New Urbanism and American Planning
The Conflict of Cultures
By Emily Talen
Routledge – 2005 – 328 pages
New Urbanism and American Planning presents the history of American planners’ quest for good cities and shows how New Urbanism is a culmination of ideas that have been evolving since the nineteenth century. In her survey of the last hundred or so years of urbanist ideals, Emily Talen identifies four approaches to city-making, which she terms ‘cultures’: incrementalism, plan-making, planned communities, and regionalism. She shows how these cultures connect, overlap, and conflict and how most of the ideas about building better settlements are recurrent.
In the first part of the book Talen sets her theoretical framework and in the second part provides detailed analysis of her four ‘cultures’.She concludes with an assessment of the successes and failures of the four cultures and the need to integrate these ideas as a means to promoting good urbanism in America.
"This is a must read for anyone interested in contributing wisely to American urbanization." - Alex Krieger, Professor of Urban Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design
"She brings a rich, coherent historical overview to a subject often adrift in the horse lattitudes of statistical analysis." - James Howard Kunstler
1. Introduction Defining American Urbanism 2. Framework – Four Urbanist Cultures 3. Principles – Urbanism vs. Anti-Urbanism 4. Incrementalism – Beauty, Redemption, Conservation and Complexity 5. Urban Plan-Making – the City Beautiful and the City Efficient 6. Planned Communities 7. Regionalism 8. Successes and Failures 9. Conclusion – the Survival of New Urbanism
Talen is an associate professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning in the College of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She received a Ph.D. in geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1995. Prior to that, she worked as a planner for the City of Santa Barbara for 6 years. Talen has more than 30 publications in refereed journals on a variety of topics dealing with urban sprawl, city form and pattern, new urbanism, and the social implications of community design. Her research focuses on the evaluation of urban form and pattern, the relationship between human diversity and the built environment, and the measurement of people’s preferences and attitudes about their local environments. She teaches courses in planning history and community design.