I was drawn to urban design long before I’d even heard of city planning.
I remember watching a TV feature as a kid about a Florida town named Seaside. It seemed idyllic - and smart. The town was designed so each home was within a five-minute walk of the town centre and each yard required a white picket fence, distinct from its neighbour.
It wasn’t until about ten years later that I discovered it to be an iconic New Urbanist development.
While I might not advocate for picket fences today, I still gravitate to the ideal of creating better communities through design.
I’m fascinated by how my neighbourhood affects my daily habits, whether it’s picking up groceries, commuting to work or how I spend my spare time. Noticing how place affects my behaviour makes me wonder how we can design our neighbourhoods to better support healthy and vibrant communities.
Seaside may not be the answer. But talking about our surroundings may be a good start to imagining smarter - and maybe even more idyllic - neighbourhoods.