chapter
Conceptual roots
Pages 18

There is some that is new in the New Urbanism, but for the most part it is

deeply rooted in approaches to urban design that have preceded it. The New

Urbanists, most crucially, are directly bound to their forebears by their faith in

their own all-encompassing vision for the design of a better world. It is, in their

view, the only answer to the critical problems that our contemporary cities

face. If Le Corbusier argued that it was either “architecture or revolution,” (that

is to say, his architecture), Leon Krier, one of the heroes of the New Urbanism,

has argued similarly that:

If the United States is to solve its social and environmental prob-

lems in the future, it must revise the whole national philosophy of

settlement, the very notion of civil society . . . Only when this possi-

bility is secured . . . can states and governments take up their ori-

ginal constitutional aim as guardian and patron of the res publica of

the civic realm and its welfare.5