Web Content Display

Community Character

Conservation design encourages community interaction and community character. Compared to traditional subdivisions with private yards, large homes and heavy automobile use that often isolates communities, conservation design cultivates social interaction through shared open space and cluster design. Connected and shared open space can be used for a variety of activities including walking and biking trails, organized group activities such as picnics and soccer games and observation and educational opportunities to connect with preserved habitats, plants and wildlife. The use and required maintenance of natural landscaping also provides an opportunity for interaction. Although maintenance is usually handled through home owners associations, some developments use volunteers from the community to help with this shared responsibility (Local Sources). These formal and informal spaces create opportunities for meeting neighbors and for creating a larger social network within the community that can add to a person's or family's quality of life and connection with nature. In recent years, homebuyers have shown increased demand for this type of integrated environment (NIPC, 2003).

Additionally, local sources confirm that conservation development amenities also add to community character. For example Prairie Crossing has an organic farm onsite that allows for hands-on learning about organic farming as well as the option to purchase the locally grown produce. Moreover, the actual design of the community (smaller streets and lots, large areas of open space, etc) and the implementation of native landscaping can give the development a unique and aesthetic ambiance that sets it apart from conventional designed developments. This adds to community identity and character (NIPC, 2003). Perhaps one of the major benefits to community character is simply the flexibility in design to create what is appropriate and desirable in individual communities while satisfying the fiscal needs of the developer.

Loading more updates...