Trail Systems As MPC Amenities
Must-have amenities for appealing master-planned communities have changed over the past several years. These days, an increased desire for social interactions, combined with the need to build and maintain neighborhood connections are leading the demand for more inclusive amenities, such as well-thought-out trail systems.
Here are other factors driving the need for inclusion of on-site, master-planned community trail networks.
Younger homeowners. Millennials have been a driving force in shaping housing trends, with the younger Generation Z population not far behind. These younger adults want to be outdoors, and they want to be moving—and as they become homeowners, they expect to do both. According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, younger adults indicated they’d be more likely to move to a community with parks and walking trails.
Pet ownership. The 2021-2022 National Pet Owners Survey reported that 70% of U.S. households (90.5 million families) own a pet. Out of that total, 69 million households have at least one dog. Additionally, the National Association of Realtors’ “Animal House: Remodeling Impact” survey indicated that 54% of pet owners want homes near a walking path.
Human connections. People are hard-wired to connect with others. Community trail systems promote socialization; the relative ease of these paths allows residents of all ages and physical abilities to take part. This was especially apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Quarantines and lockdowns drove many to trails, especially when city-run parks and outdoor facilities were closed. During the worst of the pandemic, people could meet outdoors while observing social distance protocols.
Better health. People want to take better care of themselves. Scenic trails within a master-planned community are an easy and very convenient way to be active. Many trails are situated literally steps away from homes, encouraging residents to walk during the middle of the day, after work, or over the weekend. The more they walk, the healthier they become. And healthier residents can lead to better, stronger communities.
Trail systems are becoming highly sought-after amenities within communities due to their inclusivity, availability and connectivity. Such trails help increase physical and mental health, while promoting connections between neighbors, all of which helps create locations where people want to live.