When I first saw this article, based on the title, I was afraid I would have an argument against it. As I actually read it though, I found that I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Gellner’s position. New Urbanism, in it’s historical approach, often employs historical architectural styles: Victorian, Craftsman, Mediterranean, etc. Unfortunately, some people confuse historical architecture for New Urbanism, which is in itself much more. Some developers are trying to sell their projects as New Urbanist when really they are entirely car dependent and all they’ve done is added a Victorian tower to a suburban home. Often times developers aren’t even true to the style as a whole, creating strange franken-houses that are Ranch houses with a Craftsman porch and a Mediterranean roof, or something similarly disgusting. New Urbanism isn’t really about style, it’s about functionality. Does the development mix uses? Does it create a sense of community? Does it get people out of their cars? If it doesn’t, then it isn’t New Urbanism, it’s cheap historicism, and people need to know the difference, because people who criticize New Urbanism are often aiming their aggression at the wrong target.
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