The Movement

  • South Main | Buena Vista, Colorado
    An inspiring town extension. #thisiscnu

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • Mercado District | Tucson, Arizona
    A timeless place from the ground up. #thisiscnu

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • Village of Providence | Huntsville, Alabama
    Expanding options for a car-oriented suburban area. #thisiscnu

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • Ponce City Market | Atlanta
    A unique building becomes a hub for historic neighborhoods. #thisiscnu

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • Storrs Center | Mansfield, CT
    A mixed-use center for town and gown. #thisiscnu

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

Founded in 1993, New Urbanism is a movement united around the belief that our physical environment has a direct impact on our chances for happy, prosperous lives. New Urbanists believe that well-designed cities, towns, neighborhoods, and public places help create community: healthy places for people and businesses to thrive and prosper. 

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a large number of urban designers, architects, planners, developers, and engineers were frustrated with prevailing development patterns, which focused more on building dispersed housing far from traditional downtowns and Main Streets. Meanwhile, inside cities, urban renewal was destroying the fabric of historic neighborhoods and isolating once-stable communities.

As cities continued to decline, a coalition of urban designers, architects, planners, developers, and engineers coalesced to create New Urbanism—a movement for reinvestment in design, community, and place. Their values, and the core principles of their work, are articulated in the Charter of the New Urbanism:

We stand for the restoration of existing urban centers and towns within coherent metropolitan regions, the reconfiguration of sprawling suburbs into communities of real neighborhoods and diverse districts, the conservation of natural environments, and the preservation of our built legacy.

Over the past 25 years, the New Urbanist movement has changed the conversation from debating the alternative forms of development to discussing how best to preserve, design, develop, and restore our regions, cities, and neighborhoods. New Urbanists have been responsible for creating and popularizing many now-common development patterns and strategies, including mixed-use development, transit-oriented development, traditional neighborhood design, integrating design standards into affordable housing, and designing complete and beautiful streets.

As momentum for mixed-use, walkable neighborhoods has grown, New Urbanists have risen to the challenge of building on past successes, establishing new design and development standards, and accelerating the pace of change.