new urbanism is nostalgia where the proponents seek to uphold styles of homes of the 19th century. The fashion styles of the 19th century have little aesthetic value in the modern society. The new urbanism approach is only applicable in the suburban areas. The new suburban home patterns require more space and their not suitable for high population density urban areas. New Urbanism is an illusion of North American and does not accommodate multi-resident dwellings.

Transit-oriented development is costly and cannot equalize with the benefits. Some of the critiques argue that the individual benefits of transit-oriented development do not justify total cost of the investment. Some critiques also argue that most urban investors are interested in compact urban development and therefore an intensive investment in high-quality transit is a waste. Other people argue that actual transit has little or no relationship with private investment and thus many people have interest in highly developed transits. Transit-oriented developments focus on roads and pay little attention to the nature of housing. For this reason, the use of TOD as the only approach to urban development results in unbalanced cities.

Critiques of smart growth developments

Some of the critiques argue that smart growth is not an effective method of urban planning because it is not effective in reducing urban travel. Smart growth is applicable in towns facing a rapid population growth rate. The approaches help stop the possibility of an extreme rise in housing costs. Some critiques hold that smart growth approach causes high population density in the urban setting. Most people argue that most people move to suburbs to avoid the effects of high residential growth in the urban settings. Smart growth has little focus on the development of walkable paths, which is an important factor in urban development. Smart developments hinder sustainable development because the concentration of most designers is on the residential and little attention on the physical developments.

Question 5

The three approaches to urban development are important for a meaning development. However, there is a need to combine three approaches to ensure a balance in most cities. For example, there is a wide range of application of new urbanism in Florida yet there are a number of flaws. In seaside Florida, the focus is on housing but limited transit.

Smart growth approach is evident in IOWA. The approaches facilitated the creation of affordable housing and protection of the physical environment. The approach advocates for compact housing and walkable paths that make the cities good for commercial and residential. The approach supports sustainable development because the design accommodates both the residential and commercial buildings.

Transit-oriented development has been widely applied in major cities. Particularly, the design has been applied in Pasadena Gold line to ease the transit congestions. The TOD approach is helpful in cities with high population because the intentions are to increase the comforts of the people in the city. For example, the approach has led to the creation of many houses unite and passable roads. The approach has positive impacts on the city because it helps solve congestion issues.

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