Urban Fold

Redfining Planned Communities

They're no longer totally synonymous with sprawl, reports Lew Sichelman, and are beginning to be found in in unlikely places--indicative of a move to brownfield over greenfield development. Changing consumer preferences explain why.

Says industry consultant Jim Heid: "...the best ideas of the last decade's planned communities are being applied in unlikely locations - dead inner-ring shopping malls, defunct rail yards and closed military bases."

The experts also decided that the definition of 'planned community' must evolve, from amenity-laden, 'hardware driven' projects loaded with golf courses, clubhouses, sports complexes and tot lots to more 'software'-intensive properties that connect residents for a sense of fulfillment.

That's because the relationship between stuff and lifestyle has changed in the minds of consumers, according to noted trend-spotter and interpreter J. Walker Smith of the Futures Co. in Chapel Hill, N.C."

Full Story: Rethinking urban land use

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