This blog is a “two for one” dealing with the revival of quaint and charming homes and Dutch round-a-bout intersections.
Definition of quaint
1a: pleasingly or strikingly old-fashioned or unfamiliar as in "quaint country cottage"
b: unusual or different in character or appearance, marked by beauty or elegance
When was the last time you drove through a newly developed community and were struck by the quaintness of the homes? That doesn’t happen often, as so much residential development has morphed into a common look and feel.
We are currently spending time in a historic midwestern town and enjoying driving the neighborhoods looking at housing that was built by craftsmen and women over many decades. This kind of quaintness and charm is very hard to replicate in the modern world of residential development that is driven by capital and speed. While it’s not really possible to authentically recreate decades of individual craftsmanship, it is possible to create community that holds fast to a historic echo of “charming and quaint”. There are special places where it is being done, and that gives us hope it can be done again.
It takes a very unique combination of ingredients including:
-A proper vision
-A unique location
-A world class team for planning, design, architecture, legal support, engineering etc.
-Visionary, committed and supportive city government and residents
-A guild of builders who are creative, financially strong, and committed to something beyond just closing houses.
-Patient capital backing
-A community hungry for something better
Building what everyone else is doing is an easier road, no doubt. It takes an incredible team effort to revive quaint and charming in residential development. This is our desire for Montava.
The Dutch Round-A-Bout
There are two sides of the coin in greenfield development. The challenges are obvious, but a significant benefit is a relatively clean canvas on which to paint. We can look around the world and ask, “what are the best things happening in community planning and design, and could they be done here in a way that fits our community?” Once again on this visit to a quaint and historic midwestern town, we've biked to the grocery store, to a Barnes and Noble for some work time, to the Library, to a farm fare restaurant for lunch, to a farmers market on Saturday morning and downtown for other things. What a life changing experience.....
The city leaders in Fort Collins are incredibly visionary people. One idea they have pressed into for years is effective multi modal transportation infrastructure. It is an approach where cars are deemphasized and the cycling, pedestrian and transit experience is elevated. This has substantial positive impacts on our society that has grown far too dependent on getting into a car to go and do.
Many of our city leaders have been studying the Dutch system of cycling infrastructure for years and have been looking for ways to integrate these proven and impactful approaches into the Fort Collins network. We share this desire and see the possibility to create something special in the greenfield development of Northeast Fort Collins. This video describing the details of how a Dutch round-a-bout works for bicycles, cars and pedestrians is fascinating. Check it out!