Bridgeland is an 11,400-acre master-planned community northwest of Houston, Texas, which will be home to 65,000 residents when complete in 2037. Like the Woodlands, its predecessor, the Bridgeland site plan centers on scenic lakes that improve water quality, irrigate during droughts, and draw residents to common areas for recreation. These lakes form a stormwater system that exceeds local design requirements, and which has managed storm events much larger than those anticipated.
Kashiwa, a city with a land area of 115 square kilometers (44 sq mi) and a population of just over 400,000, is in Chiba Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo in Japan’s Kanto region. Though home to companies in food processing and other industries, as well as a professional soccer team, it is now best known as the home of Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City. Currently being developed on 273 hectares (675 ac) in northwestern Chiba Prefecture, Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City was launched in 2005 with the opening of Kashiwa-no-ha Campus Station on the Tsukuba Express train line. The land is divided into 299 parcels, to be subdivided further into blocks with interconnecting streets and pathways. Initial development is taking place in parcels 147, 148, 149, 150, and 151. This 42-hectare (104 ac) group of parcels extends outward from Kashiwa-no-ha Campus Station and encompasses the University of Tokyo Kashiwa Campus, Chiba University Kashiwa-no-ha Campus, Kashiwa-no-ha Park, and industrial areas.
Accessible from Tokyo in less than an hour by train, Kashiwa-no-ha is an area rich in natural beauty as well as the home of a concentration of academic and research institutions. Creation of the grand design for the project was from the beginning a collaborative endeavor, with Chiba Prefecture, Kashiwa, the University of Tokyo, and Chiba University involved in the planning and deliberation.
Formerly the site of a golf course, Rouse Hill Town Centre brings 210 shops, 104 residences, 2,800 square meters (30,000 sf) of office space, ten restaurants, a cinema, and multiple educational and civic uses to Rouse Hill, a suburb approximately 40 kilometers (25 mi) northwest of Sydney, Australia. The mixed-use lifestyle center combines the traditional streetscape of a contemporary town with community spaces and the convenience of the latest shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Launched in March 2008 and developed at a cost of AUS $470 million, Rouse Hill Town Centre opened fully leased and has won praise for its extensive environmentally friendly features, creating a ripple effect in the Australian retail industry.
Kierland Commons comprises a spine of fashion-based retail tenants and entertainment, office, and residential uses on a 38-acre (15-ha) parcel within the larger 730-acre (295-ha) Kierland master-planned community 15 miles (24 km) outside of downtown Phoenix. The vertically integrated mixed-use project embraces an urban configuration of narrow streets and a compact mix of uses containing 342,488 square feet (31,818 m2) of upscale shops, 124,214 square feet (11,540 m2) of office space, and 84 loft-style condominiums. Designed as a “main street” development that could act as both a retail destination and a town center for the surrounding community, Kierland Commons uses an innovative streetscape design to mitigate the effects of the harsh desert climate.
Just as Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, has its new town of Celebration, Disneyland Park (née Euro Disney) has Val d’Europe. Both planned communities—Celebration and Val d’Europe—were established and designed on new urbanist principles, and both have transformed their respective regions. In 2008, eight years after Val d’Europe opened, the new community is 60 percent completed and scheduled to be built out by 2018. It is home to 21,000 residents.
Avalon is a mixed-use town center that, in its first phase, includes retail, restaurant, multifamily rental housing, single-family for-sale housing, and office uses surrounding a main street and a central plaza. A second phase will add a hotel and conference center as well as additional retail, multifamily rental housing, and office space. The 2.3 million-square-foot project is located in an affluent northern suburb of Atlanta on an 86-acre site. A previous developer had planned a similar concept for the site in the mid-2000s era but was unable to execute the development.
Storrs Center created a new, mixed-use downtown for the town of Mansfield, Connecticut, replacing a small shopping center adjacent to the University of Connecticut. Its 11 mixed-use buildings house 626 rental apartments and 139,707 square feet of retail and office; 42 for-sale townhouses and condominiums are also on the site. New retailers, such as a supermarket, restaurants, medical center, and bookstore, create an eclectic college-town atmosphere, while a half-acre town square and 20 acres of nature preserves provide places for gathering and recreation.
The project was initiated by a partnership between the town, the university, and local business leaders. Master developer LeylandAlliance, together with apartment developer Education Realty Trust (EdR), built the $169 million retail and residential development, while the town used over $25 million in grants for on-site infrastructure and planning. Storrs Center was a finalist for the ULI Global Awards for Excellence in 2015.
Designed to resemble a downtown that has evolved over time, Victoria Gardens is a new, pedestrian-oriented town center located 50 miles (80.5 kilometers) east of downtown Los Angeles in Rancho Cucamonga, a town at the heart of California’s Inland Empire. This project–the result of a public/private partnership among Forest City, the Lewis Group of Companies, and the Rancho Cucamonga Redevelopment Agency–comprises department stores, shops, restaurants, a movie theater, a performing arts center, a library, and 55,000 square feet (5,100 square meters) of office space. Intended to serve as a new downtown for Rancho Cucamonga, the completed town center will also include a mix of 500 residential units.
The Villages at Belvoir consists of a new urbanist mixed-use town center and three residential neighborhoods on the U.S. Army Garrison Fort Belvoir military installation in Fairfax County, Virginia. The project is the result of a public/private venture (PPV) between the army, Clark Realty Capital, and Pinnacle, known as Fort Belvoir Residential Communities LLC. Together, the three villages and town center contain 415 dwellings and 13,613 square feet (1,265 sq m) of retail space on 74 acres (30 ha). The development is the first phase of a 50-year plan to replace 1,900 homes and renovate 170 more on the 8,656-acre (3,503-ha) post. Located within one of the three villages, the town center is a pedestrian-scale street lined with 25 residences over stores. One of the first projects to come out of the army’s Residential Communities Initiative, the Villages at Belvoir is setting a new standard for future housing developments at army posts.
SouthSide Works is a 37.2-acre (15-hectare) mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented urban village on a brownfield redevelopment site located in Pittsburgh’s South Side neighborhood. It lies south of the Monongahela River and just 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) from the city’s central business district. The project comprises 288,143 square feet (26,769 square meters) of retail and restaurants, 524,860 square feet (48,761 square meters) of office space, 83 apartments, and a ten-screen cinema, all of which are oriented around a central square and landscaped open space. Future phases will include a hotel, additional multifamily buildings, additional office buildings, an outdoor performance venue, and a destination restaurant and brewery.