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Welcome to the GCLS Smart Growth/New Urbanism Guide.
This guide provides easy access to authoritative information regarding Smart Growth and New Urbanism.
What is Smart Growth/New Urbanism?
"Smart growth" covers a range of development and conservation strategies that help protect our natural environment and make our communities more attractive, economically stronger, and more socially diverse. - http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/basic_info.htm
New Urbanism is the revival of our lost art of place-making, and is essentially a re-ordering of the built environment into the form of complete cities, towns, villages, and neighborhoods - the way communities have been built for centuries around the world. - http://www.newurbanism.org/
American Planning Association
The American Planning Association and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the art, science and profession of good planning — physical, economic and social — to create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live.
American Society of Civil Engineers
ASCE stands at the forefront of a profession that plans, designs, constructs, and operates society’s economic and social engine – the built environment – while protecting and restoring the natural environment.
Better Cities and Towns
Better Cities & Towns, an online publication, is dedicated to providing the best news and analysis on compact, mixed-use growth and development. We offer blogs, articles, and links to useful content from around the web, updated daily.
CityLab is dedicated to the people who are creating the cities of the future—and those who want to live there. Through sharp analysis, original reporting, and visual storytelling, our coverage focuses on the biggest ideas and most pressing issues facing the world’s metro areas and neighborhoods.
Congress for the New Urbanism
The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) is the leading organization promoting walkable, mixed-use neighborhood development, sustainable communities and healthier living conditions.
EPA: Smart Growth
EPA helps communities grow in ways that expand economic opportunity, protect public health and the environment, and create and enhance the places that people love. Through research, tools, partnerships, case studies, grants, and technical assistance, EPA is helping America's communities turn their visions of the future into reality.
The KunstlerCast is a weekly audio program (and now a book) about “the tragic comedy of suburban sprawl.” Featuring: James Howard Kunstler, author of The Geography of Nowhere, The Long Emergency, the World Made By Hand novels, and other books about suburbia, cities and American culture. Duncan Crary, host/producer, speaks with Kunstler weekly about the failure of suburbia and the inevitable end of this living arrangement with no future.
National Complete Streets Coalition
A nationwide movement launched by the National Complete Streets Coalition in 2004, Complete Streets integrates people and place in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of our transportation networks. The Coalition promotes the development and implementation of policies and professional practices that ensure streets are safe for people of all ages and abilities, balance the needs of different modes, and support local land uses, economies, cultures, and natural environments.
New Jersey FIT: Future In Transportation
NJFIT is about improving the quality of life, safety and ease of travel for New Jersey citizens through making smart, lasting investments in its communities.
Next City is a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire social, economic and environmental change in cities by creating media and events around the world.
NJ Bike & Walk Coalition
NJ Data Bank
The comprehensive Rutgers-Newark NJDataBank serves as a focal point for easy access to government information essential to elected officials, legislative staff, academics, and the public in order to facilitate informed decision making. It is designed for ease of use, readability, and navigation, and functions as a web-based interactive database through which the user can obtain a wealth of information.
NJ Safe Routes to School
The NJ SRTS Resource Center and New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center assist public officials, transportation and health professionals, and the general public in creating a safer and more accessible walking and bicycling environment through primary research, education and dissemination of information about best practices in policy and design. The Centers are supported by the New Jersey Department of Transportation through funds provided by the Federal Highway Administration.
Planetizen is a public-interest information exchange for the urban planning, design, and development community. It is a one-stop source for urban planning news, editorials, book reviews, announcements, jobs, education, and more.
Planetizen prides itself on covering a wide number of planning, design, and development issues, from transportation to climate change, architecture to infrastructure, housing and community development to historic preservation. We provide a forum for people across the political and ideological spectrum, ensuring a healthy debate on these and other important issues.
Project for Public Spaces
Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is the central hub of the global Placemaking movement, connecting people to ideas, expertise, and partners who share a passion for creating vital places.
Sierra Club: Sprawl Study
Suburban sprawl has been rightly blamed for many things: destroying green space, increasing air and water pollution, fracturing our neighborhoods and forcing us to drive gridlocked roads for every chore. But there is one consequence that usually goes unmentioned - sprawl is draining our pocketbooks and raising our taxes.
