This Study Guide prepared by:

Susan Smith Nash, Ph.D.

Elaine Bontempi, M.Ed.

Catherine Kerley


Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, the learner will be able to

1.         Analyze the messages and cultural attitudes embodied in the design, layout, and mixture of stores in a shopping mall;

2.        Understand and describe the basic tenets of “new urbanism” as applied to housing developments;

3.        Explain how urban design and public space have an impact on individuals’ behavior, sense of identity, and community development;

4.        Understand the unwritten “codes of space” that surround traditional office settings, and the messages they transmit regarding hierarchy, gender disenfranchisement, gender relations, and cultural values;

5.        Explain how “edge cities” differ from urban areas and previous notions of suburbia and suburban values; and how the layout reflects how communities see themselves, their core values, and their futures.



Margaret Crawford, "The World in a Shopping Mall" Variations on a Theme Park: The New American City and the End of Public Space. Ed. Michael Sorkin. New York: Noonday 1992.

Author Biography

Margaret Crawford is Professor of Urban Design and Planning Theory at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She teaches courses in the history and theory of urban development, planning, and design, including GSD 3301: Contemporary Urban Dynamics.  Her research focuses on the evolution and uses and meanings of urban space. Her book, Building the Workingman's Paradise: The Design of American Company Towns, examines the rise and fall of professionally designed industrial environments. She edited The Car and the City: The Automobile, the Built Environment, and Daily Urban Life and Everyday Urbanism, and has published numerous articles on shopping malls, public space, and other issues in the American built environment. Before coming to the GSD, Crawford was the chair of the History, Theory, and Humanities program at the Southern California Institute for Architecture. She has also taught at the University of Southern California, the University of California at San Diego, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Florence in Italy.

Multiple-Choice Questions: Comprehension/Chapter/reading-specific


  1. The West Edmonton Mall is located in _______.
    1. Los Angeles, California.
    2. Edmonton, Minnesota.
    3. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
    4. Paris, France.
    5. Ontario, Canada.
  2. How large is the West Edmonton Mall?
    1. 1.4 million square feet
    2. 2.5 million square feet
    3. 6.5 million square feet
    4. 5.2 million square feet
    5. 3.9 million square feet
  3. What are some of the features of the mall?
    1. indoor amusement park
    2. indoor water park
    3. eight hundred shops
    4. a hotel
    5. all of the above
  4. How many shopping malls are there in North America?
    1. 29,800
    2. 28,500
    3. 25,800
    4. 23,500
    5. 22,900
  5. According to William Leiss, what is the best measure of social consciousness?
    1. Index of Consumer Sentiment
    2. Shopping Center World
    3. National Mall Monitor
    4. time
    5. both b and c
  6. What type of mall or center contains two department stores and a hundred shops?
    1. superregional
    2. neighborhood
    3. community
    4. regional
    5. gigantic-regional
  7. Which type of consumer is struggling with poverty and has anger towards the American system?
    1. a belonger
    2. an emulator
    3. a sustainer
    4. an achiever
    5. both a and c
  8. Who wrote the novel The World a Department Store?
    1. an Ohio department store owner
    2. the Macy department store owner
    3. Bradford Peck
    4. J.C. Nichols
    5. both a and c
  9. Where was the first enclosed mall?
    1. Southdale
    2. Edina
    3. New York
    4. Canada
    5. Stroud
  10. Before the age of twenty, the average American has seen 350,000 ­
    1. movies.
    2. malls.
    3. penguins.
    4. television commercials.
    5. episodes of I Love Lucy.

Before You Read

When you go to a mall to shop, what do you notice about the layout, the decor, and the overall atmosphere?  Consider the idea that “the mall is a text.”  If you “read” the mall, what messages are being communicated?

After You Read

If you were to create an Edmonton-type mall in or near your hometown, what would you include?  Would you have a theme?  What would it be?  How would you attract visitors to all regions of the mall so that all stores have traffic?  How would you “manage the messages” that you would be creating with your layout, design, and placement of stores?

