Now Urbanism

The Chronicle for Higher Education looks at Ecological Urbanism from a weird perspective, and written by Jon Christensen, who recently appeared at the Now Urbanism project at the University of Washington (which gets mentioned at the end of the article).

[W]e ought to be teaching a new generation of students how to balance multiple objectives to increase sustainability from the city core out to the wilderness, along what Andrés Duany calls “the transect.” All along this transect, trade-offs must be made between people and nature. But in our own canvas of urban-planning programs at American universities, we found relatively few programs that offer an explicit and sustained focus on ecology and conservation science. And few programs in ecology and conservation offer any in-depth exposure to urban planning. Integrated programs that teach students both urban and conservation-planning principles will be key to overcoming this deficiency. Moreover, other disciplines should be brought into this vital conversation.

Guess they didn’t bother asking me about what I’m doing at Cal Poly Pomona, or my former colleagues at the University of Minnesota… [But I do take exception for the empty shout-out to Duany – he certainly isn’t the only person with an idea of how cities meld into the rural landscape.]

One thought on “Now Urbanism

  1. For the NU transect, I find the premise stuck in notions of old world centralized cities, somehow forgetting that we now live in polycentric metropolises. It’s an ideal we will never achieve for a variety of reasons. Additionally even cities based on new urbanism such as Portland OR have multiple centers that contradict the idealized gradient of the transect. I also find it interesting that the NU version has become “the transect“, both from the NU perspective, as well as in popular thought .

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