Fundamentals of a Good City

By Bruce Liedstrand

1. In-ness. Buildings shape the space of the streets and other public places so that a person feels comfortable in the city, not outside looking at a series of objects.

2. Intensity. A good city has intense enough development to support a rich urban life.

3. Diversity. A good city includes diverse ages, cultures and economic levels.

4. Public Realm. A good city has a rich public realm that serves as the community’s common living room.

5. Centers. Good things are clustered in city centers and neighborhood centers, rather than being distributed randomly throughout the city.

6. Convenience. Everyday services are located conveniently close.

7. Walkability. Walking is a pleasurable experience that gives access to places and services.

8. Access. A person has convenient access to places and services without being dependent upon access to a private car. This is not an opposition to cars, as cars are a useful transportation tool. But good cities don’t make people depend on having access to a car.

9. Street Network. A good city has an interconnected, small-block street network that provides multiple access and egress points and helps disburse traffic.

10. Community Services. Education, police and fire protection, power, water, wastewater, communication and public transportation.

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Filed under New Urbanism: Timeless, Traditional, Walkable Design

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