Neo-Traditional Community Review
Har-Ber Meadows:
Salvation by Architecture
Springdale, Arkansas
(Fayetteville Metropolitan Area)

  • Size: 460 acres, including green belts and parks.

  • Planned development: 550 detached houses and up to 200 apartments. Development appears to be less than 20 percent complete in February 2000.

  • Changes to plan: Sales personnel indicate that apartments are not likely to be built, but that some detached housing may be offered instead as attached (town house) development.

  • A sign at the entrance to the community indicates: "Har-Ber Meadows is a Master Planned Community designed to restore traditional values of families and friends in neighborhood living." This seems a rather grandiose goal. Once achieved, it is hoped that the secret will be shared with the world's religions.

  • Neo-Traditional Rating: 1.00 (substantially fails to achieve neo-traditional ideals) on a scale of 1 to 5.
Criteria Objective Case Rating
Walkable Community Stores within walking distance (1/4 mile) of all residences. Up to 20 percent of residences within walking distance of some of the commercial district. No residences within walking distance of all of the commercial establishments. 1
Transit Oriented Development Automobile competitive transit service providing service to entire urban area No transit service 1
Housing Prices Mix of housing prices, including low cost housing. House prices are generally well above median price for the area. 1
Density 7 housing units per acre minimum (12,000 per square mile) Estimated 1.6 units per acre (2,700 per square mile, 23 percent of the 12,000 objective). 1
Impact on Suburbanization Infill -- does not contribute to suburbanization Greenfield --- contributes to suburbanization 1
Balance of jobs and residences Community provides a balance of jobs and residences, reducing the necessity to commute by automobile Few commercial jobs planned: generally low wage retail jobs that could not support the high costs of home ownership in this development. 1
Market oriented development No subsidies or tax breaks Unknown ---
Composite Rating 1.00
Rating System:

5: Substantially Exceeds Objective

4: Exceeds Objective

3: Meets Objective

2: Fails to Meet Objective

1: Substantially Fails to Meet Objective

Nothing in this review is meant to suggest that any neo-traditional development is not a desirable community. Most are well designed and attractive. To the extent that any such development fails to achieve neo-traditional (new urbanist) objectives is more than likely a reflection that the objectives themselves are impractical and largely unachievable in an environment that depends upon consumer choice in a free market.

Map: Top=North
Yellow: Single Family Housing
Pink: Commercial
Grey: Parking Adjacent to Apartments

"designed to restore traditional values of families and friends"

Street scene.

Central green

Street scene

(c) 2000 --- Wendell Cox Consultancy --- Permission granted to use with attribution.
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