By Melinda S. Howlett
I recently had the opportunity to attend a “Meet the Planner” event at the new Stapleton Visitor Center in Conservatory Green neighborhood: It was an update by Peter Calthorpe, Stapleton’s master land planner, hired by Forest City!
Peter Calthorpe talked about Stapleton residents living the 12% model, which is being adopted in new communities all over the world. This is not really a new idea, but fashioned after the “streetcar neighborhoods” of the 1940s and 1950s – neighborhoods people could reach by a short streetcar ride from downtown areas.
But the most successful part of our Stapleton neighborhood is the gathering places that encourage inclusiveness and socializing. Stapleton has been hugely successful and those of us living here, do enjoy the community spirit this brings. Mr. Calthorpe talked about how he is disappointed that there isn’t more retail interest in the Eastbridge Town Center. He said that is a struggle because of the movement to giant box stores as opposed to the mom & pop shops in older neighborhoods. However, there are hopeful signs that progress is being made toward attracting additional interest.
Attending this event, immediately took me back to the beginning of Stapleton, sitting in the original Visitor Center in early 2002 and hearing about the master plan for the community. I worked for Wonderland Homes at the time and thought it all sounded great on paper.
Today, I can say it has been amazing to watch Stapleton evolve and change over the past 11 years, and I have loved calling it both my home and workplace!