February 16, 2022
Have you heard of Traditional Neighborhood Design?
In the 1980’s, people began to think about how they could design better residential developments, as an alternative to the islands of isolated neighborhoods throughout suburban America. The focus became on creating livable, walkable communities from scratch, and communities like Celebration, Florida put a lot of the ideas of this New Urbanism into play.
Many communities include “mixed use” features, like storefronts with apartment spaces above them, and a variety of home types- single-family, townhomes and apartments, all in the same community. The purpose is to create a vibrant community from scratch, where there are people from every walk of life living together, and most of the things a family needs are within easy walking distance, so life no longer needs to be centered around the car. These communities are often referred to as having “Traditional Neighborhood Design”, or TND for short.
Kendal at Longwood and Crosslands- Great Examples of Neighborhood Design
It turns out that when Kendal at Longwood was first designed in 1973, we were actually ahead of our time!
Kendal at Longwood was built with the idea of neighborhoods and community in mind. Living in Community is part of our core Quaker-based values, and you can see it come to life as you walk through our communities.
Kendal at Longwood was created to allow our residents to have access to everything they need within easy walking distance from their homes. Most of the sidewalks are covered, to offer protection from the weather. The parking is located so it’s convenient, but you don’t look out on cars from your front door- you instead have a lovely view of nature from almost every window. When Crosslands was built a few years later, it was designed to be integrated into the landscape, but still retain that sense of “neighborhood” and easy access to all aspects of the community.
Our communities have a variety of cottage sizes to choose from, offering something for everyone. At the main center, there’s a lovely gift shop, a bank with a full range of services, extensive library, and small post office at both Kendal at Longwood and Crosslands. There’s the main dining room and a cafe where you can also pick up convenience items. There’s also an auditorium, a lounge and more, not to mention all of the art studios, wellness and fitness facilities. We even have a guest house, letting you have out of town family and guests come to stay. Residents at each community have full access to the services at the neighboring community as well, making for double the choice! Our centers are really like a small Downtown, where residents gather and interact, a bit like the student union on a college campus.
One of the reasons why traditional neighborhood design is so popular is because people thrive when they’re in closer proximity. A true community develops, friendships bloom, and people are happier as a result. We discovered that this basic, traditional concept of neighborhoods in the design of Kendal-Crosslands has helped contribute to the success of the Community overall.
If you look around, there are lots of different types of retirement communities. Many of them are big and sprawling. Some are more like apartment buildings with great amenities. We have all this “stuff” too- but at Kendal-Crosslands, we’ve paid attention to the small details that really matter. We want you to move into our community and know that you’ve found home.
Diversity and Variety Matter
In part, the variety of cottage sizes helps contribute to the diversity of the community overall. The neighbors are friendly and while you may have your favorites, everyone is pretty terrific. People move here because they want to have a sense of belonging, and you can be as active as you wish, or as quiet as you wish- the choice is up to you.
The diversity in the community has meant that we’ve attracted residents from all over the US, and we even had a couple move in recently from Ireland! While you’ll find plenty of people who have lived and worked within a 100 mile radius of campus, the residents from all over the Country who have made Kendal-Crosslands Communities their retirement home bring added interest and variety. And just like neighborhoods elsewhere, the fabric of the community is enriched as each resident brings their own experiences and points of view to the table to share.
Won’t You Be Our Neighbor?
There’s an excellent new documentary out about Fred Rogers, and it’s simply titled, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and in watching the trailer, you’ll see many of the core values about community and kindness that are part of our DNA as well. You can download and read about them at length in our Values and Practices guide.
We hope you’ll consider joining our community yourself- we’d love to call you our neighbor.
If you’d like to learn more about the ideas of New Urbanism, this article on 25 ideas of New Urbanism is a great place to start. There’s also a great article from the Smithsonian on Building the New Urbanism, just click the link!