Web links

West Edmonton Mall Homepage


The World a Department Store


Speeches of J.C. Nichols



Shopping Center World




Daphne Spain, "Spatial Segregation and Gender Stratification in the Workplace" (+gender) from Spain, Gendered Spaces. Chapel Hill: North Carolina UP: 1992.

Author Biography

Daphne Spain is the Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at the University of Virginia.  She is the author of How Women Saved the City and Gendered Spaces.  She is coauthor of Balancing Act: Motherhood, Marriage, and Employment Among American Women and Introduction to Sociology.

Multiple-Choice Questions: Comprehension/Chapter/reading-specific


  1. What can women’s jobs be classified as?
    1. “closed door”
    2. “open door”
    3. “closed floor”
    4. “open floor”
    5.  “closed and open floor”
  2. What are the three major occupations of women?
    1. teacher, mother, nurse
    2. teacher, secretary, congresswoman
    3. secretary, teacher, mother
    4. teacher, baker, waitress
    5. none of the above
  3. What percentage of secretaries is female?
    1. 67 percent
    2. 98 percent
    3. 58 percent
    4. 89 percent
    5. 64 percent
  4. Secretaries are paid to use their knowledge for whose gain?
    1. their own
    2. their employers
    3. other secretaries
    4. their families
    5. the office
  5. What type of jobs do men have?
    1. “closed door”
    2. “open door”
    3. “closed floor”
    4. “open floor”
    5. “closed and open floor”
  6. What is the largest occupational category for men?
    1. construction
    2. teacher
    3. congressman
    4. manager
    5. business owner
  7. What book stresses the importance of managerial knowledge of the entire organization?
    1. Executive
    2. The Successful Secretary
    3. Routes to the Executive Suite
    4. Make Money Fast
    5. none of the above
  8. ___ status within a company is accompanied by a greater control of ___.
    1. Higher; people
    2. Lower; time
    3. Higher; space
    4. Lower; people
    5. Higher; money
  9. What is the average size of the walls surrounding secretaries?
    1. 3.5 feet
    2. 2.1 feet
    3. 4.6 feet
    4. 1.8 feet
    5. They have no walls.
  10. Workers are not assigned their space on the basis of
    1. power.
    2. money.
    3. race.
    4. gender.
    5. personal appearance.

Before You Read

When you imagine the sort of space you would like to be working in, what is it?  If it is in an office, what would you like it to look like?  Why?

After You Read

Discuss five office situations that either support or call into question Spain’s assertions about the way that people read meaning into office space, and how women’s space tends to connote less power or influence.  How do you think the trend toward telecommuting and home offices will affect this? 

Web links

Raising Sons in a World of Changing Gender Rules

The Gender Wage Gap


The Case for Equal Pay


Direct Care Alliance


Gender Stratification




Kenneth Meeks, "Shopping in a Group While Black: A Coach's Story" (+race)

Author Biography

Kenneth Meeks is managing editor of Black Enterprise magazine.

Multiple Choice Questions: Comprehension/Chapter/reading-specific


  1. Who is Howie Evans?
    1. an African American
    2. a basketball player
    3. a basketball coach
    4. leader of the NAACP
    5. both a and c
  2. Who had planned a Thanksgiving dinner for the Maryland basketball team?
    1. the NAACP
    2. the city of Columbia
    3. the National Urban league’s local chapter
    4. Radio Shack
    5. the basketball players’ mothers
  3. Where did the team go to relax and grab a bite to eat?
    1. a mall
    2. a park
    3. an ice skating rink
    4. the Macy Day’s parade
    5. Disney World
  4. Who immediately started to follow the basketball team as soon as they entered the mall?
    1. star-crazed fans
    2. security guards
    3. the opposing basketball team
    4. salesmen
    5. both a and d
  5. The security guards accused the basketball players of ­­­______.
    1. cheating during a game
    2. taking steroids
    3. nothing
    4. stealing
    5. murder
  6. Where did Coach Evans say the guards had to take the basketball players to search them?
    1. nowhere
    2. to a Radio Shack
    3. to the police station
    4. to a hospital
    5. to a fire station
  7. While people waited for the police to arrive, Evans made a phone call to whom?
    1. his mom
    2. the players’ parents
    3. the police
    4. the NAACP
    5. none of the above
  8. What did the security guard do to try and intimidate the basketball team?
    1. He gave them a dirty glance.
    2. He kept his hand on his gun.
    3. He showed the team his muscles.
    4. He hassled a few of the players.
    5. He beat up random bystanders.
  9. The police officers left when they found out the coach had a
    1. gun.
    2. famous father.
    3. lawyer.
    4. police record.
    5. high I.Q.
  10.  Howie Evans and his team received an apology from
    1. the security agency.
    2. the City of Columbia.
    3. the manager of the mall.
    4. the police department.
    5. none of the above.

