New home communities. Crafting a sense of place from day one.
April 2, 2018 | Mark Albertazzi
What can we ask from where we live? Beyond shelter, safety and comfort, is there a more rewarding form of enjoyment? A deeper kind of belonging or a higher sense of purpose to be found?
A new generation of homebuyers and renters are thinking not only about where they live, but more importantly, how they live. They are attracted to communities that promote well-being, vitality, sustainability and camaraderie.
For new master planned developments, community programming can jump-start a sense of place. Something which in the past would take years to accomplish, can now be fast-tracked from day one.
As these trends converge, developers have responded. Harvest Communities promotes well-being by incorporating edible gardening, a farm-to-fork ethic, sustainable practices and a purpose-driven culture that values shared experiences.
Health-based communities benefit from getting cities involved as partners to provide seed money for programs, adopt healthy places policies, and include them in their general plans, said Randal Lewis, Executive Vice President of Lewis Homes, in a recent Urban Land Institute panel discussion.
In Las Vegas, the master planned community of Skye Canyon has created a series of “Fit Lives Here” events to promote a healthy lifestyle and bring the community together. Events include an Annual 5K Road and Trail Run, partnerships with area recreation destinations, resident adventure programs, Day in the Park group yoga classes and health fairs. Skye Canyon’s partnership with the Las Vegas Astronomy Club for an annual Star Gazing event has attracted hundreds of attendees.
At the soon to open Tesoro Viejo in Fresno, California, neighborhood gathering spots will include a spacious event lawn in the new Town Center, as well as a future amphitheater in the first of nine villages. Each will benefit from on going curated programs and events like a Farmer’s Market, festivals and entertainment.
Ultimately, this kind of programming will help create a sense of community that flourishes quickly and gets better, and more treasured, over time.
[Mark Albertazzi is an Associate Creative Director at Greenhaus, and avid waterman, nautical photographer and cultural observer.]