Starting From Scratch
One of the first (and still effective) strategies of the New Urbansim
“Traditional neighborhood developments (TNDs), inspired by historic neighborhoods, jump-started the New Urbanism in the 1980's and 1990's as alternatives to conventional master-planned communities.” TNDs brought back the long-lost front porch, as well as accessory dwelling units and the rear garage. We recently completed land planning for a new portion of an older Active Adult retirement community. The plan flipped the traditional front porch house with the rear-loaded garage on an alley. In order to save land development costs, we kept the typical streetscape of garage doors that you see in so many narrow lot subdivisions, but put the front porch on the other side, opening onto a greenspace or parklette. This eliminates the need for roads on both sides, and creates an opportunity for a vibrant public realm. Essentially, it is a rear-loaded garage with a front porch, without the front road. Sort of a TND-lite approach . . .
One stellar TND example is I’On in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Vince Graham developed the I’On in conjunction with his brother Geoff and his father Tom. “The stated purpose was to make our corner of the world a more beautiful place, through the creation of an enduring aesthetic with economic and social value.”
Katie Selby Urban, co-founder of Charter-Award-winning South Main, a town extension in Buena Vista, Colorado says that “our culture is starved for walkable places that have an incredible sense of place.”
Both of those quotes sound like lofty goals, but they are worth targeting. Today’s senior living communities would do well to embrace them. They must, if they have any hope of attracting members of the Baby Boomer Generation – and riding the wave of the proverbial Silver Tsunami.
So here’s another Great Idea that the New Urbanism provides for Senior Living: Traditional Neighborhood Development. Embracing the principles of TND, and going “back to the future” will indeed serve to enhance wellbeing for people who live in the community you create!
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 4th 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.