Community Planning

VITAL COMMUNITIES CAN EVOLVE WHEN DEVELOPMENTS ARE PLANNED IN RESPONSE TO THE NATURAL AND CULTURAL NUANCES OF WHERE THEY'RE BUILT.

Communities evolve. They have lives of their own. Can authentic communities be designed? The generic approaches rarely work. Off-the-shelf templates produce subdivisions that could be anywhere. But a real community is grounded. Its form and aesthetic should derive from where it is.

At DHM, community design starts with people and the nature of the place. Who lives here? What’s the locale’s history and culture? How does water move through the site? What opportunities are suggested by topography, by native vegetation?

In ecology, “carrying capacity” is a relationship between a species and its habitat: how many individuals can the place support? We ask similar questions. What is the ideal density the site can accept? Where do the landscape’s contours tell us to cluster homes, and where to leave open the common spaces and uplifting vistas? What design gestures will encourage connection to this land — and among these neighbors?

Residents, ultimately, transform a development into a living community. Ecological design furnishes the conditions for a desirable, sustainable and socially cohesive place.

Burlingame Affordable Housing Landscape Architecture

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