Departures magazine recently celebrated its 30th anniversary with an issue dedicated to visionary people and projects in sustainability. The issue contains a number of profiles on people and places working to make cities more efficient, develop solutions to over-tourism, and create products more responsibly.
“It was really important for us to celebrate Departures’ 30 years by looking forward at what the next 30 years could bring. We are in a time when how we travel, shop, eat and engage with the world has real impact on the health of the planet and all of us who live on it,” said EIC Jeffries Blackerby.
Developments with a Small Town Feel and Connection to Nature
Las Catalinas was featured in an article from this edition titled “A Little Bit Country” by Chris Pomorski. The article focuses on a new trend in upscale development where projects focus on cultivating a small-town feel and a connection to the natural world throughout.
It’s a trend that represents a slight shift from the ‘bigger and brighter = better’ perspective that has at times dominated upscale developments. For these new places, Pomorski explains, thoughtful and attentive service as well as world-class amenities can come to life in a place that still feels homey and in touch with the environment.
The article focuses on the Silo Ridge Field Club in the Hudson Valley, Las Catalinas, Serenbe, outside of Atlanta, and Hudson Woods in the Catskills, exploring the different ways that these developments offer an alternative with a small town feel. Walkability, face to face interaction, and spending time in nature are heavily emphasized, which is called “the ballet of the sidewalk” by one developer.
Walkability and Connection to Nature in Las Catalinas
Las Catalinas was offered as one of a few exemplary destinations created a mostly car-free town, with a quote from Las Catalinas founder Charles Brewer that focused on how the way of life changes with such a simple detail.
“It’s safe for your kids. There’s a sense of freedom. Everyone gets the benefit of this natural sociability that happens in that kind of setting. It’s hard to come by in today’s world.”
Pomorski concludes by expressing one view on what makes these towns so desirable right now. To him, these projects represent an escape to simpler times, where things were a bit simpler. Life is better as a kid, he explains, and these new developments capture that ease and simplicity for adults of every age.
This article can be found in the September issue of Departures magazine.
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