Segment Two:

The New Urbanism


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As it has been envisioned, the New Urbanism model replicates the communities – walkable, transit-oriented, multi-use buildings - where immigrants lived after they first came to this country during previous decades. Yet, as this model has become hip and trendy, neighborhoods that claim to embody the New Urbanism spirit have assumed many different forms. That has happened as business interests have attempted to mold their developments into a style/ brand they can market profitably.


Despite the fact that New Urbanism communities come in many different shapes and sizes, however, one thing seems certain. The selling points utilized in marketing these developments are quite different than are those used in marketing suburban communities.


The latter are marketed as featuring large lots and plenty of privacy – paint your own castle – plus ready access to freeways that will take you wherever you want to go. New Urbanism communities, on the other hand, are touted as being special because they make it possible for residents to walk to work or play and enjoy socializing in public places.


List of Resources About the New Urbanism

Watch these videos

Hardie, James. "Embracing New Urbanism in the School Street Development." youtube,4 Nov, 2015. Accessed 27 June, 2017.

"Leaving the Car Behind: Making Cities Walkable." youtube, 23 Jan., 2013. Accessed 27 June, 2017.

McLaughlin, Max, "New Urbanism vs. Suburbanism.” youtube, 5 Dec, 2007. Accessed 27 June, 2017.

“Seaside at 30” youtube . Accessed 27 June, 2017. 

Simies, Randy. "Short Film on Seaside, Florida Wins Award at New Urbanism Film Festival." urbancincy, 15 Dec, 2013.  Accessed 27 June, 2017.


 Visit these web sites which contain Information

about the New Urbanism

Congress for the New Urbanism., Accessed 27 June, 2017.

The New Urbanism Organization. newurbanism . Accessed June 27, 2017.

Read these articles that discuss the New Urbanism

"Benefits of New Urbanism." abqgahp, 16 August, 2016. Accessed 27 June, 2017.

Berger, Joseph. "Suburbs Try to Prevent an Exodus as Young Adults Move to Cities and Stay." nytimes, 16 April, 2014. Accessed 27 June, 2017.

This article notes that a large number of young people are moving from the suburbs into the urban core possibly because they have been attracted to these locales by the New Urbanism.

Briney, Amanda. "New Urbanism is Taking Planning to a New Level." geography, 27 Feb., 2017. Accessed 11ustust, 2017.

"4 Benefits of New Urbanism Design." powerhousegrowers, 16 August, 2016. Accessed 27 June, 2017.

"New Urbanist Neighborhoods: A Return to Tradition." hgtv, 16 August 2016. . Accessed 27 June, 2017.


"Urban Sprawl (suburban sprawl) vs. New Urbanism." lewishistoricalsociety, August, 2016. 


Look at these pictures of structures that follow the New Urbanism model.

“Architecture, Landscape and Urban Design,” architecturestyles, Accessed 27 June, 2017.


“New Urbanism Classics.” bsahomeplans, . Accessed 27 June, 2017 

More Information on the New Urbanism


Here is more information on the New Urbanism; most of these articles present this model in a positive light. However, some of the articles are more nuanced.

“Benefits of New Urbanism.” eclipsenow, . Accessed 27 Dec., 2017.

Berl, Rachel Pomerance. "Can 'New Urbanism' Bring Health to Your Neighborhood." health.usnews. 7 June, 2012. Accessed 27 Dec., 2017.

Brineyguest, Amanda. "New Urbanism: New Urbanism is Taking Planning to a New Level." thoughtco, Accessed 12 Feb., 2018.

Conn, Steven. "Let’s make suburbs into cities: New urbanism, car culture and the future of community." salon, 17 August, 2014. Accessed 12 Feb., 2018.

Fulton, William. "The New Urbanism: Hype or Hope for American Communities." lincolninst, . Accessed 12 Feb., 2018.

Green, Jared. "Duany: The Promise of Suburbia Has Been Betrayed," huffingtonpost, 28 July, 2016. Accessed 13 July, 2017.


“193+ Homes for Sale.” ndgreaterorlandorealestate, Accessed 12 February, 2018.


The New Urbanism: Some

Skeptical Voices

By some accountings, the New Urbanism has more than its share of strong selling points; it safeguards the environment while it also provides diverse and vibrant living spaces. As might be expected, however, not everybody takes such a positive view of this model. They claim, among other things, that New Urbanism communities are overcrowded and too expensive for mass consumption. These articles speak to that point.

DeWolf, Chris. "Why New Urbanism Fails," planetizen, 18 Feb, 2012. Accessed 13 July, 2017.

Durack, Ruth. "Village Vices: The Contradiction of New Urbanism and Sustainability." placesjournal. Accessed 27 Dec., 2017.

