New Urbanism's Impact on Mid-Sized and Smaller Cities

Birmingham, Michigan; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Providence, Rhode Island; and others that adopted a new urban approach 15 or 20 years ago have transformed themselves.
spirit of america / Shutterstock

Author and architect Witold Rybczynski recently suggested that the New Urbanism has had little or no impact on big cities, citing a lack of signature projects like the High Line in New York City or Disney Hall in Los Angeles.

More than a few urbanists responded that New Urbanism has dramatically impacted street design, infill development, and regulatory policies like form-based codes. Place-based development may have a profound effect over time in a big city yet get lost in the overall scale of a major metropolis. The new urban approach tends to blend in rather than shout “look at me.”

In mid-sized or smaller cities, the effects of New Urbanism can be much more dramatic. In these places, a few good infill projects, livelier public spaces, and new streetscapes can feel like a whole new downtown. Birmingham, Michigan; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Providence, Rhode Island; and many others that adopted a new urban approach 15 or 20 years ago have transformed themselves to a significant degree.

Full Story: New Urbanism’s impact on mid-sized and smaller cities

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Wood necklace with city map

City Necklaces

These sweet pendants are engraved on a cedar charm with a mini map of selected cities. The perfect gift for friends and family or yourself!
$28.00
DVD Cover of The Story of Sprawl

The Story of Sprawl

See how America changed shape in this collection of historic films that visually document how sprawl evolved.
$29.99 for 2-DVD SET