A planned community has numerous advantages over natural development. High population density means a smaller footprint per person on the land. On-site conveniences such as groceries, banks, and salons can save time and reduce automobile use. Residents may enjoy the services of a property manager and close relationships with their neighbors (for better or for worse). With smaller private homes and yards, and more shared amenities, individuals living on a given budget may enjoy a higher quality of life than they could otherwise.
The disadvantages, I think, are mainly cultural. Living in a planned community with shared property and bylaws means giving up some personal freedom, which is not an ideal arrangement for everybody. There’s also the issue of exclusivity. Strong relationships within a planned community may come at the expense of the larger community. Established residents surrounding a new development might resent its artificial origin, and the different opinions of a new (voting) population.
According to an article on Curbed, Brickmill Meadows is a proposed planned community in Monroe, Oregon with the innovation of filling the individual plots with tiny houses. The developer, Tiny SMART House, is holding open houses and Q+A sessions with residents to make sure the development has a positive impact on the town. This seems like the right way to go about building a planned community, and I’m excited to see how it goes.
(I’ve previously written about the pocket neighborhood, which is a smaller, less impactful version of planned community.)