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Where it All Began – New Urbanism

An interesting video about the beginnings of the New Urbanism movement.

The first community developed according to new urbanism concepts was a community in Florida called Seaside. This community includes things like “incubator retail.” This is a concept whereby new businesses can set-up shop in temporary buildings.  There’s no air conditioning, etc. but it’s an opportunity to help merchants get a start without incurring huge expense.

Once they survive their start up period and can actually afford to pay for a real lease, these small businesses move to permanent retail locations where they can create and support employment for the neighborhood.

Take notice of what is said in the video about live/work units.  I’ve always thought this was a fabulous idea especially for those of us who dream of being our own boss.

I had to write down the following statement from Andres Duany as it really helps to explain the challenge and the opportunity new urbanism in a nutshell:

“American developers today can only think of a sub-division, or a shopping center, or an office park.  They can never think in terms of a town.  That is the mortal problem…There is no vision…vision is just simply looking past the present.  The discipline of vision is not being reduced to the present circumstances which often are nothing.  In 1980, nothing was possible here at Seaside, nothing except a bunch of town houses.  But we could look 30 years out and conceive it and so it was conceived as a town”

Watch and enjoy. Then think on the ways this movement is helping to improve and enhance our grand old cities.

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