Authors: Charles C. Bohl
2000
Publication:
Fannie Mae Foundation

New Urbanism has been described as the most influential movement in architecture and planning in the United States since the Modernist movement. In recent years, New Urbanist design principles have been adopted for many housing and neighborhood planning efforts. This article considers the applications and implications of New Urbanism for distressed inner-city neighborhoods. Claims and criticisms of New Urbanism are examined and the long-standing debates over the extent to which physical planning and design can affect human behavior are revisited. The article concludes that New Urbanism is not a panacea, but that its design principles are consistent with broader policies aimed at revitalizing and improving living conditions and opportunities for inner-city residents. New Urbanism needs to be viewed as one strategy to be integrated within the larger array of economic, social, and community development programs attempting to revitalize and improve the quality of life in inner-city neighborhoods.

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