Suburban New Urbanist Environments: The Resident Experience
Wilkinson, Sarah Wraye
New Urbanists promote development modeled upon neighborhoods that are highdensity and mixed-use with connected streets so that residents will drive less and have a strong sense of community. Little is known about whether New Urbanist environments provide the envisioned change in living experience for those who reside there. This study assesses changes in the living experience of residents of a suburban New Urbanist environment located in Eugene, Oregon, relative to their living experience in their previous residential environment. Findings reveal that respondents drive less for some but not all types of trips. There are no significant changes in sense of community. Changes in housing density and land-use mix are found associated with driving behavior change. Change in the enjoyment of the walking environment is found associated with changes in levels of resident interaction and feelings of sense of community.