TIP: New Urbanism suggests a compact urban form.
The Congress for New Urbanism is a proponent of an urban planning and architectural movement called "New Urbanism" which seeks to synthesize the great strengths of urban density and diversity and create human-scale living spaces. New Urbanism stresses walkability, mixed use developments, and the density that leads to urban efficiency and human interest. Critiqued for being overly nostalgic for the past or its reliance on gentrification, this movement nonetheless is a counterpoint to automobile-centric urban development theory and practice.
New Urbanism emphasizes walkable, mixed use neighborhood development. This photo shows a generous space devoted for people to walk, and a variety of uses (shops, restaurants, parking, outdoor cafes, public space) in the Third Ward neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The traditional feel of this neighborhood is due to its origins in the 1800's as a crossroads for commerce and transportation. Today, you can find over 500 businesses in this neighborhood, with a variety of shops, professional services, offices, condos, apartments, restaurants, art galleries, theatre, media companies, a public market, a future hotel, festival grounds, parks, artists, and art schools all within comfortable walking distances of each other.
A neighborhood like this can help you live more simply because many of your needs, including possibly your employment, entertainment, and some shopping could be accomplished in a short walk, reducing your transportation time and costs and increasing your health and enjoyment of where you live. And perhaps you could even live car-free or car-lite.