David Brain

Associate Professor of Sociology

New College Florida

Fellow, Florida House Institute on Sustainable Development


http://www.ncf.edu/brain/


http://www.i4sd.org/brain.htm

Work in Progress:

A General Theory of Urbanism: Culture, Nature and the Transect.

Co-authored with Andrés Duany.

The idea of a continuum from natural landscapes to the most intense urban conditions has long been central to urban and regional planning, but its implications have not always been clearly understood. In recent years, however, the urban/rural transect has become the basis of a new integrative approach to planning and design. The transect-based approach combines the principles of traditional neighborhood design with an environmental perspective on urbanism more generally.

Along with its comprehensive perspective, it brings analytical precision and empirical techniques derived from environmental science to the task of planning and designing human settlements. In this way, the urban/rural transect has emerged as a powerful theory for understanding the variety of human and natural environments that make up a regional system, establishing a framework for contextually sensitive urban design that allows us to envision a full palette of good neighborhoods, and serving as a basis for writing codes that can resolve complicated issues encountered in implementing Smart Growth principles at the level of the neighborhood, town, city, or region.

This book provides the first complete introduction to the theory and practice of transect-oriented planning and urban design. The book explores the value of the transect as the basis for a common vocabulary that operates across specialized fields, as a theory that brings clarity to the interconnected problems of urban and environmental planning and enables practical techniques for articulating clear and effective solutions.