New Urbanism is strongly influenced by urban design practices that were prominent until the rise of the automobile prior to World War II; it encompasses ten basic principles such as traditional neighborhood design (TND) and transit-oriented development (TOD). These ideas can all be circled back to two concepts: building a sense of community and the development of ecological practices.
The organizing body for New Urbanism is the Congress for the New Urbanism, founded in 1993. Its foundational text is the Charter of the New Urbanism, which begins:
We advocate the restructuring of public policy and development practices to support the following principles: neighborhoods should be diverse in use and population; communities should be designed for the pedestrian and transit as well as the car; cities and towns should be shaped by physically defined and universally accessible public spaces and community institutions; urban places should be framed by architecture and landscape design that celebrate local history, climate, ecology, and building practice.
New Urbanists support: regional planning for open space; context-appropriate architecture and planning; adequate provision of infrastructure such as sporting facilities, libraries and community centres; and the balanced development of jobs and housing. They believe their strategies can reduce traffic congestion by encouraging the population to ride bikes, walk, or take the train. They also hope that this set up will increase the supply of affordable housing and rein in suburban sprawl. The Charter of the New Urbanism also covers issues such as historic preservation, safe streets, green building, and the re-development of brownfield land. The ten Principles of Intelligent Urbanism also phrase guidelines for new urbanist approaches.