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Traditional Neighborhood Design

Hi, this is Minna, and I will be your guest-blogger for the day.  Today's topic is Traditional Neighborhood Design (TND).  If you haven't heard the term before, pay heed because it's a fresh outlook on how to deal with suburban sprawl, and I have a hunch it's going to be around for quite some time.  Let me explain what Traditional Neighborhood Design entails.

First of all, when I say the words, "community" and "neighborhood", what comes to mind?  I think of taking a stroll through my neighborhood and waving hi to my neighbors who are outside grilling or something equally outdoorsy.  There is a feeling of vibrancy in the air.  I can walk to the grocery store and pick up a few things I might need that day, and then I can stroll back home at a leisurely pace.

I live in the 'burbs, and this is not always possible.  One of the reason people live in the suburbs is because there is so much more space than in the cities.  The houses are bigger, the yards are bigger, and there is more room in general.  The problem with this is that subarban sprawl is not good for the environment.  When one person takes up so much space, well, it's pretty much wasted.  In addition, a suburb is built for driving.  This means that you might have to spend the whole afternoon doing your errands as you drive from the post office to the supermarket to Home Depot.  It's inefficient, to say the least.

Traditional Neighborhood Design puts all the essentials in one place.  These neighborhoods incorporate schools, offices, and commercial venues within walking distance.  In addition, they have plenty of paths and lanes for biking, walking, and driving.  They want to bring a sense of community back to the neighborhood, and be kind to the environment at the same time.  I think TND will be the way of the future, so learn about it now.

This website, The Town Paper, has good inforrmation on Traditional Neighboorhood Design.  It also has a list of TND cities in the country.  Scroll down for the ones in Minnesota.

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