To cope with its ageing population, Atlanta has teamed up with a local university and a developer to build a $250 million town called Mado, which will provide 380 homes. Not a retirement community as such, the houses are built with features that will make it easier for the elderly to live in as they get older. These include step-free access and wide doorways, halls and staircases.
Results & Impact
Once completed, the 38,000 acre town is expected to house around 1,500. The town will also include art spaces, regular public events, seasonal markets and even a 25-acre organic farm. America's population is ageing rapidly. By 2050, an estimated 83.7 million people in the US will be over the age of 65, almost double 2012 figures
The state government of Atlanta, the University of Atlanta and Serenbe
As Mado is a wholly new town on previously unbuilt land, the developer Serenbe has worked with the state government of Atlanta and the University of Atlanta to choose the site, connect it to roads and utilities, and to prepare new planning laws and zoning and tax regulations for homeowners in compliance with existing state laws. Funding for Mado has come primarily from private investors
Cost & Value
The development is worth $250 million, and the homes range from $300,000 to more than $1,000,000
Because there was no available legal blueprint for creating a new town from scratch, the University of Atlanta worked with Serenbe to devise a regulatory framework for how the town would operate
A public-private partnership aims to solve the lack of housing suitable for the elderly by building an entire new town on the outskirts of Atlanta.
Not a retirement community as such, the 38,000 acre town will house residents who are still of working age but want homes that will still easy to live in as they age. The town will also include art spaces, public events, seasonal markets and even a 25-acre organic farm.
“There is no national model for what we are trying to create,” said Steve Nyegren, whose company Serenbe is running the project. “We wanted to be able to manage every aspect, the food chain, food labelling. We want people to not just know the farmers, but learn about packaging, distributing and marketing. Our landscaping will all be edible and our residents will have access to seasonal food.”
The community, called Mado, will provide 380 homes and has been created by a collaboration between Serenbe, Atlanta University and the city of Atlanta. Because there was no legal blueprint for creating a town from scratch, the university worked out a regulatory framework, while the city passed zoning and tax laws for Mado. The city is also responsible for connecting the town to utilities like water and electricity.
When completed, Mado will include townhouses, cottages and loft apartments that can all be easily retrofitted for an older generation. The homes will be built with step-free access, wide doorways, halls and staircases. Homes will cost between $300,000 and $800,000, and rental spaces will be available at $1,000 a month. The town will also sell plots of land for people to design and build their own houses. It will host an arts institute that will be funded by one percent of every home sold and three percent of any undeveloped land sold.
Coping with the specialist needs of an ageing population is a growing challenge for US cities. By 2050, an estimated 83.7 million people in the US will be over the age of 65, almost double 2012 figures. Ageing also brings an epidemic of isolation, exacerbated by bereavement. One recent study by the University of California, San Francisco showed that 43% of those surveyed admitted to feeling lonely on a regular basis.
(Photo: Flickr/ Tax Credits)