Before You Read

When and where does racial profiling occur?  Describe three examples of racial profiling.  Is it ever justified?

After You Read

Have you ever been the target of racial profiling?  Describe the experience and how you felt.  Have you ever been the target of negative profiling--either because of your age, the clothes you were wearing, your companions, or other factors?  Describe the experience, how you felt, and what thoughts crossed your mind.  Did you think you deserved it?  Why or why not?

Web links


Driving While Black


The “Crime” of Shopping while Black



Another article about shopping while black


The Color of Justice: Driving While Black



Flying While Black




William L. Hamilton, "How Suburban Design is Failing Teenagers" The New York Times May 6, 1999

Author Biography

William L. Hamilton is a staff writer for the New York Times.

Multiple Choice Questions: Comprehension/Chapter/reading-specific


  1. The idea of a place for teenagers in the suburbs was brought up after what event?
    1. the first suburb was formed
    2. a group of teenagers complained
    3. the Columbine High School shootings
    4. a conference held by architects
    5. none of the above
  2. The author of this article writes for
    1. the Oklahoma Daily.
    2. the New York Times.
    3. Newsweek.
    4. Time.
    5. the Chicago Tribune.
  3. According to William Moorish, teenagers are an unseen population until they
    1. dye their hair green
    2. start companies like Napster.
    3. build bombs at home.
    4. pierce their noses.
    5. make themselves heard.
  4. What size is the Denver metropolitan area?
    1. 430 square miles
    2. 100 square miles
    3. 535 square miles
    4. 390,000 square miles
    5. 928 square miles
  5. Ray Suarez is
    1. host of the radio show Talk of a Nation.
    2. against suburbs.
    3. author of The Old Neighborhood.
    4. living in the suburbs.
    5. both a and c
  6. What does Mr. Moorish feel that is crucial for high school students?
    1. good grades
    2. public transportation
    3. extracurricular activities
    4. good families
    5. both a and c
  7. Some people in California make their kids _____ with them.
    1. commute
    2. work
    3. live
    4. diet
    5. build
  8. What is the name of the Disney built town?
    1. Columbia
    2. Minnie
    3. Maryland
    4. Celebration
    5. Mickey
  9. What aspects have largely disappeared from the residential landscape in suburbs?
    1. stop signs
    2. porches
    3. sidewalks
    4. parks
    5. all but a
  10. Diane Dorney moved her family to Kentlands because she wanted
    1. a better school system.
    2. more than just a house.
    3. more job opportunities.
    4. to start a farm.
    5. more land.

Before You Read

Do you believe that teenagers are judged by their appearance, and then placed into rigid, hard-to-break-out-of groups?  Describe three examples, and list the pro’s and con’s of being arbitrarily judged, labeled, and placed into a social group.

After You Read

What makes life in a suburb different for a teenager than being in an urban or rural environment?  Do you believe that the “dangers of suburbia” are exaggerated or are they on target?  List five examples to support your position.

Web links

The Breakup: Suburbs try smaller high schools.


Changing the culture of planning toward greater equity.


Columbine High School shootings.


I was a Teenage Suburbanite.


Celebration—The Magical Mouse.


