Memory Points Part 2 : Community Planning

“Memory Points Part 2 : Community Planning”

by PJ Littleton

Previously, I wrote about how Southern Land Company creates “Memory Points” in houses, buildings and neighborhoods. Memory Points are items, amenities or details that leave lasting mental images – they’re part of what draw people to live in Southern Land Company communities.

In fact, Southern Land Company neighborhoods have memory points woven into the community design.

First, our architects and planners carefully study traditional neighborhoods. They research the special details visible in classic, friendly, walkable places such as Charleston, SC, Savannah, GA, Williamsburg, VA, Mackinac Island, MI and so many more. These places feel unfettered by time and progress. Often, engaged citizens have advocated historic overlays in order to preserve the “sense of place” that these special streetscapes evoke.

Though it may be difficult to put a finger on why these places seem so pleasant, there are actually specific architectural elements that create the charming feel of a traditional neighborhood. Porches, for one, enable neighbors to engage with one another. Sidewalks encourage residents to walk, providing more opportunities to interact. Overall neighborhood design can connect pedestrians to the folks on the porch by building homes with garages in the back, which removes a visual barrier between the two spaces and gives the neighborhood a friendlier feel.

Neighborhoods tend to be memorable when they include special touches such as hidden gardens, accessible parks, squares, greens, lakes and ponds. Even a firehouse or a hardware store can be memorable if its design is beautiful – which is why Southern Land Company extends its sharp standards for aesthetics to every building in its communities, all of which are connected through a sidewalk system.

In many of our communities, sidewalks connect to hiking and biking trails that further foster social gathering and an active lifestyle. But it’s not just “lifestyle” that matters; it’s a heightened “quality of life” that emerges in these settings that makes the moments most memorable and profound. We aim for our neighborhoods to provide residents with beautiful memories, every day – to give them the same bliss they feel on vacation every time they enter their homes. We hope that our memorable neighborhoods better enable residents to live rich, wonderful lives.

Just as it is difficult to imagine the concept of family independent of the home, it is near-impossible to imagine community independent of the town square or the local pub.

Duany, Plater-Zyberk, and Speck, Suburban Nation