One of the things that often quickly separates a new development from an established neighborhood is the greenery. Typically, new subdivisions are built after bulldozing most if not all existing trees. Then the homes look bare, until a few decades go by and the area looks "established.
The new Vickery development, however, "appears to be brand-spanking-new, which is true. The community, which eventually will total 600 residences with office and retail space, began in 2003," writes columnist Maria Saporta at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "On the other hand, the development feels as though it's been there awhile, playing off many of the smart-growth principles that resemble a more historic community.
"But one major feature that gives the Vickery community a lived-in feeling is its trees and green space."
That's not simply good luck. Developer Pam Sessions said that plans for siting houses and roads were often readjusted to save existing trees. And, her company spent $20,000 transplanting 44 mature trees within the neighborhood, incuding oak, birch, cherry, magnolia, hemlock and maple.
"All the trees make such a big difference," she told the Journal-Constitution. "They make it feel like the community is established. . . . Building great neighborhoods is profitable. When more developers realize that, we all will be better off." Indeed.