Building the New Urbanism: Places, Professions, and Profits in the American Metropolitan Landscape

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9780415538978: Building the New Urbanism: Places, Professions, and Profits in the American Metropolitan Landscape

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.

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About the Author:

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.

Review:

"Aaron Passell does a masterful job of explaining the growth of this approach to urban design... his cogent account is one of the best published explanations of why new urbanism occurred when it did....  [T]his is the book to read. It ties all the pieces together in a way that open will your eyes."David Godshalk, professor emeritus of city and regional planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"Professor Passell can REALLY write well....  Above all, the book is short and crisp and to the point. It is very much worth reading...."
Andres Duany, co-founder, Congress for the New Urbanism, architect and planner, DPZ

"Here's a recent book that I found to be a pleasurable read and an insightful account of New Urbanism. While the book's treatment of planning is brief, planners will find Chapter 6 (Making New Urbanist Places) especially useful; it discusses NU's implementation and potential for social exclusion."
Kate Lowe, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Planning and Urban Studies, University of New Orleans

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