Reconciling New Urbanist plans: plan quality evaluation for cities in Florida, U.S.

Yunmi Park, Hyun Woo Kim, Youngjun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


As the popularity of New Urbanism has grown, local governments have attempted to translate New Urbanist planning components into planning policy forms. Through observation of comprehensive plans in 40 cities in Florida, this paper explores the extent to which New Urbanism principles are embedded in terms of factual basis, goals, tools, intergovernmental coordination, and implementation. The outcomes of this study indicate that (1) the total quality of the plans varies by city; (2) local governments are well aware of the importance of New Urbanism; (3) there are weak links between the evaluation categories of factual basis and goals; (4) goals and objectives are addressed most effectively; (5) diversity and equity are relatively less addressed; and (6) proactive tools (e.g. form-based codes, transect zoning, or urban growth boundaries) are limited. The outcomes of this study are expected to benefit cities and improve their future plans by allowing the effective integration of New Urbanism depending on their own priorities. Highlights The mean plan quality score regarding New Urbanism for the 40 local comprehensive plans was 66.6 out of 100, while a large variation existed between local plan scores. Local governments are aware of the importance of New Urbanism principles, but not all the principles are reflected in local comprehensive plans. Inconsistencies existed between the factual bases and goals/objectives indicate that it is unclear how municipalities set their goals without documenting existing conditions. Relatively proactive tools like form-based codes, bans on suburban-style design, and transect zoning did not appear often. Diversity and equity are relatively less addressed in the factual bases, goals, and tools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-484
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Urban Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by Incheon National University (International Cooperative) Research Grant (# 2018-0430) in 2018.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Institute of Urban Sciences.


  • Florida
  • New urbanism
  • comprehensive plans
  • plan evaluation
  • plan quality


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