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What is Urbanism?

Urbanism is the study of how inhabitants of urban areas, such as towns and cities, interact with the built environment. Unfortunately, the built environment is often focused on roads, parking structures, and places for cars versus the inhabitants of the vehicles, often resulting in urban sprawl. Urban sprawl is the expansion of poorly planned, low-density, auto-dependent development, which spreads out over large amounts of land, putting long distances between homes, stores, and work - creating high segregation between residential and commercial uses with harmful impacts on the people living in these areas.

The purpose of a city is to organize the economic and social life of a community. New Urbanism is an urban design movement that promotes environmentally friendly habits by creating walkable neighborhoods containing a wide range of housing and job types - focused on community members - not single-occupancy vehicles. Passionate about this topic? Join one of CDFW’s committees at


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