Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Editorial | Open Access

New Urbanism: From Exception to Norm—The Evolution of a Global Movement

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Abstract:  This thematic issue explores the evolution of the New Urbanism, a normative planning and urban design movement that has contributed to development throughout the world. Against a dominant narrative that frames the movement as a straightforward application of principles that has yielded many versions of the same idea, this issue instead proposes an examination of New Urbanism as heterogeneous in practice, shaped through multiple contingent factors that spell variegated translations of core principles. The contributing authors investigate how variegated forms of New Urbanism emerge, interrogate why place-based contingencies lead to differentiation in practice, and explain why the movement continues to be represented as a universal phenomenon despite such on-the-ground complexities. Together, the articles in this thematic issue offer a powerful rebuttal to the idea that our understanding of the New Urbanism is somehow complete and provide original ideas and frameworks with which to reassess the movement’s complexity and understand its ongoing impact.

Keywords:  built environment; heterogeneity; new urbanism; normative planning



© Susan Moore, Dan Trudeau. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.