Incorporating the Principles of the New Urbanism in the T-3 Sector of the Rural-to-Urban Transect

The T3 sector, or sub-urban sector, of the rural-to-urban transect is the portion of the transect that requires the greatest deal of assistance from the new urbanism movement. New Urbanists have developed amazing examples of quality urbanism on infill sites and greenfield sites for the sectors of the transect greater than T-3, including T-4 (General Urban), T-5 (Urban Center), and T-6 (Urban Core). Recently there has been a lot of focus on T-1 (Natural) and T-2 (Rural), with the recent movement toward food production and Agricultural Urbanism.

Many ask the question of whether it is appropriate to integrate the principles of the new urbanism at densities less than T-4 on the transect?

Portions of the TND, The Waters, maintain a rural character while accommodating the single-family residential. Notice the sensitivity to the street width, single-sided curbs, and the rolling character of the terrain. The infrastructure is incorporated into the landscape in a manner that compliments the character. Photo Credit: Steve Mouzon

Experienced New Urbanists understand the broad scale of the new urbanism and begin to recognize that the fundamental components of new urbanism (connectivity, vernacular of the place, local materials, context-sensitive streets and infrastructure, etc) apply at all levels along the transect. One of the more beautiful constructed examples of a neighborhood with a T-3 zone component is The Waters, which was designed in part by Steve Mouzon of the New Urban Guild. See photos of The Waters here.

I am in the process of adapting a previously platted and entitled subdivision into a neighborhood with greater diversity of lot sizes, increased connectivity, context-sensitive streets, food production and more appropriate use of the natural components of the land. This adaptation is complicated, due to the presence of existing homes on 2-acre lots and other 2-acre lots individually owned. However, the owner sees a greater opportunity in providing value for the remaining 60% of the land with creative adaptation and the integration of smaller lots. The net result for the existing residents and the neighborhood is a cohesive community with greater opportunities for passive recreation and a greater sense of community.

You may recall a previous blog post, called The New Economy, which emphasizes this desire to adapt existing ‘entitled‘ developments.

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