New Urbanism is a time-tested planning practice that incorporates interrelated patterns of land use, transportation, and urban form to create communities that foster the most desirable characteristics of human habitation: neighborliness, environmental sustainability, economic efficiency and prosperity, historic preservation, participation in civic processes, and human health. New Urbanism practices apply to all scales of community, from the region and neighborhood to the block and building.
Restrictive conventional zoning and subdivision regulations over the past 50 years have led to development patterns, particularly in the suburbs, that diminish these desirable characteristics of human habitation. Separated land uses and excessive traffic and parking provisions result in increasing air and water pollution, decreasing natural environments, lack of accessibility among children and the elderly, lengthening congestion and commuting time, rising public service costs, reduced civic involvement, and declining health.
The purpose of the New Urbanism Division is to provide planners, public officials, and other decision makers with the information, support, and tools needed to eliminate restrictive conventional development regulations and allow New Urbanism patterns to be incorporated in all communities.