For me this is easy to say but harder to describe. I just like the way a properly planned New Urbanism project feels better than the way a typical suburban project feels. The descriptive words that I can use to tell you why I like it does not give a concrete dimension for how to create it. Words or terms like nostalgic, small town atmosphere, quaint, safe, plenty of parks and open space, community all come to mind. Although, most can read these terms and envision what it means to them, it is very difficult to quantify what they mean. The smart code has attempted to do this by measuring the physical aspects of towns in this country that overwhemlingly are considered special places – like Charleston, SC, or Savannah, GA, etc. The Smart Code has done the best job to quantify how to recreate this environment, however there is still some other intangible aspect that makes some great and some seem manufactured. This intangible factor is the key to creating a project that makes you feel like the descriptive terms above.
My wife, children, and I previously lived 2 blocks from downtown Monroe, GA in an historic Victorian house. My wife would walk the kids through town in the stroller to go to the post office, get lunch and go to the hardware store, ice cream shop, etc. We would regularly walk downtown to go out to dinner and go to the downtown concerts held on the historic courthouse lawn. This is the re-creation that is being sought. Re-creating this small town feel in a new project while also providing the additional amenities and services required by todays consumer.