A typology of comprehensive designed communities since the second world war

Ann Forsyth, Katherine Crewe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


This paper classifi es designed comprehensive districts and towns, focusing on those built from the end of World War II through the early 21st century. While comparatively rare, such models are a dominant part of the intellectual history of urban design, physical planning, and urban development. Identifying the range of such designed communities helps clarify their specifi c contributions. Types include social neighborhoods, architectural villages, environments supporting diversity, designed enclaves, ecoburbs, ecocities, and developments emphasizing the role of technology. The classifi cation is based on the developments' key assumptions and intellectual histories, and particularly their social, ecological, economic, political, and aesthetic character. It is a classifi cation not of the physical forms of such planned communities but of their underlying design, planning, and development ideas. For each type, the paper outlines important subtypes and proposes some key dilemmas in its future evolution. The least socially and ecologically idealistic models have been the most replicated, while the most idealistic have remained the mainstay of courses in the history of physical planning and urban design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-78
Number of pages22
JournalLandscape Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • Neighborhoods
  • New towns
  • Planned communities
  • Utopias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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