Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to send your little boy or girl to the grocery store for bread or milk? Or to schmooze with friends at your neighborhood coffee shop down the street? Or to have a safe place for your kids to go after school (if you’re not home) where they can get a snack and do their homework?
Survey after survey confirms that the majority of Americans today prefer, and will pay 20 to 30% more for walkable communities, where there is something meaningful and useful places to walk to, like a boutique grocery store with a UPS and laundry pick up, a café with Wi-Fi serving healthy sandwiches and salads.
Additionally, a preschool –daycare- after school tutoring center would be very useful for parents with regular or sporadic child care needs. And a small house of worship that neighbors walk to promotes community.
The opportunity to accommodate these neighborhood sustaining uses exist today in Live Work™ brand homes. In these homes, the first floor accommodates the “work” use, and the family lives upstairs.
A small district of three to six Live Work homes, preferably at the neighborhood’s entry, creates the opportunity for a “neighborhood center.” Ideally, these centers are situated adjacent to a park or playground where parents and grandparents can have a coffee while watching the kids play. If provided for the park, parking lots can be shared, however, parking lots should be discouraged as the idea is walkability.
Connecting to other neighborhoods, shopping and employment centers is important for those short a car or two, and those too young or too old to drive. Light rail, bus, or van transit stops in these neighborhood centers reduce our carbon footprint as well as the feeling of suburban isolation. Perhaps the corner store has a few rental cars for those who only need a car on an occasional basis?
Incorporating senior day care, independent and assisted living facilities in neighborhood centers allows people to stay “home” longer as they age. Neighborhoods are richer with a wider variety of ages and more sustainable as seniors are not forced to move for care or socialization. Best of all, grandchildren and neighbors can still walk over to visit!
For more on the subject please visit “suburbia” articles and videos at myFusionhome.com.