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NeoClassic Trends in Residential Design and Neighborhood Planning

NeoClassic DetailingNeoClassic or NeoTraditional Design as it is commonly called, is beginning to play a prominant role in the the minds of community planners, neighborhood developers and politicians alike. Consider the various projects that were recently noted in Professional Builder Magazine: 

Laguna West, California: 1033 acres, 3300 units

King Farm, Maryland: 440 acres, 3200 units

Celebration, Florida: 4900 acres, 8000 units

East Sunnyside Village, Oregon: 278 acres, 1730 units

Harbor Town, Tennessee: 110 acres, 895 units

Blount Springs, Alabama: 5000 acres, 507 homes

The Gardens, Pennsylvania: 15 acres, 82 homes


Generally Neoclassic neighborhoods incorporate simular design styles as well as consistant setbacks, sidewalks, finishes and scale. These designs can consist of nostalgic elements from small-town America and are based on Greek Revival, Georgian and Federal styles. Homes would typically include classic detailing with simple roofs and footprints, elegant front porticos or friendly porches, and traditional lap siding with brick or split-faced block foundations, all of which leads to affordable homes that can be priced to sell.

A prime consideration in Neoclassical neighborhood planning is developing communities that can function and thrive through the interaction of pedestrians, hence the emphasis on separating automobiles from a primary access point into every street. Major design elements include: strong axis of street and major community structures, alley's and access drives, and rear located garages. In a traditional neighborhood development, residential and commercial concerns are separated to such an extent that they are innaccessable without an automobile. In contrast, a Neoclassic plan integrates the community by combining appropriately located shopping, entertainment, and commercial services within the framework of the neighborhood, and by definition allow for narrower lots that lend themselves to the Neoclassic appeal while increasing net density and providing more affordable lot costs.

Part of the rationale for Neoclassic Design concerns developing homes that do not rely on a dominant front access garage, and therefore minimize the impact that automobiles and driveways play on the overall street scene. UDA has designed a series of distinctive, affordable 1,400 to 1,900 sf homes, the UDA Classic Collection, which address the core values of Neoclassic design and planning. Mainly, timeless architectural elements and innovative, open plans that appeal to a wide range of buyers, from first-time homeowners to empty-nesters


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