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The Kentlands: A Community Designed for People

Located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, the Kentlands is a neighborhood that has been designed with the principles of new urbanism in mind. New urbanism is an urban planning movement that emphasizes walkability, mixed-use development, and community engagement. This community was one of the first in Maryland to be designed using these principles, and it has become a model for other new urbanist communities around the country.

Kentlands neighborhood was designed by the architecture and planning firm Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ). DPZ is one of the leading proponents of new urbanism and has designed many other new urbanist communities around the world. DPZ’s design for the Kentlands includes a mix of residential, commercial, and office space, all arranged in a walkable, pedestrian-friendly layout.

The centerpiece of Kentlands is its Main Street, which is lined with shops, restaurants, and other businesses. The street is designed to be a gathering place for residents and visitors alike, with wide sidewalks, outdoor seating, and plenty of shade trees. The Main Street is also home to a farmers’ market and other community events throughout the year.

In addition to its commercial spaces, Kentlands includes a mix of housing types, including single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments. The neighborhood’s architecture is designed to be traditional and timeless, with features like front porches, picket fences, and alleyways. This creates a sense of community and fosters interaction between residents.

What Are The Benefits of New Urbanism?

The principles of new urbanism have a number of benefits for both residents and the broader community. One of the biggest benefits is walkability. By designing communities that are easy to navigate on foot, new urbanism encourages people to walk more and rely less on cars. This has a number of positive effects, including reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality, and promoting physical activity.

New urbanism also promotes social interaction and community engagement. By creating places where people can gather, like Main Street and the Kentlands Green, new urbanist communities foster a sense of community and belonging. This can lead to greater social cohesion and a stronger sense of civic pride.

Finally, new urbanism can have economic benefits as well. By creating mixed-use developments that include commercial and residential spaces, new urbanism can create more vibrant and economically diverse communities. This can attract new businesses and residents, which can in turn create more jobs and increase property values.

The Kentlands community is a shining example of the principles of new urbanism in action. By creating a walkable, mixed-use community that fosters social interaction and community engagement, Kentlands has become a model for other new urbanist communities around the country. The benefits of new urbanism are clear: more walkable communities, stronger social connections, and a more vibrant and diverse economy. As more communities embrace the principles of new urbanism, we can look forward to more livable, sustainable, and enjoyable places to live, work, and play.

Main Street, Kentlands, Gaithersburg, Maryland