New Urbanism in The Truman Show

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The Town of Seahaven Island is spiritually uplifting, quaint, and completely artificial. Everything and everyone, including the main character, Truman, are predictable in habit and pattern. Nothing happens spontaneously or out of synch. When Truman steps out of his usual routine, the entire town must leap into choreography of damage control. Carefully anticipated, controlled perfection must be restored, but this portrayal of contemporary urban life, however exaggerated, may be inappropriate (Rees; 2003; 104). New Urbanists believe physical design can influence behaviours and attitudes and cause organic evolution of ideal communities. In fact, romanticizing the village model through architectural codification and rules of development…show more content…
These benefits (Rees; 97) must be connected to the design of the physical space. The world that TV director Christof created for Truman is a perfect example of the New Urbanist vision of living. All classes, races and ages are mixed; the residents all know and support each other; there are financial and environmental benefits; the overall design of the buildings is historic in nature rather than modern; there is close contact with neighbours and distinct communal spaces and places. “New Urban practitioners clearly connect the physical design and creation of community with the outcome of myriad benefits…” (Rees; 97). The New Urbanist ideal is one of conflict-free, nonthreatening existence. Similar to the Common Interest Developments broadly described by Marshall and Soja, the constructed reality for Truman is truly a withdrawal from actual society and managed by the director, as if by a corporation. New Urbanists support a wide spectrum of housing opportunities in close proximity to shared spaces. In reality, New Urbanist communities are typically inhabited by the upper middle class. Initial popularity, perhaps because of emotion and nostalgia, has caused property values (of a limited supply of real estate) to increase to levels which exclude mixed socio-economic participation. In addition, the inhabitants of many derived communities have
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