Reston, United States, North America
Year1962latitude: 38° 58'
longitude: -77° 19'
Initiator(s)Robert E. Simon
Planning organization
Nationality initiator(s)
Designer(s) / Architect(s)
Design organizationJames Rossant Architects, Whittlesey and Conklin
Target population75,000
Town website
Town related links
Literature- Alan J. Bushnell, 'The new town concept: Reston, Va', Kent State University, School of Architecture and Environmental Design 1973
- Nicholas Dagen Bloom, 'Suburban Alchemy. 1960s New Towns and the Transformation of the American Dream', Ohio State University Press, Columbus 2001
- Hugh Mields, 'Federally Assisted New Communities. New Dimensions in Urban Development', Washington 1973

type of New Town: > scale of autonomy
New Town
Company Town
> client
Private Corporation
Public Corporation
> policy


As an alternative to the suburban sprawl, the planners of Reston, near Washington, Virginia - like other American New Town planners - wanted to make a city engaged in framing public space and offering the facilities of an inclusive city. Reston is a cluster development planned in the forest around an artificial lake. Its master plan, pioneering, introducing and sparking New Town planning ideas in the USA, structured the city around seven village centres and a city centre. The initiator Robert E. Simon lend all his financial supports to Reston's construction and his initials to its name. He sought to integrate physical, social and economical aspects in the plan: High density housing was constructed in the centre to conserve open space and create urbanity. From the city centre pedestrian roads lead to the surrounding neighbourhoods. Cul-de-sac roads connect with forest paths leading to connections of townhouses or apartments, most of them single-family residential construction, grouped around shared parking court. Areas were given mixed uses of industry, business, commercial centres, recreation and education. Simon wished to enable for anyone to remain within a single neighbourhood for their whole life. The good life in beautiful surroundings, work close to the home optimizing use of leisure time, would be accompanied by financial success. Since the opening of the Dulles Airport in 1962 Reston has grown to become a major activity center for the northern Virginian suburbs. Now owned by a subsidiary of Mobil Oil, one of Simon's creditors, Reston is nonetheless consistent with certain motifs of the green belt ideology.


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