Assessing the social and environmental achievements of New Urbanism: Evidence from Orenco Station

Podobnik, B

Podobnik, B. (2011). Assessing the social and environmental achievements of New Urbanism: evidence from Portland, Oregon. Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability, 4(2), 105-126.

Commuting , Mass Transit , New Urbanism , Suburbs , Sustainability , Urban Ecology

This study examines the extent to which specific social and environmental objectives have been achieved in the new urbanist community of Orenco Station (Portland, Oregon). House-level surveys were conducted in Orenco Station, as well as a traditional suburb and two long- established urban neighborhoods. Survey data reveal high levels of social interaction in the new urbanist community, as compared to the comparison neighborhoods. The analysis also reveals a higher level of walking, and an increase in the occasional use of mass transit, in the new urbanist community. However, the majority of residents in all four neighborhoods (including the new urbanist neighborhood) rely on single occupancy vehicles for their regular commute. In sum, this study shows that Orenco Station is very effective in achieving its social objectives, modestly effective in encouraging waling and the occasional use of mass transit–but not very effective in increasing primary reliance on mass transit for commuting.

Main finding
Features of the public space in a "New Urbanist" neighborhood promoted a sharp rise in walking behavior and social capital indicators compared to baseline neighborhoods.

Description of method used in the article

Of practical use

Organising categories

Walking or Rolling
Physical types
Geographic locations