Urban Sprawl

New Urbanism: Principles of Urbanism describes a philosophy of community design taken from the book Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream. You can either read that text using a Google search or watch the PBS miniseries and read the list of new urbanism principles linked below. The principles suggest that a community should promote walkability, the state of accommodating walking. To do that, the authors recommend the following: Streets should be narrow and sidewalks wide; services should be located close to residences; garages should be in back, off of alleys; houses should be close together and close to the street; and a mixture of homes of varying sizes and costs should be spread throughout the community to promote diversity. The design of the homes themselves should encourage interaction with neighbors and a sense of place. A full list of the principles can be found here: http://www.newurbanism.org/newurbanism/principles.html “New Urbanism” proposes a “smart growth” development plan of the country’s sprawling suburbs. The article Neighborhood Design and Walking Trips in Ten US Metropolitan Areas discusses how neighborhood design impacts walkability in U.S. cities. After reading the article above and researching the New Urbanism Smart Score card criteria, how would you rate your community, the place you are using for your Portfolio Project? How does what you observed in your own community relate to what you read about in Chapter 3 of Public Health Ethics this week as far as the importance of community health? This week, look around where you live to see if you can spot any of these New Urbanism design principles in buildings or neighborhoods. (Keep in mind that the structures would probably be fewer than 10 years old.) Post descriptions of these buildings or neighborhoods along with any information you can find online as to why the project was undertaken. If you can’t find any New Urbanism designs at work where you live, go online and find 3-4 structures or neighborhood elements that illustrate these design principles. Describe their history and why they were built. In your post, also include the following points: Does your community suffer from urban sprawl? Is your community at risk of (greater) urban sprawl in the future? How would New Urbanism designs help to reduce problems you see in your community? Are there any policies that would help reduce urban sprawl in your community?

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