Julia Merchant brings us this article from Franklin, NC; not exactly an area you would think of as “urban.” But even here, New Urbanism is catching on. Developer Tim Ryan is working on Sanctuary Village which, although the name is a bit much, appears to be a very well-organized development. It will consist of large and small homes, condos, and live/work units, shopping, restaurants, a grocery store and a hospital, all within a half-mile and in the downtown of Franklin. Ryan was motivated because he felt that the gated communities in the area, which he has lived in, didn’t do much to foster a sense of community, and he wanted that, as well as a place for a more diverse group to enjoy the mountains of western North Carolina. Walkability and common elements are of chief concern. “You can live here and not need a car,” Ryan said. Franklin didn’t have anything in their code that would allow a development like this, and to their credit, they changed it. Ryan knows, as most New Urbanists do, that some people are still going to want to live in suburban developments, but he isn’t about changing the world; he’s about offering more choices.
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