Smart Growth- Creating Housing Options

10/1/2008

Providing quality housing for people of all income levels is an integral component of any smart growth strategy. This month we thought you would find it interesting to learn about two projects in our area which are attempting to address environmental impact concerns and the needs of our changing demographics.

Islington Woods is a Portsmouth project in the early planning stages that represents smart growth with an eye on minimizing environmental impact. This unique development gets back to the basics of city planning. It's located on 45 acres and incorporates 3 to 4 different housing types along a center road that leads to the heart of the community. The plans call for attached and multi-story housing units and several mixed use buildings with residences above and coffee shops, dry cleaning, grocery, artist studios and other amenities below. This is an example of a community designed to deliver a high quality of life while helping reduce the environmental costs associated with increased commuter traffic.

D|A is currently working on a project in Durham NH specifically designed for a 55+ buyer. This group is very active and looking for a home with limited maintenance and a living space that offers greater storage for years of accumulated family memories. To be successful a project of this type must focus on the desires of the target demographic and the needs of their new lifestyle. To accomplish this approximately 70 units are being designed with walking trails, common areas for gatherings as well as covered parking to allow more landscaping and open area. In addition the residents will have a unique relationship and access to UNH campus facilities.

Changing demographics and rising environmental concerns mean that single-family detached homes are no longer adequately meeting current housing needs. The number of single adult households and households without children is growing and, for the first time in US history, one in five Americans will be elderly by 2030. Keeping these changes in view and planning for them is the way to ensure that the wider range of long-term needs of the community will be met.



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