Urban ecology and new urbanism: today the world, tomorrow Lincoln?
This discussion focuses upon the recent architect-led movement known as "new urbanism" or "neo-traditionalist" planning. Its proponents claim that it "addresses many of the ills of our current sprawl development patterns, while returning to a cherished (American) icon: that of a compact, close knit community." This paper outlines the main principles of new urbanism, illustrating recent urban/suburban concepts such as the "Neotraditional Neighbourhood" (NTD) and the "Pedestrian Pocket" (PP), and their much touted antithetical relationship to Planned Unit Development (PUDs), one-way entry escapist enclaves, gated communities, and other hallmarks of postwar urban and suburban growth, in other words, the blight of "cul-de-sacs, strip centres, and developer 'pods' of the post-World-War II suburb." This will show that New urbanism indeed clearly seems more "people-friendly", neighbourly and anti-private automobile. However, the question remains as to whether social sustainability is being promoted over and above a broader ecological sustainability, as some suspect. Therefore, the paper attempts to address possible tensions between this apparent advance in urban design and biodiversity needs. Furthermore, in order to ground attempts to answer this question, it discusses residential land development projects currently proposed in, or around, the township of Lincoln, the degree to which they already reflect new urbanist ideas, and how much these new developments appear to resonate with principles of ecological design.... [Show full abstract]