Low-density suburbs lost more value than walkable neighborhoods in the housing downturn — and low-income city neighborhoods also suffered, according to a study of the Philadelphia region funded by the Congress for the New Urbanism.
USA Today recently published a travel article on Seaside, Florida, perhaps the most influential new town in recent decades — celebrating the 30th anniversary of its founding. Seaside was the place that proved to many that a mixed-use, walkable town could be built profitably again. Because thousands of vacationers visited the town, it influenced the construction of other such places, especially in Florida and the southeast. Although Seaside began as affordable, it is now extremely pricey — with real estate values driven by potential rental income (houses are rented by the night and by the week for most of the year). The article accurately depicts the active and informal social life, from little kids and dogs running free, to bicyclists everywhere, to the dining and exuberant night life.
A 20-year resident of the Kentlands community in Gaithersburg, Maryland, has become the new planning director of Gaithersburg, a town with about 60,000 residents located northwest of DC. John Schlichting was a developer with the JBG Companies of Chevy Chase, Maryland, which specializes in transit-oriented development (TOD). Schlichting is a big supporter of TOD and New Urbanism, of which Kentlands is a well-known example. “There’s a strong sense of belonging in the Kentlands,” he told Gazzette.net, a community news site in Maryland. “And that’s rooted in the neighborhood itself.” Schlichting thinks Gaithersburg growth should be focused in Olde Towne, along Frederick Avenue, and near stops for the proposed Corridor Cities Transitway.