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Two decades later, DFW’s first realized New Urbanist development is still a model for success

Mark Meyer

The first realized New Urbanist development in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, HomeTown elegantly combines comfort, safety and natural beauty with the warmth and charm of classic American neighborhoods.

It’s been almost 20 years since TBG embarked upon the 800-acre traditional neighborhood development (TND) in North Richland Hills, Texas. What started as a joint venture with Duany Plater-Zybeck, later became a TBG-led effort to create the traditional American neighborhood. Developed by Arcadia Realty Corporation, they began to look at some of the trends happening in community development and realized they were ready to take it in a new direction. What they envisioned was a neighborhood with a diversity of architecture – rowhomes, townhomes, multi-family, and single-family homes – with a walkable downtown where people could meet on the street or the front porch and get to know their neighbors.

The result was a higher density design within the development that created opportunities for people to socialize and connect more than having their own private yard. HomeTown’s pedestrian-oriented framework encourages walkability and informal daily interaction, resulting in a welcoming setting where friends and neighbors are one and the same.

A few other amenities the neighborhood has to offer include a 25-acre park system with 8 acres of lakes, waterfalls and trails as well as schools, a library, retail stores, water parks, hockey rinks and so much more.

When compared to traditional neighborhood developments now, it’s easy to see that HomeTown was ahead of its time and has helped advance the call for more thoughtful and responsible development within the North Texas Region. In 2017, the Texas chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) designated HomeTown a “Great Neighborhood” as part of the Great Places in Texas awards which celebrates how planning has played a vital role where we live, work, and play.

As HomeTown continues to mature, we’re eager to learn from its successes and failures in the planning and design of communities – and how we can use this knowledge to improve our future communities and ensure they perform socially, economically and environmentally.