Essay The Congress for New Urbanism and Environmental Awareness

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The Congress for New Urbanism and Environmental Awareness

In the last two decades the New Urbanism movement has begun among planners, designers, and builders. Though it does not provide complete solutions to many of the environmental problems caused by human development, it shows a greater awareness of the undesirable and potentially destructive tendencies exhibited by conventional methods of design, planning and construction. Robert Davis, board chairman of the Congress for the New Urbanism, describes the problem of urban sprawl and development.

"For five millennia, we have built towns and cities with strong centers and clear edges, beyond which lay farms and forests and lakes and streams. For five decades these clear edges have
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The Congress for New Urbanism is an organization composed of builders, planners, and designers dedicated to setting up a formula for future development and the betterment of existing communities. By addressing the problems of "disinvestment in central cities, the spread of placeless sprawl, increased separation by race and income, environmental deterioration, loss of agricultural land and wilderness, and the erosion of societies built heritage" (http://www.cnu.org/nunjuly98.html) they plan to reinvest in current urban centers and towns by restructuring the expanding suburbs into more traditional communities. As a part of the solution, The Congress for New Urbanism created the New Urbanist Charter. Within the charter consideration is given to both conservation and preservation of the natural environment. Specifically, the charter states that "development patterns should not blur or eradicate the edge of the metropolis. Infill, development within existing urban areas, conserves environmental resources, economic investment, and social fabric, while reclaiming marginal and abandoned areas. Metropolitan regions should develop strategies to encourage such infill development over peripheral expansion." (http://www.ebuild.com/Archives/Other_) Also "New Urban principals also call for networks of streets and paths that encourage pedestrian and bicycle activity and for the use of greenbelts and wildlife corridors

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