Smart Growth America
Smart Growth America advocates for people who want to live and work in great neighborhoods. We believe smart growth solutions support thriving businesses and jobs, provide more options for how people get around and make it more affordable to live near work and the grocery store. Our coalition works with communities to fight sprawl and save money. We are making America’s neighborhoods great together.
Streetsblog is a daily news source connecting people to information about sustainable transportation and livable communities.
Since 2006, Streetsblog has covered the movement to transform our cities by reducing dependence on private automobiles and improving conditions for pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders. Our reporters have broken important stories about transit funding, pedestrian safety, and bicycle policy from day one. And our writing makes arcane topics like parking prices and induced traffic accessible to a broad audience.
Strong Towns is a non-profit organization working to support a model of development that allows America's cities, towns and neighborhoods to become financially strong and resilient.
Sustainable Cities Collective
Sustainable Cities Collective is an editorially independent, moderated community for leaders of major metropolitan areas, urban planning and sustainability professionals. We look to aggregate content and provide resources for all who work in or are interested in urban planning, sustainable development and urban economics. Looking at issues such as transportation, building practices, community planning & development, education, water, health and infrastructure, we hope to create a community where people can get involved and learn about the advances in how cities are becoming smarter and greener in the 21st century.
Transportation Alternatives is a non-profit organization in New York City which seeks to change New York City's transportation priorities to encourage and increase non-polluting, quiet, city-friendly travel and decrease private car use.
Walk Score's mission is to promote walkable neighborhoods. Walkable neighborhoods are one of the simplest and best solutions for the environment, our health, and our economy.
PUBLIC SQUARE: A CNU Journal
A publication dedicated to illuminating and cultivating best practices in urbanism in the US and beyond. Powered by the Congress for the New Urbanism, Public Square is built to add depth and rigor to the practice of urbanism and improve our capacity for creating to build inclusive, resilient places—places that people love.
Selected Books Available at GCLS
The End of the Suburbs by
According to Fortune’s Leigh Gallagher, powerful social, economic, and demographic forces are converging to render the suburbs unnecessary, and even undesirable, for an everincreasing number of Americans.
Gallagher introduces us to a cast of innovators who are redefining the American dream away from the traditional bucolic subdivision. She reveals why the decline of the suburbs isn’t a tragedy, but will ultimately lead to stronger, happier, and healthier communities for all of us
Street Design by
The best streets in the world's villages, towns, and cities—whether modest or grand—continually remind one that simplicity is part of the recipe for success in this art. The advice of Victor Dover and John Massengale, their historic examples and their own designs, reflect that simplicity.
Seeing the Better City by
In order to understand and improve cities today, personal observation remains as important as ever. While big data, digital mapping, and simulated cityscapes are valuable tools for understanding urban space, using them without on-the-ground, human impressions risks creating places that do not reflect authentic local context.
The Geography of Nowhere by
The Geography of Nowhere traces America's evolution from a nation of Main Streets and coherent communities to a land where every place is like no place in particular, where the cities are dead zones and the countryside is a wasteland of cartoon architecture and parking lots. In elegant and often hilarious prose, Kunstler depicts our nation's evolution from the Pilgrim settlements to the modern auto suburb in all its ghastliness. The Geography of Nowhere tallies up the huge economic, social, and spiritual costs that America is paying for its car-crazed lifestyle. It is also a wake-up call for citizens to reinvent the places where we live and work, to build communities that are once again worthy of our affection. Kunstler proposes that by reviving civic art and civic life, we will rediscover public virtue and a new vision of the common good. "The future will require us to build better places," Kunstler says, "or the future will belong to other people in other societies."
Walkable City by
Speck, coauthor of Suburban Nation (2000), believes America has a problem—actually, lots of problems—that can be solved by improving walkability in our cities. Public health, sustainability, and even the lagging economy, he argues, can be boosted by making cities more friendly for pedestrians. Drawing on his background as a city planner and architectural designer, Speck lays out a 10-step plan for changing the way we build and think about our public spaces. The steps are wide-ranging, from planting more trees and narrowing roads to investing in well-planned public transit systems and designing visually interesting buildings. An engaging book with a powerful message and achievable goals.
The Architecture of Community by
Leon Krier is one of the best-known—and most provocative—architects and urban theoreticians in the world. Until now, however, his ideas have circulated mostly among a professional audience of architects, city planners, and academics. In The Architecture of Community, Krier has reconsidered and expanded writing from his 1998 book Architecture: Choice or Fate. Here he refines and updates his thinking on the making of sustainable, humane, and attractive villages, towns, and cities. The book includes drawings, diagrams, and photographs of his built works, which have not been widely seen until now.