With the World Redesigned, What Role for Designers?




Joel Garreau, "Edge City: Life on the New Frontier" American Demographics,Sept 1991 v13 n9 p24(7)


Author Biography

Joel Garreau (, author of Edge City: Life on the New Frontier Doubleday/Anchor, is a Washington Post staff writer and senior fellow at George Mason University's Institute of Public Policy.

Multiple Choice Questions: Comprehension/Chapter/reading-specific


  1. What usually functions as the village square of these new urban areas?
    1. downtown
    2. the sidewalk
    3. the friendly ice cream man
    4. the mall
    5. the purple house with a green roof
  2. Why are there no “Welcome to” signs at edge cities?
    1. They do not speak English in edge cities.
    2. There is no defined beginning or end in edge cities.
    3. Edge cities have cruel people who do not want to say welcome.
    4. An edge city is not the type of place where you would need a welcome sign.
    5. The welcome sign is found at the visitor center.
  3. About how many square feet of leasable retail space does an edge city have?
    1. five million
    2. 800,000
    3. six million
    4. 500,000
    5. none of the above
  4. An edge city has more ______ than ______.
    1. people, dogs
    2. families, businesspeople
    3. jobs, bedrooms
    4. malls, businesses
    5. buildings, parks
  5. An edge city is the _______ of America’s urban future.
    1. downfall
    2. purpose
    3. peak
    4. crucible
    5. goal
  6. A field of edge cities can easily cover more than ______ square miles.
    1. 10,000
    2. 100,000
    3. 1,000,000
    4. 1,000
    5. 100
  7. Captain Arthur Barlowe was the captain of a bark dispatched by
    1. Queen Elizabeth.
    2. Sir Walter Raleigh.
    3. President Eisenhower.
    4. Francisco Franco.
    5. King Ferdinand.
  8. The functions of city and landscape are used by the edge city to create a union of
    1. beauty and filth.
    2. usefulness and art.
    3. nature and art.
    4. money and home.
    5. none of the above.
  9. Franklin Roosevelt shaped America into a society of
    1. frontiersmen.
    2. cat lovers.
    3. cigar smokers.
    4. New Deal followers.
    5. homeowners.
  10. What was an edge city before it became an edge city?
    1. bedrooms and cow pastures
    2. empty buildings
    3. circus camps
    4. wide open land
    5. a Disney-owned piece of land

Before You Read

How do you think people think of themselves and their neighbors if they live in a neighborhood that is part of a development featuring large lots, lots of space, and a long commute to work?  How is that different than the experience of those who live in urban environments?

After You Read

Describe, step-by-step, the origin and evolution of an “edge city.”  If you could be an urban planner, how would you influence each stage?  Why?  Do you find any ethical or environmental issues to be particularly troubling?  Describe them.

Web links

Edgier Cities.


The New Urbanism: An Alternative to Modern, Automobile-Oriented Planning and Development.


Beyond the Edge: The Dynamism of Postsuburban Regions.


Urban Forms in Suburbia: The Rise of the Edge City.


About Edge Cities.




William Booth, "A White Migration North from Miami" (+race) The Washington Post November 09, 1998


Author Biography

William Booth is a writer for the Washington Post.