Fulton, William. "The New Urbanism Movement Might Be Dead." governing Accessed 12 February, 2018.

Johnson, Robert. "Why 'New Urbanism' Isn't for Everyone." nytimes, 20 Feb., 2015. Accessed 11 August, 2017.

Kotkin, Joel. "The Myth of the Back-to-the-City Migration." newgeography, 6 July, 2010. Accessed 13 July, 2017.

Lindsay, Greg. "New Urbanism for the Apocalypse." fastcompany, . Accessed 12 Feb., 2018.

Nazaryn, Alexander. "White City: The New Urban Blight Is Rich People." newsweek, 2 Apr, 2014. Accessed July 13, 2017.

"Problems with our new urbanism." statesman, 30 July, 2011. Accessed 13 July, 2017.

Salustri, Cathy." New Urbanist Neighborhood Pitfalls."housingpredictor, Accessed 13 July, 2017.

 Steuteville, Robert. "The Problems of Success in the New Urbanism Era." smartgrowth, Accessed 12 Feb., 2018.





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Downtown Cleveland: An

Example of Revitalization that Follows the New Urbanism Model

As has happened to other industrial cities during recent decades, Cleveland plunged into serious economic challenges. Recently, however, Downtown Cleveland has undergone a major facelift and it now exemplifies many aspects of the New Urbanism model – compactness, mass-transit based, multi-use buildings.

This transition has garnered considerable attention most of it positive but a certain amount of it negative. Claims have been forwarded to the effect this revitalization (of Downtown) has done little to boost the rest of the city, which is still experiencing a high poverty rate of 36% according to census data.

Baca, Alex. "Cleveland Rising?" theamericanconservative. 14 July, 2016. . Accessed 13 July, 2017.

“Downtown Cleveland Alliance.” , Accessed12 Feb., 2018.

Hartshorn, Kristen. “The Erie Building Lofts' tour - - New York City style living in downtown Cleveland (video)." cleveland, 7 March 2016. Accessed 12 Feb., 2018.

Perkins, Olivera. "Ground broken for The Lumen at Playhouse Square, billed as largest downtown residential project in 40 years." cleveland, 5 April, 2018. Accessed 6 April, 2018.

Sandy, Eric. “The Downtown Lowdown.” clevescene, 3 Feb., 2016. . Accessed 13 July, 2017.

This article from Scene Magazine raises some interesting questions.

At this point, people are flocking to Downtown Cleveland. But many of these individuals are renting apartments instead of buying properties. Almost by its very nature, renting is a temporary arrangement. What will happen when the leases people have signed (on Downtown apartments) expire? Will Downtown addresses still be considered hip and a status symbol or will it have lost its luster by that point?

Another riddle: Are people attracted to Downtown because it enjoys many amenities, such as stores or entertainment venues? Or, have these amenities come into being because people are relocating Downtown for other reasons? It is a wich came first the chicken or the egg question.

Schneider, Keith. "A Revitalized Cleveland Is Ready for Its Close-Up. nytimes, 28 July, 2016. Accessed 13 July, 2017.

"This is Downtown Cleveland." youtube, 13 July, 2017.


Outline for the Paper on the

New Urbanism


This exam should be at least 850 words in length. To earn a high score follow these guidelines: Focus laser-like on the topic at hand. Your writing should be concise but clear. Details are essential and examples are always welcomed. Don’t be shy about expressing your opinions. You should present a list of works cited that provides essential information about the sources you utilized in completing this assignment.

 Part One

In completing this section of the paper, respond to these questions.

Do you think that the New Urbanism will be reshaping the American landscape as developers and others attempt to construct their version of this model?

Or, do you predict that it will prove to be nothing more than a trend – somebody’s version of hipness - that attracts nobody other than members of a very specific demographic?

Did anything you read or saw make you think that you would find a New Urbanism community appealing?

Do you think that it might offer amenities that suburbs simply do not?

Do you think that it might, for example, afford residents a greater sense of adventure than might suburbs?

Do you think that the New Urbanism can be linked to gentrification? 

As it attracts more affluent residents to an inner city neighborhood, the original residents of that community might be priced out of their homes. Is that necessarily a bad thing?

A real estate agent who is trying to interest a perspective buyer in a suburban property would probably point to the fact it features spaciousness and is located in a good school district. What sales pitches might be utilized in marketing a residence in a New Urbanism community?

Part Two

Visit a community that exemplifies the New Urbanism model. Then, answer these questions.

Did you see elements of the New Urbanism in practice as you walked through it?

Did you see a diverse group of people socializing or shopping in the neighborhood you visited?

Did the neighborhood have a mix of businesses and homes?

Was this community compact, taking up relatively little space?

Did you enjoy the time you spent in this community?

What suggestions might you present that would make this community more appealing to prospective home owners?