The Sprawl Repair Manual by
The Sprawl Repair Manual demonstrates a step-by-step design process for the re-balancing and re-urbanization of suburbia into more sustainable, economical, energy- and resource-efficient patterns, from the region and the community to the block and the individual building. The Sprawl Repair Manual is a much-needed, single-volume reference for fixing sprawl, incorporating changes into the regulatory system, and implementing repairs through incentives and permitting strategies. This manual specifies the expertise that’s needed and details the techniques and algorithms of sprawl repair within the context of reducing the financial and ecological footprint of urban growth.
The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City by
In The Great Inversion, Alan Ehrenhalt, one of our leading urbanologists, reveals how the roles of America’s cities and suburbs are changing places—young adults and affluent retirees moving in, while immigrants and the less affluent are moving out—and addresses the implications of these shifts for the future of our society.
Creative Communities by
Urban and regional planners, elected officials, and other decisionmakers are increasingly focused on what makes places livable. Access to the arts inevitably appears high on that list, but knowledge about how culture and the arts can act as a tool of economic development is sadly lacking. This important sector must be considered not only as a source of amenities or pleasant diversions, but also as a wholly integrated part of local economies. Employing original data produced through both quantitative and qualitative research, Creative Communities provides a greater understanding of how art works as an engine for transforming communities.
Suburban Nation by
For a decade, Suburban Nation has given voice to a growing movement in North America to put an end to suburban sprawl and replace the last century’s automobile-based settlement patterns with a return to more traditional planning. Founders of the Congress for the New Urbanism, Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk are at the forefront of the movement, and even their critics, such as Fred Barnes in The Weekly Standard, recognized that “Suburban Nation is likely to become this movement’s bible.” A lively lament about the failures of postwar planning, this is also that rare book that offers solutions: “an essential handbook” (San Francisco Chronicle).
The Language of Towns and Cities by
The final word on the language of urban planning and design. The Language of Towns & Cities is a landmark publication that clarifies the language by which we talk about urban planning and design. This magnificent volume is the fruit of more than a decade of research and writing in an effort to ameliorate this situation. Abundantly illustrated with over 2,500 photographs, drawings, and charts, The Language of Towns & Cities is both a richly detailed glossary of more than seven hundred words and terms commonly used in architecture and urban planning, and a compendium of great visual interest. From "A" and "B" streets to Zero Lot and Zeitgeist, the book is at once comprehensive and accessible.
Charter of the New Urbanism by
The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) is the leading organization promoting walkable, mixed-use neighborhood development, sustainable communities, and healthier living conditions. Thoroughly updated to cover the latest environmental, economic, and social implications of urban design, Charter of the New Urbanism, Second Edition features insightful writing from 62 authors on each of the Charter's principles. Real-world case studies, plans, and examples are included throughout.
Americans Against the City by
In this provocative and sweeping book, Conn explores the anti-urban impulse across the 20th century, examining how the ideas born of it have shaped both the places in which Americans live and work, and the anti-government politics so strong today. Beginning in the booming industrial cities of the Progressive era at the turn of the 20th century, where debate surrounding these questions first arose, Conn examines the progression of anti-urban movements. Concluding with an exploration of the New Urbanist experiments at the turn of the 21st century, Conn demonstrates the full breadth of the anti-urban impulse, from its inception to the present day. Engagingly written, thoroughly researched, and forcefully argued, Americans Against the City is important reading for anyone who cares not just about the history of our cities, but about their future as well.
Living Streets by
Living Streets provides practical guidance on the complete street approach to sustainable and community-minded street use and design. Written by an interdisciplinary team of authors, the book brings insights and experience from urban planning, transportation planning, and civil engineering perspectives. It includes examples from many completed street design projects from around the world, an overview of the design and policy tools that have been successful, and guidance to help get past the predictable obstacles to implementation: Who makes decisions in the right-of-way? Who takes responsibility? How can regulations be changed to allow better use of the right-of-way?
The Great Good Place by
The Great Good Place argues that "third places" - where people can gather, put aside the concerns of work and home, and hang out simply for the pleasures of good company and lively conversation - are the heart of a community's social vitality and the grassroots of democracy.
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