Multiple Choice Questions: Comprehension/Chapter/reading-specific

  1. In what county is Weston located?
    1. Miami
    2. Florida
    3. Palm Beach
    4. Broward
    5. Orange
  2. About how many immigrants are coming to America each year?
    1. 2 million
    2. 1 million
    3. 900,00
    4. 500,000
    5. 100,000
  3. Which of the following are some of the reasons why Miami-Dade County residents move to Broward County?
    1. They are tired of traffic and congestion.
    2. They object to overcrowded schools.
    3. They fear the crime rates.
    4. In Broward County the children will have a yard to play in.
    5. All of the above applies.
  4. Phil Phillips’ father worked for
    1. McDonald’s.
    2. a Cuban rights group.
    3. Immigration and Naturalization Services.
    4. Broward County Health Services.
    5. the police department.
  5. According to Tim Robbie, who are the majority in Dade County?
    1. Anglos
    2. immigrants
    3. blacks
    4. Native Americans
    5. Asians
  6. What phrase describes the ongoing trend of ethnic and racial groups to self-segregate?
    1. demographic balkanization
    2. demographic chaos
    3. demographic history
    4. demographic baloney
    5. none of the above
  7. Which Cuban American is also president of the Miami-Dade Community College?
    1. Phil Phillips
    2. Jorge Mas Canosa
    3. Fidel Castro
    4. Eduardo Padron
    5. Marvin Dunn
  8. The group, Citizens of Dade County, declared what language the official language of the county government?
    1. Spanish
    2. English
    3. Chinese
    4. Pig Latin
    5. Italian
  9. Edward Blakely calls towns like Westwood _____ neighborhoods.
    1. fortress
    2. segregated
    3. white only
    4. utopian
    5. community
  10.  At Weston, visitors must punch a code or
    1. punch a security guard.
    2. ask in Spanish if they may enter.
    3. be cleared by a guard.
    4. have a clearance slip.
    5. have the person they are visiting call the main office.

Before You Read

What are the various messages found in the typical features of a gated community?  List five and explain their significance.  Examples could be such things as the entry gate, security guards for the community, list of statutes and regulations about how you can decorate your house or your lawn, and so forth.

After You Read

Define demographic balkanization and describe where it is happening in other parts of society.  Describe an example from your own experience, and explore the potential consequences of the phenomenon.

Web links

Weston, Florida.


A response to the article just read, “A White Migration North from Miami”.


Miami Immigration Services.


Miami-Dade County facts from U.S. census.


Suburbia Utopia?




Sarah Boxer, "A Remedy for the Rootlessness of Modern Suburban Life?" The New York Times August 1, 1998

Author Biography

Sarah Boxer was born in Denver, Colorado, and earned her B.A. in philosophy at Harvard. She is a critic and reporter at the New York Times, where she writes about photography, psychoanalysis, art, animals, philosophy, and other subjects. At the age of eleven she published her first cartoon and at fifteen she began reading Freud. She lives with her husband in New York City and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

10- Multiple Choice Questions: Comprehension/Chapter/reading-specific

  1. Karl Zinsmeister is the editor of ______ magazine.
    1. Home and Garden
    2. Conservative
    3. Radical
    4. Architect Today
    5. Southern Living
  2. What is the name of the American group that has vowed to stop the spread of faceless, car-centered suburbs?
    1. Architects Are Cool Group
    2. Urban Villages Group
    3. Congress for the New Urbanism
    4. Conservative Living
    5. Urbanism Human Group
  3. When was Seaside built?
    1. in the early 1980s.
    2. in the late 1970s.
    3. 1985.
    4. in the late 1980s.
    5. in the early 1970s.
  4. Who feels that new urbanization, towns like Celebration, may not be appropriate for the twenty-first century?
    1. Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk
    2. Andres Duany
    3. Walt Disney
    4. Michelle Thompson-Fawcett
    5. Alex Krieger
  5. New urbanism by definition is
    1. Disney-born.
    2. nostalgic.
    3. modern.
    4. old.
    5. from the space age.
  6. Many modernists find the Congress for the New Urbanism very
    1. cool.
    2. outrageous.
    3. conservative.
    4. radical.
    5. boring.
  7.  What is the name of the nationwide plan to rebuild public housing with the aid of new urbanism?
    1. Congress for New Urbanism
    2. Urban Villages
    3. Utopian Society
    4. Hope Five
    5. none of the above
  8. What types of homes are commonly found in the new urbanism suburbs?
    1. Victorian
    2. Colonials
    3. Georgian
    4. Low-rise, high density
    5. all but d
  9. According to Evan McKenzie, if your dog makes too much noise in Celebration what happens to it?
    1. It stars in 104 Dalmatians.
    2. It can be taken away.
    3. You are given a new, less noisy dog.
    4. You get a warning.
    5. You have to move to the outskirts of town.
  10.  What movie was filmed in Seaside?
    1. The Truman Show
    2. Matrix
    3. Ed TV
    4. 101 Dalmatians
    5. none of the above

Before You Read

What do you think it would be like to live life on a movie set or in a theme park where all the themes, motifs, styles, and so forth are completely constructed?  How would you like to have to wear theme clothing as well?  For example, if you lived in a desert-Southwest themed home, you would be required to wear turquoise jewelry, a bolo tie, and cowboy hat.  How do you think it would begin to impact the way you think about yourself?

