I am a big fan of old houses. There’s nothing like the charm of a great old neighborhood with large, shady trees, sidewalks, and neighbors close enough to know each other.
But I’m also a fan of new houses — with enough closet space, modern electrical wiring, and energy effecient design.
Gladly, developers are taking note and including all the wonderful elements of those beloved established neighborhoods in new communities.
This movement is called “new urbanism.” I’ve posted before about Cordova The Town in Tennessee, one of the first examples of tactical urban development in the 1990’s. And the most popular example is probably Celebration, Florida, but these communities are popping up all over the South.
Hallmarks of new urbanism include sidewalks and homes close to the streets, so that neighbors can easily interact with each other. They often offer parks, shopping, and schools right in the neighborhoods themselves, bringing individual families into real community.
This model of sustainable efforts is the answer to surburban sprawl that was so popular in the last century, and the south is leading the way. After all, it comes natural to us. When it comes to knowing our neighbors, bringing over an apple pie or watching the kids for an hour or two — that’s our Southern hospitality specialty.