Last updated: March 22, 2019
Topic: SocietyWar
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Livable Communities and New Urbanism

In the post-World War II period, the form of urban development that reigned in the United States of America somewhat changed long-established vicinity with a painstaking separation of uses that has become known as Conventional Suburban Development (CSD) or sprawl. CSD brings a very noteworthy price. CSD spreads out because of lack in town center or a pedestrian scale. This is done so that it will help in consuming big areas of landscape even as inhabitants develop moderately slowly. Vehicle use per capita has ascended, because a motor vehicle is essential for the greater majority of household and commuter trips.

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It is just apparent that the form of urban development that has prevailed after the World War II is very different from before because many important things were developed. The change that has occurred is vast yet it was quite helpful in the lifestyle of the people who lives there. Many fundamental things were added to the aid of the inhabitants that truly helped them in one way or the other.

The new urbanism challenged the old development policy in a way that new urbanism is made out of or simply a reaction to what we call, sprawl. It challenged the old development policy in a sense that architects, planners, and developers have been very eager to work on principles of planning necessary things that architects, planners and developers work together to create human-scale, walkable communities, and a fully developed city which is helpful for every person who lives there.

Jane Jacobs is one of the major influences on new urbanism. In fact, her concept of “eyes upon the street” is very notable and it has three features of a community that is likely to have eyes on the street. She disputes that, in order to generate and uphold human-friendly, habitable neighborhoods, what we need are small, independent businesses, provision of benches and other places to hang out, and policies that permit street performers and vendors. Under these conditions, Jacobs argues, residents, shopkeepers, vendors, and strangers provide “eyes on the street,” performing a natural and unconscious “policing” function that keeps the streets safe. It is clear then that in Jane Jacobs’s perception in the “eyes upon the street” is that she wanted to give what the people deserve to have. She indicated that it would be better if there would be an environment fitted to the people who live there and that they should also be responsible for those developments in order to sustain their community, thus indicating having eyes on the street.

Yet, there is still another major influence on new urbanism who is none other than William H. Whyte whose 1970s studies of public interactions in New York City showed that people are attracted by crowds as opportunities for positive social interaction, and that they sought out gathering places that were visible from the street and facilitated people-watching.

In New York City, ideas of Jane Jacobs’s have been successfully and evidently applied and some examples of new urbanism are Bryant Park (42nd St b/w 5th and 6th Ave), Union Square, and Hudson River. Bryant Park is still considered as the hunting grounds of Native Americans. These certain places are just proofs that new urbanism are greatly spread in the city. These locations are apparently helpful to the people who live in the city and are widely appreciated because of the help or aid that it brought to them. Visibly, the ideas of Whyte and Jacobs help explain the failure of mega developments such as Port Authority Bus Station in NYC that may lead to some negative impacts on the community.

In Boulevard of death and Mayor of Curativa, bicycling and public transportations are apparently significant to a livable community. It is because they have the capacity to be at one place in just a little while that helped them to avoid any delays. It is also important because it became a part of them which helps them to be more productive in some way. Truly, the public transportations made the lives of the inhabitants easier especially in transacting their businesses in different parts of their community.

While the street art and graffiti is expressing the needs of the community to have a free will in expressing their ideas and not being prevented from doing so. Through graffiti, the people seem to have more liberty in communicating the things or concerns they want to publicize or reveal. In this way, graffiti will somehow give the community benefits in terms of sharing what they are thinking or what the feelings they have. Maybe, the people wanted to have more freedom to convey what they feel, what their thoughts are, or simply anything that concerns the population as a whole.