New Urbanism & Comprehensive Plans

The Planners and Environment Task Forces are currently undertaking an initiative to highlight how the principles of new urbanism can (and should) be incorporated into municipal or multi-jurisdictional comprehensive plans. A small working group has been meeting regularly for the past year to hone in on the issues with existing comprehensive plans and identify the commonalities of plans that have incorporated the principles of new urbanism.

Comprehensive planning provides an excellent foundation for implementing the new urbanism because the plans are long-term in nature, define the vision for development and conservation for the community, and identify the future land use and character. The process of updating a comp plans also provides and opportunity to educate the public about new urbanism and the social, environmental and economic benefits that can result. While often overlooked, comp plans can provide a strong foundation on which communities can implement specific development projects.

What is a New Urbanist Comprehensive Plan?
A few leading new urban practitioners have led trainings at national and state conferences. The presentations will be posted on this page in the near future.

The group has created a List of Characteristics detailing what urbanist elements can be incorporated into comprehensive plans.

The overall goal of the initiative is to spur dialogue among practitioners and to transform the state of the practice. The working group has outlined a number of work products aimed at achieving this goal. These are:
♦ Presentations and training at conferences. Thus far, members of the group have conducted training sessions at the last few the National APA conferences and at other regional conferences, such as at the California APA conference. Several presentations are included in the product section below.
♦ Council – The initiative is planning a council for the summer or fall of 2007 to delve deeper into the issues and develop tools that assist planners with developing new urban comp plans.
♦ Publication – The initiative will develop a publication exploring how new urbanism can and should be implemented through comp plans. No schedule has been set for the publication.

How to Get Involved
1) Send us examples of comp plans. We will collect this information and post it on this web page so it can be a resource for everyone.

2) Provide additional ideas about how new urbanism can and should be implemented into comp plans. All ideas and thoughts are welcome and encouraged.

3) Get involved in planning future activities.

For more information, please contact Matt Raimi, Co-Chair of the Environment Task Force or Heather Smith CNU Planning Director