The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Monday, October 03, 2005
What's NU
New Urbanism (NU) seems to be rapidly becoming the cool evangelical thing. Via Barb Harvey I came across yet another Christian take on this view of city making from Trevor.

As I have said before, NU has a lot of promise. As an appoach to shaping cities it far exceeds the Modernist debacle. But this it not saying much. Just about anything is better than the cold social engineering of Modernism.

But NU is just as much a social engineering agenda as Modernism; it is simply a kinder, gentler approach to social engineering with nice sidewalks and quaint front porches (which nobody uses).

Trevor sites principles from the Newurbaism.org site that assert that NU is the most sustainable appoach to city making and that it fosters class integration. I see no evidence to support this. In fact most NU project built so far are playgrounds for yuppie intellectuals (Bobo's) not the balanced utopias we might wish for. It would be great to have more aesthetic, more sustainable, more communitarian, more inclusive neighborhoods/cities. But does NU really fit the bill? This remains to be seen.