A: In the regions where developers create communities, the best planners consider how people currently/will engage and function in them because, ultimately, they are the end users.
Residents will be able to both interact with others in The HUB at La Plata or find solitude to decompress. This will be achieved through walking and bicycle paths, congruent natural areas, parks accessible to the broader community, retail establishments, mobility options, and places for recreation and exercise.
Open and green space are prime elements that add value to real estate, according to the Urban Land Institute (ULI). Here are some benefits experts identified in a ULI piece about communities with open/green space:
- Multiple features, such as pocket parks, benches, water features and landscaping, can be incorporated.
- People place higher values on fitness and social interaction.
- Open space is designed in ways that increase access to town centers.
- Municipalities with nice parks, trails, and recreational amenities attract talented and educated people because they are viewed as good places to live.
- Communities can be designed to also cater to adjacent university populations. (This also facilitates economic development that pumps revenue into local economies.)
- Water features/needs have performance metrics that extend beyond being visual and recreational amenities. They are also an integral aspect of the overarching ecological systems and of water management-plans for sites.
- Studies consistently show higher property values near areas with open space.
- The Chesapeake Bay has played a role in how communities come together. Smaller bio-retention areas increasingly play a role regarding storm-water management so they can be smartly designed with landscaping features that fit in with buildings, streetscapes, sidewalks and surrounding spaces.