Home > Our Philosophy > Living Streets, 5/1/05
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The Greens and Commons of Broughton Create a Milieu for Close Relations Among Neighbors.

  Craftsman Exemplar Jack Carr practices his trade at the entry to Colleyville’s Broughton neighborhood.

Living Streets is a concept of the New Urbanism movement intended to create better communities. According to Colleyville Developer David Bagwell, "'Living Streets' are all about beauty and interest. They encourage people, who would walk miles for pleasure in the countryside, to enjoy a stroll through their own neighborhood."

He explained that in his new Broughton development on Hall-Johnson Road in Colleyville traditional land planning concepts are blended with classic home designs to create venues for neighbors to meet and socialize. Consequently, Broughton streets are "alive", and so are the broad common areas to which many homes back.

"In planning Broughton," Bagwell says, "we considered the venerated Mariemont community near Cincinnati and Baltimore's timeless Guilford and Roland Park neighborhoods. Each has short streets that loop around green space with homesites located outside facing toward the green space. In concept, such ‘living’ streets have strong appeal, ideal for block parties, playing catch, kite flying, croquet, Frisbee, and such. However, the associated development costs gave us pause.

"Then, one summer evening, we stumbled upon a quiet neighborhood in Coppell with a looping street and homes facing onto a 'green'. There was a clutch of neighbors visiting in a driveway. Bicycles lay on their sides nearby, the riders engaged in a game of chase. A sneaker that lay just around the curve of the encircling street punctuated this halcyon scene, descriptive of our ambitions for Broughton. The spontaneous neighborhood get-together was like an animated Norman Rockwell painting. It made real what had only been conceptual before and inspired us to bring ‘life’ to a portion of Broughton by means of looping streets around 'greens'.

"Having long thought that common areas behind homesites in Dallas' historic Greenway Parks neighborhood also possess a special 'living' appeal, we resolved the geometry of Broughton so that our other homesites face on cul de sacs and back to 'commons' like those in Greenway Parks."

The Greens and Commons of Broughton create a milieu for close relations among neighbors. Extensive tree planting and the adoption of stringent architecture and landscaping standards have enhanced the pedestrian experience. Guidelines call for socialized landscape areas, like porches and terraces, in front of homes facing Broughton Greens, and homes backing to Broughton Commons are allowed only 'friendly' wrought iron fencing with soft landscaping instead of wood screening fences. As a result, Broughton feels warm and welcoming.

"In one of his 'On The Road' television essays, Charles Kuralt described people in this part of the country as neighborly and eager to get together," Bagwell recalls and added "Novelist Willie Morris wrote that in the South, perhaps more than any other region, people return to home in dreams and memories, hoping it remains what it was on a lazy summer day many years before."

People like Kuralt described are attracted to Broughton and are buying homes there. Bagwell believes their experiences living in Broughton will make it the beloved homeplace that Morris portrayed.

For more information, contact Susan Folkert at 214/673-6754 or go to www.bagwellcompany.com


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