The New Town of Williamsburg: A Study of the New Urbanism


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Virginia Tech


This thesis studies New Urbanism, a movement intending to address the problems of the American suburbs and create pleasing and livable communities. The focus is on the Traditional Neighborhood Design concept (TND), one of the five types of New Urbanism developed in the late 1980's by architects Andre Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk.

The goal of this thesis is to develop the best community design concept, with a basis in the TND concept, which responds to local cultural and physical environments. The study is comprised of two approaches: a literature review and a design approach. In the first three chapters, the findings of the literature review are shown. There include (1) the history, structure, and problems of the American suburbs, (2) the theory and types of New Urbanism community structures, and (3) the characteristics of TNDs. At the end of Chapter 3 the TND concept is analyzed using four criteria comprised, uses and activities, public space, circulation and typological characteristics of architecture, as well as a summary of the strengths and weaknesses of the TND concept are summarized. In Chapter 4 the development of a TND plan for the New Town of Williamsburg is shown, which includes the context of the site, history of Colonial Williamsburg, site inventory, site analysis, design concept, and design development. The design concept was developed from the findings of the site analysis and the improved TND concept. The conclusions in Chapter 5 provide an overview of this thesis, findings of both the research and design part, lessons from this thesis, and areas for future research



New Urbanism, Neotraditional Neighborhood Design, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning, Community Design