The neighborhood unit concept and the shaping of American land planning 1912-1968



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Although one of the more well-known concepts in planning, both planning scholars and professional communities such as the New Urbanism have neglected the neighbourhood unit concept's historic influence in shaping suburban land planning norms. This paper analyzes contemporaneous professional and governmental literature in order to understand the context of land planning and development during the time that the neighbourhood unit became a leading idea. Between 1912 and 1968 the neighbourhood unit concept bridged planning, design, development and policy-making communities to improve standards in the construction of residential environments by shifting the scale of development to an area as a whole. In this time period the neighbourhood unit concept shaped land planning norms, facilitated execution of policies, framed new institutions, and became associated with the changes that it helped to bring about.



Neighbourhood unit concept, American land planning, Land planning