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October 10th, 2008
America in Gridlock
[TERMS] Driven to Despair: Exurbia, New Urbanism, TODs

Where is Exurbia?

At the edge of the city is the suburb. At the edge of the suburb, as metropolitan areas have expanded out, is the exurb. Located on the urban fringe, an exurb has at least 20 percent of its workers commuting to jobs in urbanized areas, low housing density and, at the same time, relatively high population growth.

Some notable exurbs around the country:

– Elk Grove, California

– North Las Vegas, Nevada

– Port St. Lucie, Florida

– Gilbert, Arizona

– Cape Coral, Florida

– Moreno Valley, California

– Rancho Cucamonga, California

– Miramar, Florida

– Chandler, Arizona

– Irvine, California

For resources on exurbia, click here.

What is New Urbanism?

New Urbanism is a city-planning movement that began in the 1980’s to emphasize more old-fashioned community building over suburban sprawl. A development built along New Urbanist principles is walkable with a higher population density, has a mix of businesses and public space, and all housing units in close proximity.

New Urbanism sees a great deal of overlap with Transit Oriented Developments (TODs), but TODs focus more explicitly on putting mass transit stops for subway, bus, or light rail within walking distance of major developments.

Supporters claim that such developments, created by New Urbanist planning or TODs, foster a closer-knit community, provide easier access to necessities, and are more ecologically sustainable. But detractors point out that not everybody is looking for a more urban lifestyle with smaller backyards and living spaces, busier communities, or neighborhoods that are intentionally unaccommodating to cars.

Examples of New Urbanist communities around the country:

– Meridian Mission, California

City of Villages, California

– East Garrison, Claifornia

Seaside, Florida

Mashpee Commons, Massachusetts

Magniolia, Georgia

Southwood, Florida

New Haven, Ohio

West Village, Texas

Seabrook, Washington

Barboursville, West Virginia

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