Fannie Mae Foundation
This article examines how traditional neighborhood design (TND) can restore a sense of community to distressed neighborhoods. Traditional neighborhoods, such as those found in many cities and inner suburbs, provide their residents with numerous opportunities and venues for social interaction. The authors apply the principles of TND to the redesign of a public housing project. Our approach is called an "architecture of engagement." Using a case study of Diggs Town, a public housing project in Norfolk, Virginia, we explore how the application of TND principles transformed a socially alienated and distressed neighborhood into a socially integrated and functional one. They find that TND techniques improve the quality of life by facilitating the social exchanges that create social capital.
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