After You Read

What do you think about Celebration, Florida?  Do you like the themes and the architecture?  What are the messages that they are conveying?  Do you think it could have been even more effective to include themes that communicate power, inclusion, and arrival?  Do you think that individuals would purchase houses modeled after Scottish castles, English castles, the White House, Versailles, and Peterhoff (the “Versailles of the North” located outside St. Petersburg, Russia), or is that going too far?  Why or why not?

Web links

The Seaside Institute


Kentlands, Maryland


Laguna West: New Urbanist Snout Houses


Congress for the New Urbanism


New Urbanism





Claire Shepherd Lanier, "Re-thinking 'Main Street'" Colorado Construction. October 2000

Claire Shepherd Lanier teaches at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  Her research interests include the social and historical aspects of suburban development and new urbanism.

Multiple Choice Questions: Comprehension/Chapter/reading-specific


  1. Who is the new urbanist that created towns in Florida and Colorado?
    1. Peter Calthorpe
    2. Jim Carrey
    3. Harry Truman
    4. Andres Duany
    5. Kiki Wallace
  2. New urbanism is part of using design to examine the _____ phenomena.
    1. white flight
    2. suburban
    3. contemporary American
    4. utopian
    5. both b and d
  3. Which towns are new urbanism towns?
    1. Norman, Oklahoma
    2. Seaside, Florida
    3. Prospect, Colorado
    4. Kentlands, Maryland
    5. all but A
  4. What did a typical suburb of the 1980’s have?
    1. cul-de-sacs
    2. winding streets
    3. Victorian homes
    4. both a and b
    5. all of the above
  5. What are the names of some of the neighborhoods that places like Seaside are modeled after?
    1. Washington Park
    2. Denver
    3. Bonnie Brae
    4. both a and c
    5. all of the above
  6. With the use of past architectural styles, new urbanism is trying to bring back meaning to _____ life.
    1. residential
    2. relationship
    3. work
    4. leisure
    5. family
  7. New urbanism won’t work alone anymore because the definition of ______ has changed.
    1. architecture
    2. home
    3. utopia
    4. work
    5. city
  8. New urbanists' sense of community relies on developing
    1. Victorian houses.
    2. hugely populated towns.
    3. pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods.
    4. quiet dogs.
    5. perfect communities.
  9. What percentage of Americans chooses to live in suburbs?
    1. 50 percent
    2. 45 percent
    3. 60 percent
    4. 80 percent
    5. 26 percent
  10. This article suggests that besides remembering the past, new urbanism must remember the
    1. future.
    2. present.
    3. prehistoric times.
    4. little people.
    5. both a and b.

Before You Read

List theme parks you know of or have visited.  What are some of the themes?  Think of theme parks or miniature golf courses that include the following:  Cape Cod Village, Victorian Town Square, Independence Square, Wild West, Mexican Hacienda, Southwest Pueblo, Scottish Castle, English Manor House, Future World, Gothic Cathedral, Haunted House, Great Wall of China, Caribbean Splash Water Park, and Angkor Wat. Which was your favorite?  Would you like to live in a neighborhood with one of those themes?  What does conforming to a theme do to the atmosphere of the neighborhood?

After You Read

Imagine that you were commissioned to develop a new development outside your city.  Name five features that it would include and describe their function. How would you assure people of diversity and access?  List three ways.

