In the western world, a large portion of the population relies on automobiles for their main method of transportation. At the same time, individuals are living further and further away from their workplaces, their children's schools and local grocery stores. This results in lengthy commutes, increased expenses, a lack of public transportation and an increased reliance on fuel and electricity.
As people become increasingly aware of this problem, a new type of community living is becoming popular. New urbanism is a way of community planning that focuses on keeping things within walking distance and can contribute to an overall higher quality of life for residents. Here are a few key aspects of a new urban community.
Facilities Within Walking Distance
The key factor in creating a new urban community is having homes within walking distance of facilities like schools, parks, grocery stores, bus stops and restaurants. Walking will then be the preferred means of transportation instead of driving. The benefits to an increase in walking are many. First, residents will be healthier overall thanks to increase physical activity. Second, the area will have less pollution without automobile traffic. Finally, walkable neighborhoods are typically much safer than those areas that are not walkable.
A Sense of Community
One of the tenets of new urbanism is the idea that there is a focal point in every community. This could be a large public plaza or even a green park. It serves as a meeting place for local residents as well as the location of public transportation stops, restaurants and stores. It should be within walking distance of every home in the community so that even children can feel safe walking to meet others.
Increased Public Transportation
Although walking is the ideal form of transportation the majority of the time, it is true that most adults will have to leave the community for their daily employment. New urban communities have ample public transportation options, such as buses, trams or trains that are all within walking distance of every home. This provides an affordable way for adults to reach work each day without relying on an automobile.
New urbanism is charming and community-focused way of life that is catching on around the world. It is ideal for families with young children who appreciate the safety as well as with elderly adults who no longer feel comfortable driving on a daily basis.