What is a Planned Community?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2019
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A planned community or new town is a town which is built entirely from scratch. Before construction begins, however, the town is carefully mapped out by planners who want to shape the look, feel, and future of the community. The community may have a specific purpose, such as serving as an entirely deaf town or ecological community, or it may simply be an attempt at developing sensibly. In order for this type of community to succeed, it must have a strong financial backing and a rich diversity of input from planners and potential citizens.

Other alternate names for a planned community include garden city or greenbelt city. As these names imply, these areas are often designed to have a great deal of public green space in the form of parks, big lots with roomy gardens, and buffer zones of trees and meadows. The proliferation of green space can make it feel more roomy and park-like, two traits which some people actively seek out in places to live.


When setting up a planned community, the planners think about the population that the community needs to support, and the potential for expansion. They usually design a range of homes to choose from and make provisions for low income housing. In addition, the plan needs to include supporting infrastructure. The planners think about power supply, law enforcement, water, education, health care, and other needs of the citizens. The establishment of a commercial district within a planned community, for example, ensures that citizens will have access to the goods and supplies that they need. It is also typical to include public transit, community centers, and other measures designed to build a more interconnected community.

The idea of a planned community is a very old one. The Ancient Greeks established several new cities from scratch, as did other European cultures during the Middle Ages. Several national capitals are planned communities, including Canberra, Australia, and the United States capital in Washington, D.C. The forethought of the city planners can be seen in these communities, which include lush expanses of open space, ample public facilities, and well designed public buildings. Typically, these communities also include limitations on industry and new development, ensuring that the intent of the community is kept pure.

New planned communities are constantly being organized all over the world. Those which are being developed with a specific focus are usually well publicized, to encourage people with similar interests to work together, while others are more generic and open to all. Participating in a planned community from the start can be an interesting and empowering experience, as you will directly shape the future of your town.


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