A recent post regarding Ellen Dunham-Jones talk in Vancouver highlighted the stance of new urbanism not just on landscape urbanism but on ecological urbanism. Some notes via one of the attendees from - highlights a major disconnect between understanding and rhetoric - particularly that ecological urbanism is focused on some idea of 'city in nature' suburbia - or in others words, more 'sprawl in a pretty green dress'. From the Planning Picture blog, Tim Barton gives a synopsis of the talk:
"According to Dunham-Jones, while new urbanists like to plan through good design, ecological urbanists don’t. They prefer to set something in motion and see what happens. Kind of more ecology in the city, but it also seems to be more lower density suburbia where, although surrounded by hills and other natural landscapes, most people would still have to drive everywhere."To which most would answer: Huh? and those under 35 would say: WTF? How does one interpret ecological urbanism in this way, other than as a knee-jerk reaction that isn't addressing the actual theories of ecological urbanism, but equating it with a new methodology for ecologically-oriented sprawl? I'll chalk it up to a lack of understanding of the nuances of EU, such as LU theories (much as those opponents of NU don't have a full understanding of the specifics in making arguments against). I don't see, as other do, these as direct attacks on the concept of new urbanism, but as a reaction to neo-traditional urban form as an ends, not a means. The sprawling suburbs is not the goal of any of these methodologies. To say so is total bullshit.