The New Urbanism is perhaps the most influential movement that has emerged in suburban design, planning, and development in recent decades. It proposes to reform conventional suburban development by "building community." Building the New Urbanism asks "why new urbanism now?" to provide the first in-depth sociological investigation of the emergence of this phenomenon.
This volume situates the growth of New Urbanism in the history of urban and suburban policy and development. The book builds an account of the movement’s founding and development, linking its progress to the making of new places. The volume also investigates how the movement capitalized upon dynamics within architecture, planning, and the homebuying public to recruit support from among those groups. The book establishes a framework for analyzing the opportunities and constraints that confront any effort to change the way we produce the built environment. Moreover, it reveals how elaborately social the production of the built environment is and how specific the material solutions to social conditions must be to resolve this process.
Building the New Urbanism is an accessible volume that encapsulates and engages the dominant history of American suburbia. It draws on interviews with key figures, brings the work of prominent theorists of culture and science into the investigation, and broadens the focus of urban studies to the metropolitan region. It will be of particular interest to scholars and students of urban and suburban development, sociology, geography, and planning.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Before the New Urbanism 3. Making a Movement 4. Reimagining the Suburbs, Beginning to Build 5. Surviving its Critics and Reinforcing its Position 6. Making New Urbanist Places 7. Conclusion: The Built Environment Is a Social Process
Aaron Passell is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Furman University. He specializes in the urban and suburban built environments, their development and redevelopment, and associated questions of social equity and environmental impact. His current research concerns urban historic districts and processes of neighborhood change.