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Jul

21

2013

Summer Fun in a New Urbanist Neighborhood

The New Urbanist approach to community design is intended to foster strong, safe communities, where neighborly get-togethers are commonplace and a variety of local businesses are within walking distance of the front door. Special attention is also given to strategic public spaces, environmentally friendly practices, and architectural details that are sensitive to the geographical area, ensuring a good fit for the existing community.

During the summer months, when our kids are out of school and outdoor recreation is peaking, there are a number of New Urbanist features that we feel are important to provide to our community. Below, we've outlined a few of these.

Hometown, Texas: Summertime games for the neighborhood kids

1) Safety

Neighborhood games are a time-honored tradition for the youth of decades passed, but many of today's neighborhoods are not designed safely enough for parents to feel comfortable allowing their children to run freely in the streets. We'd like to change that. In a neighborhood like Town Creek, safety is no accident. It’s by design. The land plan makes streets integral to the neighborhood, rather than throughways. Curves and limited straightaways encourage drivers to slow down.  Wide sidewalks provide ample space for pedestrians and serve as a buffer between people and cars.

Hometown, Texas: Enjoy the local parks

2) Access to Nature & Public Spaces

A mixed-use community includes more than residential and commercial districts; public parks are an equally important component of a complete neighborhood. Not only do natural spaces allow for gatherings and community building, but they also encourage healthy, outdoor activity. In Town Creek, nature trails provide pedestrians with convenient routes and parks supply natural beauty for all to enjoy.

A neighborly get-together on the front porch in Hometown, Texas

3) Neighborly Bonds

In the not too distant past, sidewalks were a place to stroll while greeting neighbors, and front yards or porches were a desirable place for outdoor fun. These aspects of the traditional neighborhood cultivated neighborly bonds, which in turn strengthened community while heightening vigilance and safety. Over the years, the porches slowly moved to the backyard, taller fences went up, and sidewalks disappeared. In Town Creek, we'd like to reverse these trends and create an environment where neighborly interactions continue to be the norm.

Family Fun in the Summer: Teach your kids to enjoy local fruit

4) Emphasis on Healthy Living

With childhood obesity at an all-time high, the importance of teaching our kids healthy habits is critical now more than ever and New Urbanist design principles are widely hailed as an important factor in creating healthier routines. With access to a renowned farmer's market and local produce, Town Creek residents can eat well, while enjoying a variety of physical activities without needing to get into the car. Whether you want to walk, run, bike, hike, swim, or tube, Town Creek is in the middle of it all.

If you'd like to read more about the philosophy behind Town Creek and other New Urbanist developments, click here. From our family to yours, we hope you have a safe, fun-filled summer.


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