The Shape of Things to Come: New Urbanism, the Grid and the Cul-De-Sac
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There is much debate in the UK, North America and Australia within both crime prevention and planning concerning New Urbanism and the design of suburban housing layouts. New Urbanism promotes high-density, mixed-use residential developments in "walkable" neighbourhoods close to public transport, employment and amenities. One significant factor is New Urbanism's support for permeability and the preference of the grid street layout over the cul-de-sac (Morrow-Jones et al., 2004). The authors present the evidence as it relates to the grid and the cul-de-sac across a range of inter-disciplinary issues such as crime, walkability, social interaction, travel behaviour, traffic safety, cost and sustainability and housing preferences.This paper provides a brief history of the grid and cul-de-sac, discusses their respective strengths and weaknesses and concludes that any "one-size-fits-all" approach is myopic and simplistic. It calls for a more holistic approach to understanding the localised and contextual dimension to suburban street layouts and how they may affect human behaviour. The paper highlights key areas for future research and calls for more inter-disciplinary debate and cooperation, particularly between environmental criminologists, planners and town centre managers.
This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in International Planning Studies. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Cozens, Paul and Hillier, David. 2008. The Shape of Things to Come: New Urbanism, the Grid and the Cul-De-Sac. International Planning Studies 13 (1): 51-73. is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13563470801969962
International Planning Studies is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all?content=10.1080/13563470801969962
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