In Rescuing the Rural Edge, Miller-McCune explores how in seeking to tackle the problems of rapid urbanization and disappearing rural lands, Fresno and elsewhere are trying “a new approach to regional planning“.
To me however, it sounds like a combination of greenbelt policies and the application of new urbanist planning principles. Essentially scaling new urbanism up from one (planned) community to multiple (and more dense) communities (or villages). A sort of regional, new urbanism. This development could be seen in two ways I think. As the logical extension of the new urbanist use of historical models for community planning or perhaps as a response to Duany’s criticism or dialog with landscape urbanism? For more on that exchange see here, here and watch an exchange between Charles Waldheim and Andres Duany in the Closing Plenary of CNU 19.
As Jonathan Lerner writes in Miller McCune “Though the particulars differ, they all share the basic approach of building compact towns or villages as a way to avoid consuming undeveloped land. This kind of planning is equally applicable to protecting places where agriculture is not present, such as desert or wetland environments. But it directly addresses today’s concerns over the sources and security of our food. These new villages would offer ready markets for adjacent farmers — especially small producers.”
The piece then goes on to discuss key concepts like the legal mechanism called transfer of development rights (TDR), try out buzz-words like “agricultural urbanism”, “agrarian urbanism”, “agriburbia” or “new ruralism” and the role played by the long championed by new urbanists “form-based code”.
Also see this Archinect news post Hottest new development trend: Broadacre City for more on agriburbia .