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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The New Urbanism: Expanding the Vision for the Design Professions


On September 14, the editors of the Berkeley Planning journal met with eight professionals and scholars to discuss a body of work we called "the new urbanism." This design movement has captured the attention of public officials, planners and citizens alike in recent years. We asked the participants to read at least two of four influential books and a recently published critique, to serve as a touchstone for the discussion; the result was a far-ranging discourse on the promise, pitfalls, and politics of urban planning and design in the 1990s. The participants brought very distinct concerns and first-hand experiences to the table. While agreeing that the new urbanism offered a much­ needed step in the right direction, they divided on whether its ideas, as now articulated, speak to the systems and attitudes that shape and divide suburban and urban communities today. Overall, we believe the participants pushed the discussion of this new movement onto

important ground.

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