Neighbors & Neighborhoods

Elements of Successful Community Design

By Sidney Brower

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Originally published in 2011 — e-book version released in 2013.

How does the design of a neighborhood affect the people who live there? In this thoughtful, engaging book, Sidney Brower explains how a neighborhood's design lays the groundwork for the social relationships that make it a community.

Blending social sci...

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Page Count
Date Published
Oct. 1, 2013
Adobe PDF
APA Planners Press

About the Authors

Sidney Brower

Table of Contents

Part 1: Social Science Research

Chapter 1: What Is Community?

Part 2: Development Histories

Chapter 2: Homogeneity
Roland Park, Baltimore, Maryland, 1891
Radburn, New Jersey, 1929
Twin Oaks Community, Louisa, Virginia, 1967
Seaside, Florida, 1982

Chapter 3: Community Organizations
Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, 1902
Levittown, Long Island, New York, 1947
Celebration, Florida, 1996
The Community of Rosebank, Baltimore, 1970s-1980s

Chapter 4: Suitable Physical Settings
Riverside, Illinois, 1868
Letchworth Garden City, United Kingdom, 1903
The Neighborhood Unit Formula, 1928
Columbia, Maryland, 1967
Lake Claire Cohousing, Atlanta, 1977

Chapter 5: Ongoing Traditions and the Historical Past
Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1912
Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, 1703
Mariemont, Ohio, 1922
Opa-locka, Florida, 1925

Part 3: Community Design

Chapter 6: The Appearance of Community
A Unified Composition
Common Theme

Chapter 7: Community-Generating Neighborhoods
Ten Properties of a Community-Generating Neighborhood
Four Types of Community
Five Qualities of a Good Community Design

Chapter 8: Policy, Management, and Process
Study 1: The Neighborhood Store
Study 2: Mixed Income Communities
Study 3: The Planning Process as a Generator of Community




"What a refreshing book for a time when formalist megadevelopments are de rigueur! Sidney Brower takes us on a thoughtful, multidisciplinary tour of once-planned American communities: from counterculture to company towns, from HOPE VI to Disney, and from the familiar (Radburn) to the peculiar (Opa-locka). His eye for the telling detail and his quiet observations lead to keen insights about community categorization and what makes for successful communities by their own measures — be they tight-knit, fragile, transitory, or privacy worshiping. He blends sociology and design in a way that is reminiscent of Kevin Lynch's seminal Image of the City in its simplicity and utility. You will not look at (or plan for) communities quite the same now."

— John Shapiro, Chair, Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment, Pratt Institute