Since moving last May, my family has been amidst the "New Urbanism" surrounding us in our new community. We have drugstores, supermarkets, and our local library within minutes of our home. A walk through the neighborhood delivers us to doctors' offices, churches, and preschools galore. But is the idea of New Urbanism all its cracked up to be?
One of the primary tenants of New Urbanism is "walkability" (living within 10 minutes of necessities), which we lived out fully today. Big Blue, our beloved 10+-year-old minivan, headed to the shop for the second time in two weeks. What was a mother to do about her children's 10:30am doctor's appointment?? We put New Urbanism to the test.
At 10am two boys hopped in the double stroller and mom strapped herself with infant in Bjorn and off we went, hoofing it 20 minutes to the doctor's office. We crossed the street to the adjacent neighborhood, hung a second left turn, and there we were amidst corporate bliss. Our walk finished with a stroll around the corporate lake with two child-cheering fountains and beautiful landscaping. We arrived a few minutes ahead of schedule, better than had we raced over in the car (a 3-minute trip on average). I was encouraged by the exercise, the boys were happy due to the fresh air, and the baby was sleeping because of all the Bjorn jostling. Excellent--a point for New Urbanism.
Last week I went on a jog with the youngest two, stopping at the local CVS to pick up photos and at the Food Lion to fetch the remainder of our week's groceries. All in a day's run. Excellent--a point for New Urbanism.
Two nights ago the local Team In Training held an informational meeting at the library down the street. I had the time wrong. The meeting was really at 6:30pm, not at 7 like I thought. No problem--my husband arrived home early and I raced there in 2 minutes to be *right on time* to the meeting. Little gas wasted; a lot of stress avoided. Excellent--a point for New Urbanism.
So far, 3 points New Urbanism, 0 points suburbs.
I'm becoming more and more of a fan with each passing day.