GIS Sustainability Indicators for Evaluating New Urbanist Communities in Florida and Alabama

By Sunhui Sim and Kathryn Ziewitz.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

New Urbanism is a school of urban development or re-development that is commonly thought to mitigate sprawl and to promote sustainability and smart growth. Advocates claim that New Urbanism reduces land consumption and improves civic life. New Urbanist projects also emphasize “walkability” and the mixing of residential, commercial, and public spaces. However, critics charge that benefits may be geographically limited if projects do not connect well to land uses containing jobs and commerce as well as to regional transportation networks. The goal of this research is to use a set of GIS indicators see how the principles of New Urbanism have been translated to actual communities in Florida and Alabama. The empirical foci used to assess the situation in a regional context are: location, land use, and transportation connectivity. The results show that developments do not meet the objectives of New Urbanist principles in a broad, regional spatial and social context.

Keywords: New Urbanism, Sustainability, GIS, Florida, Alabama

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.213-228. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 8.035MB).

Dr. Sunhui Sim

Assistant Professor, Geography Department, University of North Alabama, Florence, USA

Dr. Sunhui Sim was born in 1975, South Korea. Dr. Sunhui Sim received a MS from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2006, and PhD from Florida State University in 2010. Dr. Sunhui Sim has been teaching GIS, Remote Sensing and Cartography in Geography Department at the University of North Alabama since 2010 and is specialized in geo-spatial technologies for measuring and assessing the environmental implications of urban growth and urban encroachment.

Kathryn Ziewitz

PhD Student, Geography, Florida State University, Tallahassee, USA

Kathryn Ziewitz is an educator, author, and community developer. She holds a master’s degree in environmental journalism from the University of Minnesota and is completing a PhD at Florida State University in geography. Her research focuses on exploring directions for more sustainable urban settlement patterns. She currently works as the Sustainability Program Coordinator for Leon County, Florida.