Is New Urbanism Elitist?

Mary Newsom, a Knight Fellow and editor for the Charlotte Observer, responds to criticism that New Urbanism is elitist.

"Since suburban development is going to happen anyway -- much as you and I would prefer to see underused, in-town sites developed instead -- why shouldn't it be better designed, better for the environment, more suited to support public transit and more like the neighborhoods that have stood the test of time?

Plenty of New Urbanist developments aren't elitist -- although Seaside sure isn't among them. One key New Urbanism principle is to include a range of housing at a range of prices, by including more 'affordable' options: apartments over stores, garage apartments and live-work units, etc. etc. Seaside has those places, but Seaside got so popular even the tiny places built to be 'affordable' aren't, any more."

Thanks to Chuck Bohl

Full Story: New Urbanism: Too Elitist?



The New Urbanism movement certainly is elitist!

All I know is that my experience trying to join the Pro-Urb discussion forum certainly felt elitist: "The Pro-Urb listserv is for practitioners and professional designers, builders, elected and appointed officials, and academics who already have a deep understanding of New Urbanism and in many cases have been the principal designers or implementers of projects." Apparantly just being a well-informed person who cares passionately about creating "successful" urban communities is not sufficient grounds for entry into that gated community! Foolish me, I thought cities were for everyone!

Try the CNU listserv

Try the CNU listserv instead: (not formally affiliated with the Congress for the New Urbanism).

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