Disney Plans New Residential Developments

Despite the less-than-magical results of its experiment in Celebration, Florida, Disney has announced plans to build a chain of master-planned communities around the country.

February 17, 2022, 5:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Celebration Florida

John Sternbergh Photography / Shutterstock

More than two decades after Disney's first foray into residential development, the company is launching a network of master-planned communities known as Storyliving by Disney, which "will feature distinctively designed spaces, unique amenities and Disney’s brand of world-renowned service," says the company. Disney plans to partner with third-party developers to build and maintain the communities. "With this latest venture, Disney apparently wants to revisit its residential dreams while focusing on the vague and eternally sunny concept of 'storytelling,'" writes James Vincent in The Verge

According to an article by Herb Scribner, "The first location — called Contino, a Storyliving by Disney community — will be built in the Coachella Valley in Rancho Mirage, California'' and will include 1,900 new homes. Disney plans to provide a club membership and 'curated' experiences and programming for residents, as well as day passes for visitors.

Disney's vision of meticulously planned residential communities, an idea that Walt Disney introduced shortly before his death with his unrealized plan for the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT), famously became a reality when the company opened Celebration, Florida in 1996. Since then, that town has struggled to live up to its early promises. By 2010, Celebration saw a foreclosure rate twice as high as the Florida state average. The company has not yet announced pricing or additional locations for the Storyliving communities.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022 in The Verge

A row of young people outdoors using smartphones

Say Goodbye to the ‘Millennial Lifestyle Subsidy’

The era of cheap, on-demand services is coming to a close as unprofitable startups face the realities of capitalism.

June 14, 2022 - The Atlantic


Judge Blocks Minneapolis 2040 Implementation, Citing Lack of Environmental Review

Environmentalists have used the power of the legal system to protect the car-centric status quo of single-family zoning once again, overturning a landmark planning innovation in Minneapolis.

June 21, 2022 - MPR News

Unhoused person under a freeway overpass in Houston, Texas

How Houston Is Eliminating Chronic Homelessness

Taking a comprehensive ‘Housing First’ approach, the city of Houston has cut homelessness by 63 percent in the last decade.

June 15, 2022 - The New York Times

A privately owned public space at 555 Mission Street with large sculptures and benches.

The Return of San Francisco’s Privately Owned Public Spaces

In San Francisco, you can find respite from city life in some unexpected places—if you know where to look.

33 minutes ago - The San Francisco Chronicle

A view of a large water tower, with the words and logo of Fort Worth, looming over a wide freeway.

Advocates Hope the Next Texas Freeway Widening Won’t Be the Like the Previous

Community Design Fort Worth, a nonprofit collective of planners and designers, is pushing the Texas Department of Transportation to do something revolutionary with its plans to widen Interstate 30.

2 hours ago - Fort Worth Report

View of New York City apartment buildings.

New York City Approves Rent Hikes on Rent-Stabilized Apartments

The rent increases, which the Rent Guidelines Board deemed necessary to support “mom and pop” landlords, will affect two million residents.

4 hours ago - The New York Times

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.