Has New Urbanism Taken Over City Planning? A Description of the Use of the Principles of New Urbanism in Comprehensive Plans




Serrins, David

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From the 1960s through the 1980s, planners, architects, designers, and academics assembled ideas for new developments in response to the suburbanization, increase in private automobile use, and lack of diversity in communities in the decades following World War II. The resulting philosophy, New Urbanism, became the most influential urban design movement to emerge from the latter part of the twentieth century. The purpose of this research is to describe the use of the principles of New Urbanism in the comprehensive plans of large Texas cities. This study analyzes the content of the comprehensive plans of large Texas cities to describe the extent to which New Urbanism has shaped city planning. The research found that New Urbanism significantly influences the planning of large Texas cities. Half of the plans (six) studied contain all of the principles of New Urbanism, showing the profound impact made by New Urbanism on the cities’ planning doctrine. Only oneLfourth (three) of the plans studied contain less than half of the principles of New Urbanism. Since all three of these plans were adopted prior to the rise of New Urbanism, the prevalence of New Urbanism in the other plans studied suggests that these plans will add principles of New Urbanism in future updates.


An Applied Research Project Submitted to the Department of Political Science, Texas State University, in Partial Fulfillment for the Requirements for the Degree of Masters of Public Administration, Spring 2014.


walkability, Euclidian, density, mixed use, transit, sprawl, Public Administration


Serrins, D. (2014). Has new urbanism taken over city planning? A description of the use of the principles of new urbanism in comprehensive plans. Masters of Public Administration, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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