New Urbanism and the barrio

Erualdo Romero González, Raul P. Lejano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The last decade has seen a growing turn toward New Urbanism in the redevelopment of urban neighborhoods. In October 2007 the City of Santa Ana released a draft Renaissance Plan to revitalize a transit-oriented district and government center supported by two neighborhoods. The plan exemplifies New Urbanist design principles which promote mixed income residential neighborhoods and respect local culture. Using a case study in two Mexican and working-class immigrant barrios and the adjacent downtown district, we investigate these principles. We describe different community-wide perspectives concerning 'redevelopment' and employ a textual analysis of the Renaissance Plan. One salient finding is that local planning codes reflect and support cultural and class beliefs that alienate Latino barrios. Another finding is that it is in the construction of a new science of form that the disciplinary gaze of New Urbanism reshapes places upon cultural-alien and class-alien norms. We conclude by suggesting research on the tensions between ethno-cultural-dominant city councils and ethno-cultural and economically marginalized neighborhoods while exploring how policy and discourse impact urban place.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2946-2963
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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