Planned communities like Gran Pacifica in Nicaragua are successful examples of what has been termed the New Urbanism in Nicaragua.
This emerging 21st-century concept is of particular significance in Latin America where traditional urbanization contributed to the extensive sprawl epitomized by mega-cities such as Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City.
The Concrete Jungle Migrates
Even in less urbanized locales, communities have too often been a victim of their own success. In Central America, some places have come to look a lot like the Florida coasts where high-rise condos blot out the view for others. When growth is not sufficiently controlled, paradise can begin to look like the very cities that newcomers seek refuge from.
The End of Commuting
In Nicaragua's New Urbanism, the intent is, in part, to drive a stake into the old commuting lifestyle. The goal is to promote the idea of living in close proximity to one's place of employment. Undoubtedly, the proliferation of the Internet and cloud computing makes this concept more viable than ever.
Consultants, for example, have long enjoyed the capacity to work "outside the office." Now, this lifestyle is expanding as workers and the enterprises that employ them take to the Web.
When motorists no longer sit in traffic jams during 45-minute commutes, time is freed up to pause and casually engage neighbors as they walk to work or stroll about the community. As neighbors gain familiarity with each other, the community becomes stronger and more tightly woven. The notion of "neighborhood" makes a comeback, after being on the defensive literally for decades.
Investors Take Note
The hazards of runaway speculation in vacation and retirement real estate became all too apparent when the real estate "bubble" burst in the United States in and around 2008. Some Florida oceanfront high-rises are burdened by the damage done by excess speculation to this day.
Today, the enhanced stability of investment in sustainable, neighborhood-style properties is attracting more investor interest. Those burned by the high-rise price crash in the United States several years ago are discovering that Nicaragua's New Urbanism offers a real alternative.
Shop Where You Live
Modern communities like Gran Pacifica promote the support of local businesses as well. Residents can often walk to the shops and restaurants that they want to visit. Oftentimes, shop owners live right among their patrons in the community. Again, neighbors support neighbors, and everyone benefits.
If communities like Gran Pacifica, along Nicaragua's Pacific shoreline, can succeed, the concrete jungle will not migrate to where it is unwanted. Instead, a sustainable paradise will remain thanks to New Urbanism in Nicaragua.