August 2011

Here’s an inspiring story

that will make you want to buy some land

and create a community tailored around your passions!

The South Main Story


When Jed Selby (at the age of 24 at the time) realized that the 41-acre parcel separating Buena Vista from the Arkansas River was on the market, a plan quickly started to evolve. He contacted his sister Katie and the two began brainstorming about a world-class whitewater park and environmentally friendly development. These two visionaries saw the opportunity to create a design that kept the river corridor open to the public and available to river enthusiasts everywhere. They also saw the potential to create a community designed around getting people out of their cars and talking to their neighbors during their walk to the market, coffee shop or kayak wave. Before them lay an opportunity to bring to life the type of community where people could walk to fulfill all of their daily needs.

They discovered The New Urbanism and quickly realized that its architecture and design aspects would be efficient and effective at creating the walkable, pedestrian friendly community they envisioned. Tree-lined streets, mixed-use residences, green building and a conscientious land-use design were elements of New Urbanism that truly spoke to Jed and Katie. They made a commitment to visualize, design and build South Main on these principles.

–  The Heart of the community – The Arkansas River  –

Since the project’s inception, South Main has helped to take the Arkansas River and make it an unparalleled community amenity. A century ago the river was viewed primarily as an industrial resource, and a garbage dump occupied the site of what is now South Main. Today more than a mile of new trails wind through the riparian corridor, and in-channel improvements create world class kayaking opportunities, pools and eddies for fishing, and beaches for summertime relaxation.

–  The Master Plan  –

The 41 acre community will contain 315 units on 200 lots. The project  includes single family & multi-family housing, shops & restaurant, offices, all with the river as their focal point. Among the planned amenities are a central river-front park, civic site, and a multi-use white water park.

To learn more about South Main and its story spend some time at their website:


Images & story taken from the South Main website

Additional Resourses:



This is a very exciting ‘New Urbanist’ project utilizing Traditional Neighorhood Development (TND) that has approval and is moving forward in Windsor, CT

    Image taken from

Here is an excerpt from a recent New York Times article on the project: 

Called Great Pond Village, the $1 billion development is intended to give employees who now drive an average 35 minutes to work at the Day Hill Road office park the opportunity to ditch the commute altogether… The idea is to “create the old New England village where we have a walkable, mixed-use village center,” and enough housing choices to accommodate a variety of age groups, said David Winstanley, a principal with the developer, Winstanley Enterprises of Concord, Mass… A study conducted by TischlerBise, a Maryland consulting firm, determined that tax revenues generated by the development will exceed town-borne costs for emergency services, schools and infrastructure by as much as $43 million over 20 years.Windsor is one of a growing number of towns using high-density development to address problems like overburdened highways, unaffordable housing, suburban sprawl and dwindling numbers of young people… The first phase, which could be under way as soon as 2012, will include 400 housing units.

There is a pent-up demand for ‘New Urbanist’ type communities and this project is proof of that.  Especially seeing it move forward during this time when the rest of the housing industry is trying to recover from the current housing crisis.

Other resources for Great Pond of Windsor:

T-Zones refer to the Rural to Urban Transect

Wikipedia’s definition:  The urban-to-rural transect is an urban planning model created by New Urbanist Andrés Dauny. The transect defines a series of zones that transition from sparse rural farmhouses to the dense urban core. …The transect is an important part of the New Urbanism and smart growth movements. … The importance of transect planning is particularly seen as a contrast to modern Euclidean zoning and suburban development. In these patterns, large areas are dedicated to a single purpose, such as housing, offices, shopping, and they can only be accessed via major roads. The transect, by contrast, decreases the necessity for long-distance travel by any means.. The Transect has six zones, moving from rural to urban. … A major feature of transect planning is that it incorporates a variety of residential and commercial spaces into a single neighborhood (mix-use). A typical neighborhood would consist of a light commercial area with a bank, general store, pub, coffee shop, and apartments. Moving outwards from the center, residential density would gradually decrease starting with apartments to townhouses to fully detached houses. The central area would be a focus of transit and ideally be within walking distance from any point in the neighborhood.

Additional Resourses:

Speaker: Dan Burden – Walkable and Livable Communities Institute

* As I review different sessions I will continue to highlight key resourses on future post

See following previous post for more info:

CNU 19 Sessions now online!

CNU 19 Online Sessions

If you are a member of the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) you now have access to listen in on most of the presentations that were given during this years CNU annual event in Madison, WI.  Just click on the link above and it will bring you to their page.