New Urbanism and the challenges of designing for diversity
New Urbanism is increasingly applied to revitalize diverse urban neighborhoods. New Urbanism relies on an ideal of “community” that makes its suitability for these contexts questionable. This article examines the use of New Urbanism to revitalize neighborhoods with diverse populations, investigating the following concerns: (1) physical changes may not be the best solutions for the social problems that often face such neighborhoods, (2) New Urbanist ideas may have different meanings to different groups of neighborhood residents, (3) New Urbanist neighborhood renovation may displace low-income residents, and (4) New Urbanist participatory design processes may not accommodate diversity. The article presents findings from a case study of the Westside of the city of Costa Mesa, California. Recommendations suggest alternative planning and design strategies to support and reinvigorate diverse, urban neighborhoods.