This timely study of innovative potentials in new communities—defined in the context of this study as “projects involving the creation of an urban environment rather than the development of limited-use projects in predetermined (or existing) urban patterns”—represents a solid and wide-ranging contribution to the literature on town and city building. At a moment when national and urban growth strategy is crystallizing into a major policy thrust, the authors present abundant and persuasive evidence that new communities can be planned and developed in a manner that accommodates changing technologies and social requirements more efficiently than existing communities.
The book provides a résumé of the fundamental opportunities in the new communities, a summary of pertinent social trends, and an unusually illuminating list of innovations. It also addresses issues of population distribution and growth, goals of new communities, and possible future way-of-life scenarios. Drawing on extensive research of progress in both public and private sectors and on authoritative technological forecasting sources, the study succinctly describes a wealth of promising systems—in transportation, communications, energy, and waste management, and in public service programs such as health, education, and institutional control.
Following a survey of current public policy and legislation, the authors construct a financial model to test the feasibility of introducing public service innovations at various stages of community development. The principles and planning determinants derived from this investigation are being applied to the design of a 6000-acre site in eastern Massachusetts.
The final part of the book examines taxonomies of community macroforms and of the smaller-scale service areas manifested in many of the more influential recent new towns and cities. Six informative appendices buttress the main body of work. These range from a description of multiservice cable communication capacities to macroform prototypes and comparative community scales.