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New Urbanism and American Planning: The Conflict of Cultures (by Emily Talen)

  • Author(s): Hayter, Jason Alexander
  • et al.
Abstract

New Urbanism is official. Not merely a transitory fashion or a conceptual aesthetic, the publishing of Emily Talen's work New Urbanism & American Planning: The Conflict ofCultures ensures that from now on even those criti­ cal of the hybridized, resurgent neo-traditionalism of the Congress for the New Urbansim will have to acknowledge them, just as the New Urban­ ists today have to acknowledge the Congres Internationaux d'Architecture Modern. Talen, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, has created the type of book that can be found in the canon of every trend­ turned-movement: a reframing of history which places the ideology of the converted at the end of the tale. Yet, while New Urbanist writers may have a well earned reputation for placing polemics over research and romance over history, in this book Talen makes a considerable contribution to the field of planning - regardless of what one thinks of Seaside, Florida. The reason for this has to do with the scope of her subject, which is not New Urbanism but rather American urbanism, and in framing the topic this way the author grants herself ample intellectual room to explore.

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