A Research Agenda for New Urbanism


A Research Agenda for New Urbanism

9781800375284 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Emily Talen, University of Chicago, US
Publication Date: 2020 ISBN: 978 1 80037 528 4 Extent: 192 pp
New Urbanism, a movement devoted to building walkable, socially diversity cities, has garnered some successes and some failures over the past several decades. A Research Agenda for New Urbanism is a forward-looking book composed of chapters by leading scholars of New Urbanism. Authors focus on multiple topics, including affordability, transportation, social life and retail to highlight the areas of research that are most important for the future of the field. The book summarizes what we know and what we need to know to provide a research agenda that will have the greatest promise and most positive impact on building the best possible human habitat – which is the aim of New Urbanism.

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Critical Acclaim
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Elgar Research Agendas outline the future of research in a given area. Leading scholars are given the space to explore their subject in provocative ways, and map out the potential directions of travel. They are relevant but also visionary.

This book seeks to answer the question: what do we need to know about the success, failure and future prospects of creating walkable, diverse urbanism? Separating out what we already know from what we don’t, it advances a research agenda aimed at helping to sustain the New Urbanism movement. As the book clearly demonstrates, there is a lot we still need to learn about creating and sustaining good cities.

A wide array of topics are covered, from big picture concerns about the need for more theory development, to more fundamental topics like sustaining urban retail and encouraging multi-modal transportation. The authors explore research needs from the social, environmental, and economic sides of New Urbanism, from small-scale DIY tactics to large-scale policy platforms like the UN’s New Urban Agenda, from zoning reform to autonomous vehicles and climate change. New Urbanism is a large topic, and the research needed to sustain it is equally large.

We still need to know – in a more rigorous way – whether, and how, New Urbanist principles are ever achieved, whether the outcomes associated with a particular implementation strategy are providing environmental, social and economic benefits as claimed, and what the best strategy might be for fulfilling each goal.

This unique book offers profound and intriguing insights into the development and growth of New Urbanism. It will be required reading for students and scholars of urban planning and design, and urban studies more broadly.
Critical Acclaim
‘The New Urbanism’s commitment to the simultaneity of theory and evidence in practice presents a rich agenda for research. Examining the movement’s intellectual foundations as well as its continuing evolution and capacity to stimulate policy change, these essays represent an invigorating encouragement for its thought leaders to focus on the wicked problems of our time, such as the affordability of dwelling, and keeping communities out of harm’s way under intensifying climate conditions.’
– Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Co-Founder of DPZ CoDESIGN and University of Miami, School of Architecture, US

‘Predominantly aimed at arming the next generation of urban planning scholars with highly relevant research questions, this book’s revealing dives into the histories, theories and practices that have guided specialized urban discourses will be of great interest to a broad range of urbanists.’
– Ellen Dunham-Jones, Georgia Institute of Technology, US
Contributors: G. Douglas, C. Ellis, D. Finn, A. Garde, M. Hardy, A. Jackson, C. Kickert, S. Lee, W. Marshall, M.W. Mehaffy, E. Talen, V.K. Turner


1. Why a New Urbanist Research Agenda is Needed
Emily Talen

2. Theoretical Foundations
Cliff Ellis

3. DIY Urbanism
Donovan Finn and Gordon Douglas

4. Urban Retail
Conrad Kickert

5. Transportation
Wes Marshall

6. Green New Urbanism
V. Kelly Turner

7. Cultural Competency and Racial Inclusion
April Jackson

8. Social Goals
Sungduck Lee

9. Urban Growth
Matthew Hardy

10. The New Urban Agenda
Michael W. Mehaffy

11. The Future of Urbanism
Ajay Garde

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