Questioning Assumptions 2 Does It Make a Difference?

Berke, Philip
January 2006
Planning;Jan2006, Vol. 72 Issue 1, p38
Trade Publication
The article discusses new urbanism which is more compatible environmentally than conventional subdivisions. Talking of environmental measures, new urbanist developments do better than conventional developments, as they are likely to protect steep slopes, and natural drainage depressions. New developments also score high in dealing with stormwater runoff. Landscaping, bioretention ponds and tree preservation are some low-impact design techniques used. New urbanist form-based codes, which offer detailed standards for building disposition, configurations and function, as well as parking, civic space are being paid attention. For reducing environmental degradation, new urbanism holds considerable promise. Planners should direct all kinds of development to higher density neighborhoods. The public, developers, and decision makers must be educated by planners about how best to advance ecologically sustainable development. It also depends on where the project is located. Projects must be sited based on carefully conceived land-use policy and site-development practices. To protect the environment, both regional and site planning must be combined.


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