The Idea of Connectivity
Humans were created with an inner desire to connect with other humans, thereby creating community. Why not make it as easy as possible for those people to find each other and enjoy their surroundings? This is the idea of connectivity in action in Carlton Landing. Each road is thoughtfully designed to incorporate all the town has to offer. If you take a look at our map, you’ll notice the roads are laid out in a way to allow easily walkable access to each park, building, or attraction in town. Not on the map (yet) are perfectly designed sidewalks and paths to interconnect each road that provide a scenic view of the town and the occasional opportunity to connect with a neighbor. One article I read pointed out that the “grid system” of major metropolitan areas had the idea right, its just that the cities grew so large that the ideal community was lost in the sprawl. I believe this is why you see New Urbanist communities intentionally planned small to allow for citizens to forget about needing a car because everything they need is steps away.
Carlton Landing has laid a great foundation to allow for its citizens to experience community and from what I can see in future plans, the consideration for allowing community to happen will continue throughout development. Human connectivity is important at the beginning of the development so that the people involved in creating what was envisioned are on the same page and important during the development to ensure those who love what was envisioned are able to connect while they do life together. It’s an interesting social experiment and an education on how we can better use human and physical resources to create a beautiful place to live that fosters internal growth. When people have the ability to easily connect, its a slam dunk that they will grow together and thereby help their community grow! There are other projects happening around the world. One we have come across, in research, is in Panama and they have taken it to a whole new level.
There is something happening in Panama that is quite remarkable. Kalu Yala is the brainchild of Jimmy Stice and his idea to build the worlds most sustainable town using the principles of New Urbanism. In order to get people down there to help him realize his dream, they came up with a way to educate people about New Urbanism, build his town, and thereby spread the word of New Urbanism throughout the world! According to their website, “students and young professionals are given the opportunity to apply their passions in the real world. They work as part of our first civic institution, the research and development team. Team members utilize their studies in the search for best practices in sustainability and quality living. Unlike other education programs, we insist on exploration.” A community is being built while community is being built amongst the people choosing to migrate to Panama and live in a tent city until they can build some walls. Check out this very informative video of Jimmy at a conference in 2015, explaining why he is doing what he is doing and the motivation behind it. Then, take some time to see what is happening in Panama on Kalu Yala’s website and how the people have bonded over a common goal! It’s very similar to the bond we have in Carlton Landing, just without the jungle, loud music, and dancing!