“Planned communities have an enduring appeal because they have things within the community that you would normally have to go elsewhere to find,” Mr. Kline said. “In Columbia, you have concerts at Merriweather Post Pavilion and community concerts by the lake. Once you have a large-enough community, you can offer a wide range of services and amenities and pay for them through the homeowners association.”
In addition to cultural and recreational amenities that appeal to every age group, planned communities are designed to offer easy access to those amenities.
“In Reston, especially at Reston Town Center, we offer one of the most multimodal transportation systems in the area,” Mr. Ritchey said. “About 10,000 residents live within a 10-minute walk of the town center, and 1 [percent] or 2 percent of the employees in the town center bike to work year-round on the Reston trail system or the W&OD rail trail.
“We have buses and a park-and-ride that links people to the Metro system at West Falls Church that will switch over to the Silver Line station when it opens. Then, in 2017 or 2018, we’ll have a Reston Town Center Metro station,” he said. “Of course, people use cars, too, but in the Reston Town Center area, the concept of a classic urban street grid has been in place since the beginning, which, ironically enough, is what the redesign of Tysons Corner is trying to achieve now.”
Mr. Parker said that while the vision of these planned communities has been achieved, they also have changed over time and will continue to change.
“The villages were originally planned with circular roads with cul-de-sacs and trails linking the homes to schools, recreation centers and village centers,” Mr. Parker said. “Now, with the ‘new urbanism’ theories, people are realizing that interconnected streets with fewer cul-de-sacs work better for traffic congestion. The physical configurations of newer mixed-used developments are smaller than St. Charles, Columbia and Reston, but they are an offshoot of some of the same ideas about a mix of housing styles and access to transportation and amenities.”
Like their residents, the grand master-planned communities of the Washington area appear to be maturing and aging in place with ease.
By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up.
Are there profound differences between the Left and the Right? You betcha.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
A carefully guided tour through the confusing world of modern bookselling and publishing.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention