Development Trends: Agriburbia and Sportopia

By Alyson Laura
Sustainability Maven

Atlanta Brave’s Stadium | Sportopia
An example of Sportopia is the new Brave’s Stadium complex that is trying to change the ‘live, work, play’ paradigm into ‘play, work, stay.’ Photo credit: Atlanta Braves.

Residential development is no longer isolated to boring suburbs lacking basic services like sidewalks and public space. Residents now have diverse options like organic farms or sports stadiums within steps of their front doors.

What’s driving these new styles of mixed-use development? Urban planners have long been promoting dense mixed-use communities, and the public’s interest in living in these spaces has finally caught-up with the new urbanist ideals. Millennials and Baby Boomers alike are drawn to the convenience and socialization of walkable streetscapes with nearby entertainment and food.

For the people who love shopping at farmer’s markets and enjoy the satisfaction of locally grown food, moving into an Agriburbia community could be a dream come true. The word Agriburbia is trademarked by The TSR Group, a Colorado-based consulting firm whose website claims to have coined the term in 2006. They sell services to help bring food production closer to the people who consume it.

“Agriburbia incorporates professional food production as a key element in the community design, social network, and financial viability of the development. Agriburbia provides a commercially viable mechanism for individuals and businesses to become more self sufficient and create truly sustainable communities.”

The Urban Land Institute estimates that at least 200 agriculture-centric developments are in use nationwide. One recently built community, Bucking Horse in Ft. Collins, Colorado is home to the Jessup Farm Artisan Village which runs a CSA open to the public, visit their facebook page, here.

photo of Prairie Crossing in Grayslake, Illinois
One example of agriburbia is Prairie Crossing, a conservation community, in Grayslake, Illinois. Photo credit: Prairie Crossing

High density farming communities can also be found in Canada, Georgia, Illinois, and North Carolina-sometimes under different names. Prairie Crossing in Grayslake, Illinois calls itself a Conservation Community, learn more, here. Serenbe, just south of Atlanta, Georgia wants to be known as, “A place where connections between people, nature and the arts are nourished”, learn more, here.

If farms aren’t your thing, maybe sports inspire your spending habits. Thankfully, developers finally ‘get it’ and are creating ideal refuge for Reds and Braves fans because you’ll never miss a game when you can walk there.

Beginning in 2008, Cincinnati began hundreds of millions of dollars of infrastructure improvements to lay the foundation for an 18 acre development between two sports stadiums known as The Banks, learn more, here. A centerpiece of the urban riverside is a 300 unit luxury apartment building.

Down south in Atlanta, ground was broken this year on the new community trying to change the ‘live, work, play’ paradigm into ‘play, work, stay.’ SunTrust Park will feature a 40,000 seat baseball stadium and 600 residential units among other services and amenities at the new Brave’s Stadium complex, learn more, here.

The message seems clear; we no longer need separation between land uses. More is more.

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