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Stop Sprawl: How to Design a Walkable Neighborhood

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Cities Made for People, Not Cars
Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, Colorado

Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, Colorado

Photo © M.V. Jantzen / Flickr.com
Since the mid-1980s, a new breed of designers, the New Urbanists, have been proposing ways to make America's towns and cities more humane. Following a set of principles outlined in the Charter of the New Urbanism, New Urbanists work to design neighborhoods that encourage diversity and socialization.

New Urbanist neighborhoods have many of these features:

  • Buildings are set close together.
  • Shops and other activities are within walking distance.
  • Walkways and plazas accommodate pedestrians, not cars.
  • Homes accommodate a variety of lifestyles and income levels.
  • Building design preserves historical styles and reflects cultural traditions.
  • Building design offers variety while conforming to a uniform theme.

Next: Where to Put the Shops >

Big parks? Lots of shops? What makes a neighborhood really great? Describe it!

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