Tuesday February 20, 2024.

Cars, Kids, and Quality of Life 


From time to time, Charles Brewer, founder of Las Catalinas, asks residents and guests, "Do you wish cars were allowed on the streets here in Las Catalinas, so you could park right at your house?" The response to his question is usually laughter. For most people, the question itself appears absurd. Once you have gotten into a routine, and individuals witness the advantages of not having cars on the streets, the significance of this choice to our quality of life becomes unmistakable. As Montaña Flats is introduced as a new purchasing option in our car-free community just across the street from Beach Town, we explore the benefits of living car-free. 




Enhanced Safety for Our Loved Ones 


The absence of cars eliminates the risk of accidents, a critical factor, particularly for the safety of children. Additionally, without vehicles, many crimes requiring getaway vehicles become significantly more challenging to execute. 



Upholding Beauty 


Las Catalinas is known for its stunning plazas and architecture and envisioning them cluttered with parked cars is a disheartening thought. While efforts can be made to beautify parking areas, there is a limit to what can be achieved. Picture your favorite restaurant in Las Catalinas with a parking lot in the plaza in front – it is a scene we would rather avoid. This principle extends to our streets, which are meticulously designed for pedestrians, not vehicles. By prioritizing people over cars, it makes a tremendous difference to the beauty of town. 




Maximizing Space 


When considering the space needed for parking, maneuvering, and safety buffers around buildings, the land area required for a neighborhood significantly increases with the addition of cars. This results in everything being twice as distant, with only half as many attractions within easy walking distance. This shift has profound implications for accessibility and community dynamics. 


Enhancing Sociability Through Walkability 


Reflecting on the importance of pedestrian-friendly environments, Las Catalinas founder Charles Brewer emphasizes the impact of the first few steps of every journey being on foot. Recalling visiting East Lake Commons, a co-housing development in Atlanta for the first time in 2001, Brewer vividly recalls the sense of community fostered by the pedestrian-oriented design. Comparing it to his previous experiences in more car-centric neighborhoods, Brewer notes, “On my first visit I think I met more people in my first hour there than did in my first five years in a more typical Atlanta neighborhood.” This insight shows the significance of walkability in enhancing social interaction and community building. 


Quiet Tranquility 


Removing cars means we have removed car sounds. You will not hear mufflers, engines revving, or honking. Instead, take a moment to absorb the sounds of nature - the lull of the sea, the chirping of birds, the playful chatter of monkeys and frogs, and the laughter of people. 


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Architectural Aesthetics 


Without the need to accommodate garages, designing aesthetically pleasing homes becomes much easier. The smaller the lot, the more you value the space you get back, and the flexibility in design. 


Environmental Benefits 


Compact urban planning is a key factor in environmental conservation. Compact communities help preserve ecosystems, enhance air and water quality, and reduce resource consumption. Embracing a car-free lifestyle amplifies all these benefits, paving the way for a greener, more sustainable future. 


Enhancing Wellness with Movement 


The health advantages of walking are indisputable. Fresh air and sunshine are beneficial, as is regular exercise and human interaction. Moreover, the socializing that naturally occurs while walking in a place like Las Catalinas further contributes to overall well-being 




Undoubtedly, it is the children who benefit from walkability. In Las Catalinas, kids can truly be kids. They can freely venture out to play, explore, visit friends, enjoy the playground, order an ice cream cone, climb trees in Plaza Danta, construct forts in the beachfront park, chat with security personnel, chase iguanas, frolic in the fountain at Plaza Escondida, hunt for frogs, and interact with monkeys—all on their own. For children aged three to sixteen, who typically have limited opportunities for such independent adventures in today's world, this freedom is profoundly significant. 


Not only children benefit from walkability because fun, beauty, sociability, and safety are not just for kids. However, it is crucial to prioritize the child's experience in our thinking about Las Catalinas. They endure the most of the isolated, drive-everywhere, chauffeured play-date culture that prevails in many places. At Las Catalinas, we have crafted an antidote to that, offering a wonderful way of life for adults as well. 


If you are interested in purchasing a home in our car-free community, contact our Residential Sales Team or book a one-on-one video call to learn more about the newly released Montaña Flats and more.