Would it, for example, benefit if more housing was intermingled with the businesses that dot it?

Note: Some students in this class might not live anywhere near a neighborhood that might be defined as following the New Urbanism model. So, it might be very difficult, if not virtually impossible for them to complete the assignment as it is described.

If you find yourself in that position, it obviously will prove difficult if not downright impossible for you to complete this paper following the directions described in the preceding paragraphs. So, focus your attention on your hometown and ask yourself would it be likely to adopt some aspects of the New Urbanism model? Do you think it might benefit from adopting them?


Model Paper

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Here is an abbreviated model of a paper you might write in completing this assignment. Obviously, you know that although you can use it as a model you should not simply copy it.

They lacked the resources to move into more upscale areas. So, when immigrants arrived in this country between approximately 1890 and 1920, they settled into neighborhoods that were considered "undesirable" in every conceivable sense of that word – slum housing full of germs, dirt and crime. Ambitious types were anxious to escape from these communities as soon as they possibly could and breathe the clean air that flowed through more pristine communities.

Yet, as always seems to happen, times have changed. In an ironic twist, during recent years, New Urbanism communities that take their inspiration from these settlements which were once maligned have become both hip and trendy in the extreme.

Condominiums in neighborhoods which follow this model – compact, transit-oriented, multi-use buildings - can become exorbitantly expensive, being priced in the tens of millions. That is particularly the case within certain NYC zip codes that are currently considered very prestigious addresses. People are lining up with large bundles of cash in hand to purchase homes in these areas when and if they become available.

The New Urbanism is Marketed Differently Than Are Suburban Communities

New Urbanism communities have became trendy – not to mention exorbitantly expensive – for one basic reason. They have been marketed in ways that have resonated with those who could afford them. Most of all, they are touted as offering a sense of excitement and adventure, even if they might become a bit noisy or overwhelming at times. They are represented as being places where as the song “New York New York” puts it those small time blues are melting away and you can wake up in a city that never sleeps.

These selling points represent virtually the polar opposite  of the selling points that are reiterated over and over when suburbs are being marketed. Prospective home buyers/ renters are told that these communities feature peace and quiet, not to mention all the privacy you could possibly want. And they are assured in no uncertain terms that the schools, the police, municipal services and virtually everything else about this community remain excellent by anybody’s strict standards.

 Downtown Cleveland: an example of the New Urbanism

In exploring an example of the New Urbanism, I visited Downtown Cleveland. As is the case with virtually all communities that follow the New Urbanism model, convenience and accessibility represent two of its major selling points. Residents of this neighborhood can walk to a wide variety of different entertainment venues – baseball games, football games, theatres. They might even be able to walk to work, a definite time and money saver.

At least in my opinion, however, while it might have its decided advantages, there are definitely things that that this community (Downtown Cleveland) lacks, with open spaces being high on that list. That paucity is not inconsequential as urban parks can provide a great refuge from city life, helping people’s psyche while they also benefit the environment.

Public Square has been renovated; it does provide people with places to sit and socialize, and it does have some interesting sculptors. Yet, it is bereft of much greenery – flowers, plants, anything - or places where people can simply enjoy privacy, and that seems unlikely to change in the near future.

A Paucity of Interesting Architecture

Also, although the newly-constructed buildings in this area might have much to offer in terms of functionality, they generally are not that interesting architecturally. On the contrary, they seem rather boxy, as if they were all cut from the same mold.

For the most part, they are more functional than anything else. Even the new library building – officially, the Louis Stokes annex – might be described in these terms. The Federal Reserve Bank building just down the street (Superior Avenue) from this structure seems to have much more style; among other things, it features pink granite floors.

Possibly, if I returned to Downtown Cleveland in 10 years, I would find that it has evolved in many exciting ways. It is hard to know. That might all depend upon how many visitors and residents it continues to attract and the demographics of the people who call it home.

A final evaluation

The New Urbanism definitely has a powerful appeal. The fact that NYC’s population has surged to 8.6 million makes that statement obvious. It seemingly indicates that people are flocking to that city at least in part because the New Urbanism communities that have become part of its fabric beckon them.

Yet, despite the fact it has gained considerable popularity, particularly among young professionals, some very strongly-held criticisms have been launched against the New Urbanism. It has been lambasted for being too crowded and not affording residents as much privacy as they might enjoy elsewhere. And because it remains trendy, many observers have doubted that the properties people purchase in these areas will retain their value.

Possibly, more than anything else, however, the New Urbanism has been linked to gentrification whereby more affluent individuals move into a community, pushing up housing values until long-term residents are priced out of their homes. How are gentrification and the New Urbanism linked? Well, that is an easy one. As they work to re-envision a gentrifying neighborhood in ways that will appeal to buyers with cash to spend, developers often follow the New Urbanism model.