livability: new urbanism - The Urban Village
What is the New Urbanism and how does it apply to us? Prospect Park, like many other communities, has simply grown up over time with no specified goals for integrating housing, transportation, businesses and services into a planned community that would best serve the interests of the community members.
In thinking about the future of our cities, some architects and city planners have introduced the idea of "the New Urbanism" or the Urban Village, based on a concept of redesigning our neighborhoods so that your entire life, from work to school to shopping and recreation, is within a ten-minute walk from your home. In addition, neighborhoods would not be segregated by economic status. Homes of all values and styles would be intermixed. These city planners want to see suburbs and urban areas recreated to fit the needs of people, not the demands of cars.
Principles of New Urbanism
- All planning should be in the form of complete and integrated communities containing housing, shops, work places, schools, parks and civic facilities.
- Community size should be designed so that housing, jobs, daily needs and other activities are within easy walking distance of each other.
- As many activities as possible should be located within easy walking distance of transit stops.
- A community should contain a diversity of housing types to enable citizens from a wide range of economic levels and age groups to live within its boundaries.
- Businesses within the community should provide a range of job types for the community's residents.
- The location and character of the community should be consistent with a larger transit network.
- The community should have a center focus that combines commercial, civic, cultural and recreational uses.
- The community should contain an ample supply of specialized open space in the form of squares, parks and greens.
- Each community or cluster of communities should have a well-defined edge, such as wildlife corridors that are permanently protected from development.
- Streets, pedestrian paths and bike paths should contribute to a system of fully-connected and interesting routes to all destinations.