Eat That Elephant One Bite at a Time!
“Great places are built in small increments.”
A good friend of mine, an executive in senior living, described to me an idea he and his team were considering: a pocket neighborhood where seniors can downsize and age in place gracefully. Many thoughtful design considerations will be built in, accommodating the aging process so that there is no need to relocate to a continuing care retirement community, assisted living, or even a skilled nursing facility.
Tara and I recently sold the large house on over an acre of land where we raised our three children and did at least 3 significant renovation/expansion projects. After 36 years in the same place, there is something therapeutic about simplifying, downsizing, and launching a new life. We bought and are renovating a 1938 bungalow located in the Historic District. We can walk to a number of fine restaurants, and to the farmers market where we buy our produce. It’s pretty cool. We love that our neighbors come in all shapes and sizes – this isn’t a homogeneous cookie-cutter neighborhood with everyone cloned from the same socio-economic group.
The physical infrastructure has a good grid and bones. It is being renovated house by house, as people like us invest.
So here’s another Great Idea that the New Urbanism provides for Senior Living: Incremental Development. The idea is that “small urban developers can succeed by understanding that ‘the project is the neighborhood’ – and even a tiny development can build value and contribute to the community.” That’s exactly what my friend is doing with his pocket neighborhood.
It’s like what the craft brewing industry is doing. It used to be that you only could choose from a few large brewers. Now, it’s not difficult to find a great beer – there are thousands of them. There is an ethos of collaboration among these craft brewers. They are all going after the big guys (just like the large developers who are putting up “anywhere USA” products, rather than the cool places like our Historic District.
When you focus on incremental wins, one project at a time, you’ll end up enhancing wellbeing for everyone who experiences the places you create!
For more information, check out The Incremental Development Alliance.
 Public Square, A CNU Journal https://www.cnu.org/publicsquare/2017/04/05/great-idea-incremental-development accessed 1/11/19
Baby Boomers Don’t fit the Profile – They’re not like their parents! Providers are shifting to a lifestyle centered around entertainment, leisure, and wellness in order to remain relevant to the new market. We believe that a lot can be learned from the New Urbanism about enhancing wellbeing for tomorrow’s seniors. This is the 3rd in a 7-part series highlighting Great Ideas for the Aging Services Industry from the principles of New Urbanism.
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Brad Smith Associates, Inc. is a mold-breaking exterior planning and design firm serving the aging services industry. Our approach puts people first, focusing on their unique needs while cultivating a deep sense of community. That is done by using a rational problem-solving method, infused with Imaginality™, combining the five key components of PLACE-Creation into our designs:
Planning - Applied foresight to achieve your project goals
Lifestyle - Delivering a better result for people by understanding their needs and lifestyles
Aesthetics - The aesthetics of a property speak to the "brand essence", greatly affecting marketing.
Community - a sense of meaning, identity and belonging for the people living there
Economics - informed decision-making on the front end during the design process can yield significant dividends on the back end (by reducing ongoing operations and maintenance costs).
We're landscape architects and planners by profession, and we love putting our talents to work to create value for you.
How can we help you maximize your potential in the marketplace? We'd like to learn more about how we can help you achieve great things - whether that involves planning new construction, making repairs or renovations, or completely re-positioning your product offering.