WHAT IS THE INSTITUTE FOR NEW SUBURBANISM (INS)?
The INS is an organization that seeks to connect conversations about metropolitan growth across continents. We support analysis and peer exchange about Community Planning, Design and Development across city-regions worldwide. The INS is an initiative of the New Suburbanism Research Group (NRSG).
WHAT IS NEW SUBURBANISM?
New Suburbanism is an approach to thinking about and (re)developing suburban communities - based around the integration of diverse community planning and design ideas. Towns, cities and counties grow sporadically, leading to unique patterns of settlement and suburbanization. New Suburbanism posits "suburbia" as the new centre of our urban-to-rural regions. It celebrates what is often associated with suburban (i.e. low-intensity) areas: convenience, open spaces, privacy, safety, adaptability, and other desirable characteristics that the suburban experience offers. It calls on suburban communities to leverage their current governmental, physical, economic, social, and environmental conditions so as to enhance their existing quality of life, along with that of the urban and rural relams that suburbia exists between.
In its most pragmatic sense, New Suburbanism is an integrative community planning theory and practice that, if implemented, resets how planners guide growth and land-use changes within metropolitan communities. It represents the emergence of a much needed rethinking of how we plan and live life in the peripheries of cities, and how the "middle landscape" or "middle metropolis" can better today's professional conversations and regional communities. Rather than seeking to replace suburban design or adopt urbanization, New Suburbanism extends beyond the discipline of urban design and identifies pragmatic ways to build and improve suburban communities.
In her book, entitled “New SubUrbanisms”, Judith K. De Jong states:
New Suburbanism of the turn of the twenty-first century operated from the point of view that there is intellectual, cultural, and formal value to suburbia and the suburbanized metropolis – even as there are also substantial issues – and that one must understand and accept this urbanism for what it is. Perhaps counter-intuitively, however, understanding it for what it is required a new conceptualization about space and form because convention was not providing ways to move forward productively....Flattening [of metro areas] challenges architects, landscape architects, and urbanists to think beyond conventional, typically exclusive stereotypes of urban and suburban and to recognize the increasingly hybrid nature of an American metropolis that is both. Flattening also produces opportunities for innovation in new sub/urbanisms, which are new formal and spatial practices that combine and re-configure conventional understandings of urban and suburban (New SubUrbanisms, 185-186).
New Suburbanism also challenges the belief that the urban centres are primal to a fully functioning city-region system. It acknowledges the synergistic role of urban, suburban and rural communities as part of a city-region system. New Suburbanism involves rethinking the historical structure of the city-region and its non-urban areas.