New Urbanism is a
planning trend that values sustainability, mixed housing types, mixed land use,
diverse transportation options, sociability and walkable communities. On the
other hand, traditional planning focuses more on urban sprawls, less diverse
and more separated housing and a higher reliance on vehicle transportation.
New urbanism offers more
diverse modes of transportation, including biking, walking and public transit. This
is achieved through sufficient and readily available public transit, bike lanes/racks
and sidewalks. In contrast, traditional planning requires a car to get around. According
to a study by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., residents of new urbanism
communities are 2.5 times more likely to walk or bike in comparison to neighborhoods
with traditional planning (thestar.com). Walkable communities translate to easier
accessibility and a result less traffic on roads. Traffic congestion is a
common problem in traditional planning.
New urbanism focuses
on creating a social community with a powerful sense of identity. As opposed to
traditional planning which can ignore the social aspect of a community through separated
land use and less city centres. For example, the new urbanist community of Cornell
in Markham organizes a yearly community picnic and a 5-kilometre charity race
(thestar.com). This strengthen ties within the community. The afore-mentioned
study done by the Canada Mortgage and Housing corp. found that new urbanist
communities are more likely to be social and converse with one another (thestar.com).
Furthermore, a study done by Harvard found that stronger relationships within
communities, increased mental health and helped residents live longer
is generally identified by single detached homes. In comparison, new urbanism
offers a variety of housing types, including single detached homes, townhouses,
and apartments. Furthermore, housing is available for all types of income
The environment and
being environmentally friendly is a major aspect of new urbanism, while
traditional planning can over-look this. Just look at the contrasting values
between the two different planning systems. One is heavily reliant on vehicle transpiration
which increases air pollution, while the other focuses on walkable communities.
Walking and biking are not environmentally friendly, they increase physical
health and well-being. It is difficult to be physically active when a car is
needed for transportation.
The impact traditional
planning has on the built form is more separated and less dense. Homes are
generally single detached with large lots, backyards and front yards. In addition,
the built form is more separated and less dense. The impact new urbanism has on
the built form is more compact and accessible. Houses take up less space, garages
and backyards are less common.