What Makes a Great Neighborhood

Development news is a bit slow right now, so this will be a bit of a free-for-all. What do you look for in a great place to visit or live? Here’s my list:

– It’s walkable, and bicycling is encouraged
– A grocery store with a decent organic section
– Good local coffee shops
– Friendly people
– Good local and ethnic eateries
– Trees and parks
– Atmospheric bars
– Decent public transportation
– Encourages the arts and forward-thinking design

There are obviously many more than this short list, but as a design geek that tends to obsess about what is getting built (hey, maybe I’ll start a blog about design in Indianapolis. Nah), why hadn’t I thought of it sooner than at the end? Well, I did, and it was in the first item on the list, and sprinkled throughout. Design impacts us in more ways than just ornaments on buildings. It is fortunate that there are examples of well-planned neighborhoods here in Indianapolis to use as a touchstone for future development. If we take these ideas from the past and add them to green design, we can have a positive impact. I believe that is the core of the school of New Urbanism school of thought.

Comments 4

  • Also what makes up a great neighborhood:

    1. Safe Schools for the young and things for the young to do.
    2. Support for the elderly and a social life for them.
    3. Support for disabled.
    4. Places of worship nearby.
    5. Hospital in the near vicinity.
    6. Of course – safe.
    7. Variety of necessities available closeby – hardware store, electronics, hair stylist, mechanic, plumber, daycare, bakery, butcher, bank, library, ect.
    8. Definately – places to work nearby.
    9. Doggy friendly (dog parks and places to walk and sit outside).
    10. Local CSA drop off and gardens.

  • I think what makes for good neighborhoods is activites and interest that make people want to get out and meet their neighbors, which is why the things that Kevin and Nanette bring up are right on the money.

    Unless you’re like Ted Kaczinsky, you like to do things with and be around other people.

    Most vinyl villages and other forced-feel “neighborhoods” don’t fit that criteria because going for a walk does nothing but make you feel like you’re on a treadmill…it’s just more of the same to look at.

  • This blog is more interesting than certain email chains… faux real

  • 11. Not having busybody neighborhood assoications

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