Frank Gruber wrote this article as an introduction to what he will be doing over the next few days: investigating New Urbanism at CNU 17 to see how its proponents react to common criticisms. He traces the history of New Urbanism, from it’s predecesors such as the ideas of Jane Jacobs to it’s reaction against the Modern movement and the drafting of the Charter. He says that a lot of the ideas in the Charter are shared by many planners and architects, regardless of whether or not they consider themselves to be New Urbanists. He goes on to mention that New Urbanists are ridiculed from both directions: liberals see it as a proponent of sprawl because of its tendency towards new towns, and as a proponent of an overly nostalgic architecture; and conservatives see it as a conspiracy against the “natural” desire to live in a single-family house on a cul-de-sac. I look forward to seeing what Mr. Gruber has to say about New Urbanism in the next few days.
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