Density makes New Urbanism cheaper, study says
Total infrastructure and development costs per unit and per capita are slightly lower for New Urbanism compared to conventional suburban development (CSD), according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The theoretical study was completed in June of 1995. The study began with a conventionally planned, 743-acre site in Nepean, Ontario. The CSD includes typical suburban loop roads and cul-de-sacs, civic buildings and shopping centers on surrounding arterial roads. Nelessen Associates of Princeton, New Jersey, was hired to design an alternative new urbanist town.
The alternative plan includes seven neighborhood centers, a primary main street commercial district, alleys and an interconnected network of streets. The new urbanist alternative has 20 percent more recreation and park lands, 16 percent greater length of roads and 15 percent more asphalt. It also has twice as much commercial use. Streets are slightly narrower for the alternative plan. Life cycle costs over a 75-year period (presented in 1994 Canadian dollars) include roads, sidewalks, sewer, stormwater systems, water, schools, parks and municipal services. Total costs were $501 million for the conventional plan and $783 million (56 percent higher) for the new urbanist alternative.
Due to narrower lot sizes and more townhomes and apartments, the new