Web links

Prospect, Colorado


Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company: Architects and Town Planners


Whose Urbanism: An article critiquing new urbanism


Our Urbanism: A response to the Whose Urbanism article by Duany


The New Urbanism Challenges Conventional Planning



Bonus Reading: Neutra and Internationalism.  



Whitney Gould, "New Urbanism Needs to Keep Racial Issues in Mind" (+race)Milwaukee Journal Sentinel June 14, 1999

Author Biography

Whitney Gould is a writer for The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Multiple Choice Questions: Comprehension/Chapter/reading-specific


  1. Who started the “buzz” at the Congress for New Urbanism?
    1. Whitney Gould
    2. Eugene Kane
    3. James Howard Kunstler
    4. John Martin Smith
    5. Andres Duany
  2. What percentage of the African American population live in the metro area of Milwaukee?
    1. 56 percent
    2. 98 percent
    3. 88 percent
    4. 65 percent
    5. 89 percent
  3. Middleton Hills is virtually all _____.
    1. Hispanic.
    2. black.
    3. white.
    4. biracial.
    5. racially integrated.
  4. Kunstler argued that ____ should stop blaming ____ for their problems.
    1. whites, blacks
    2. communities, architects
    3. architects, communities
    4. blacks, whites
    5. urbanists, blacks
  5. Eugene Kane talked about what recent news issue?
    1. September 11, 2001
    2. the Oklahoma City Bombing
    3. the Columbine High School shootings
    4. Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s wedding
    5. the race for the presidency—Bush vs. Gore
  6. What was one benefit of the comment made by Kunstler?
    1. It made everyone laugh.
    2. It brought out the issue of race.
    3. It made people think.
    4. It made people think of new design methods.
    5. It brought out the issue of nostalgic design.
  7. As builders try to build smaller homes in suburbia, what problems do they encounter?
    1. zoning rules
    2. environmentalists
    3. racist people
    4. No one wants to buy the homes.
    5. There are no problems.
  8. What are some methods tthat would allow a greater variety of people to move to suburbia?
    1. reform of zoning laws
    2. improvement of transit links
    3. creation of new incentives for builders to include modestly priced homes
    4. both a and b
    5. all of the above
  9. What is called the most progressive planning tool in decades?
    1. zoning laws
    2. New Urbanism
    3. Eugene Kane
    4. affordable family homes
    5. none of the above
  10. The article suggests that these new communities are
    1. beautiful.
    2. racially integrated.
    3. racially alienated.
    4. racially diverse.
    5. expensive.

Before You Read

When you think of a neighborhood that is predominantly black, what are the first images that come to mind?  What are other issues that come to mind?  Why? Describe the black communities that you have seen.

After You Read

After reading the article, what can you suggest as five major strategies for overcoming resistance to having racially mixed, culturally diverse neighborhoods?

Web links

The Racial Justice and Regional Equity Project


James Howard Kunstler


Housing in Milwaukee


Critique of New Urbanism


Charte            r of the New Urbanism



Visual Analysis

Galaxy Twister

West Edmonton Mall.

Essay Questions

1.  What do you think the people leaning on the bridge are looking at?  How many of the elements in this scene are native to Edmondton, Alberta?  What does that mean?

2.  Think of what the phrase the commodification of experience might mean.  On one level, it indicates that experience has been turned into a commodity to buy and to sell.  The shopping experience itself is not simply a hunt for commodities, but has been turned into a commodity, too.  What are the implications?  Do shopping experiences help people bond in increasingly fragmented times?  To continue the same line of thinking, what does it tell us about our life and times that certain individuals would choose to spend time in this environment?  Does it seem safe?  Why?  Who are able to visit such a place?  Who are not?


New Urbanism.

Essay Questions

1.  When you take a look at the drawing that represents a new urban community, what messages are being communicated?  Explore Currier and Ives prints, images of utopian experiments in nineteenth-century England, the U.S. and Canada.  Is there anything about this drawing that evokes nostalgia and utopianism?  What are the specific details that elicit that response?

Downtown Celebration

Celebration, Florida.

