Explaining Pocket Neighborhoods
With a newfound aversion to suburban sprawl, more and more buyers are willing to sacrifice extra space to make community and convenience more affordable. In turn, pocket neighborhoods have begun popping up throughout the country. But what exactly are they? And why are they becoming so popular with modern homeowners?
What Is a Pocket Neighborhood?
Originating with architect Ross Chapin, the term “pocket neighborhood” refers to groups of homes that share common exterior spaces, such as gardens, alleyways and backyards. The concept revolves around creating ideal conditions that promote increased social interaction and easier living conditions.
The typical pocket neighborhood will consist of densely organized, small-footprint houses, designed to minimize utility costs. It will also include open spaces and will generally be built within walking distance of public transportation and shopping.
Modern Concept, Throwback Feel
Although pocket neighborhoods general include energy-efficient properties, they are designed to inspire a classic sort of community. Everything is styled to recapture the character and beauty of a time when people sat on front porches, grew their own vegetables, chatted with neighbors and let their children roam the neighborhoods.
At the same time, while pocket designs promote community, they also have enough privacy and autonomy for homeowners so do their own things. This is generally accomplished through clever design orientations, where the “open” part of one property faces the “closed” portion of another. Strategic use of perennials and low fences is also often utilized to create barriers between tightly spaced homes.
These days, when builders find the perfect lot, they don’t always fill it with one large house. There are a number of market segments that have turned their backs on traditional neighborhood setups, including families with children, retirees and singles who wish to escape isolation and be a part of a community. For these people, pocket neighborhoods make a lot of sense, especially when environmental sustainability and energy efficiency come into play. At the same time, while they have seen a considerable jump in popularity, pocket neighborhoods aren’t always a great choice for buyers who value privacy above all else.
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