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Trends in Community Planning

by A. Montalbano on 10/27/14

Paint this picture in your mind: A neighborhood where everything is within walking distance.  The only reason to own a car...well, there isn't one.

New Master Plan for North Carolina's Research Triangle Park Will Stress Sustainable Development 

The millennials are driving less and more likely to use public transportation and are more attracted to what the cityscapes have to offer.   Meanwhile, baby-boomers over age 60 are driving more and many are less attracted to retirement or assisted living communities.

Rewind to the economic boom and the birth of the suburbs.

Post-War 1945 affordable mortgages were available to returning servicemen and a jump in postwar births created an economic stimulus.    

The demand for single-family housing was on the rise.  Americans migrated from central cities to the suburbs as the U.S. gave rise to a booming middle class.  Highways paved the way to the suburbs while shopping centers multiplied. The single story ranch house was the ideal design, a simplified construction and the answer to a complex housing shortage.

Fast forward to Post Recession and the development of Nature-Oriented Communities, otherwise known as Sustainable Communities.

Part of the  "American dream" has been to own a home in the suburbs.  Now the trend has embarked on a new calling.  Think over-haul in the way a community serves a better purpose toward the health and wellness of an educated lifestyle.  
A comprehensive planning system called, Traditional Neighborhood Development, is the future of housing. (  
A network of paths, streets, and sidewalks connected to homes allow residents to be located within "walking distance" of shopping centers, educational and city facilities, parks and museums much like the central city our grandparents lived in.  However, communities consist of multi-generational factors.  No strict senior living community, no all one-size-fits-all family homes.  In fact, all amenities are focused on all type lifestyles.
The over-all concept is to develop communities which are nature-oriented.  We are living longer but enjoying less of green public space.  By minimizing car space and adding natural surroundings, more walking and bicycling paths, nature becomes the center of the buying appeal.

Builders are making stride to plan and develop better communities by protecting the earth and making healthy homes.  The payoff is to not only connect humans to nature but restructure the way we work, live, and play within our habitat and by incorporating the simplicity of the outside world.

Nevada City Cohousing - Nevada City, California. Our community is built on an historical site, the world’s first hydraulic mining site of the 1860’s. We’ve taken an 11-acre piece of land that was formally a "brown field" and transformed it into our thriving, beautiful,"eco-friendly" home.

Just a few examples of beauty in nature belonging to these fine developments:

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