Essay Questions

1.  One of the goals of “new urbanism” is to provide the opportunity for individuals to live near their place of employment.  Take a look at the picture--what are most of the jobs likely to be?  If they are primarily in the service sector--restaurant jobs, cashier in a clothing store, shoe sales--what are the pay scales?  How much do homes in Celebration, Florida, cost?  (Check out the website to find out.)  How will restaurant workers afford such housing?  Where is the model flawed?  Is there something wrong with this picture?

2.  Who decides when a dog is barking too loud, or an individual is too nonconformist to fit into a planned neighborhood?  What are the values that are likely to prevail?  Is this good or bad?  List three reasons why it is good for individuals to learn to conform, learn good manners, and go with the flow.  List three times when extreme conformity and rigidity can lead to problems, and describe the kinds of problems that can result.

Radburn, New Jersey, 1929.


Greenbelt master plan.


Greenbelt philosophy.



Essay Questions


1.  Many towns were planned with the idea that human behavior is influenced by one’s surroundings.  Do you agree or disagree?  Who decides what is good for a community, and how community members behave, where they work, what they do for recreation, and so forth? 

2.  Look closely at the aerial photograph of Radburn, New Jersey.  Can you identify the function of the various buildings?  Describe the various elements in the photograph and how the layout and design is good or bad for individuals living there.


Villas Weissenhof-Siedlung - Stuttgart - 1927



Pessec, France--Le Corbusier Project, 1925.


Le Corbusier--Architect of the “New Urbanism”. 

Essay Questions

1.   It seems hard to believe now, but the architecture of what we now view as public housing projects was considered the key to a brave, new world of new futures for people who were previously living in crime-ridden squalor.  When and how did the dream go awry?  Provide two examples.

2.  Alison and Peter Smithson were British architects who argued that it was absurd to falsify reality and to try to make housing projects as replicas of old, “classic” buildings.  They thought that things should be brut (French for raw) and that instead of constructing fake Victorians, or replicas of gothic cathedrals, one should emphasize the “truth of the materials.”  They thought it was best to let the actual materials--the beams, the glass, the supports, the vents--be exposed to the viewer.  Their architectural style came to be known as the “New Brutalism” and was eventually attacked for being ugly.  What do you think of the debate?  Are you an admirer of modern architecture?  Why or why not?

Read and Respond

Urban Planning in the Twentieth Century: Utopian or Dystopian?

Michael Mehaffy and Nikos Salingaros.  The End of the Modern World.


The authors argue that the attack on the World Trade Center was an attack on modernism and an example of “Le Corbusier’s early twentieth-century modernist vision: rigidly geometrical towers, floating above a superblock, erasing the 'clutter' and complexity of the street and replacing it with a breathtakingly 'pure' and rational geometry.”

Vision of Utopia.


Le Corbusier and other architects argue that urban planning will create better living conditions--constructed utopias.  Roehampton--the Alton East and Alton West estates--are an example.   

Click here to view larger image

Alison and Peter Smithson countered and built upon Le Corbusier’s utopianism.  They pointed to a few spectacular failures.     

“Belonging is a human need,” they pointed out.  Their approach is detailed here.    


Essay Question 


If you were commissioned to design an urban renovation project for your city or town, how would you begin?  What would your process be, step-by-step?  Would you adhere to the tenets of “new urbanism” or would you step back and revisit LeCorbusier or Smithson?  Describe the factors that influenced your decisions.




Peter Smithson After the Rebellion.


New Brutalism.



An example. 



The philosophy--“truth to the materials” and “raw, without romanticism”.  


Robert Steuteville. The New Urbanism: an alternative to modern, automobile-oriented planning and development.  


Congress for the New Urbanism.



Alex Marshall.  Old Cities vs. New Modernism:  The Beat Goes On.     _Urbanism.htm


Alex Marshall.  Building New Urbanism:  Less Filling, Not So Tasty.       _less_filling.htm


Keeling House.



CIAM:  Rethinking Architecture.



Emily Talen.  Reconciling the Link between New Urbanism and Community.