The wellness community concept - the "Serenbe" example
Wellness communities are a $185 billion industry worldwide, according to American business commentators, who say developers are increasingly investing in neighbourhoods dedicated to holistic health and wellbeing. One of the best known such developments in the United States is Serenbe, an eco-friendly, self-sustainable “intentional” community 48km from downtown Atlanta.
Founders Steve and Marie Nygren say they built the community in an effort to protect the beautiful rural land just outside of Atlanta known as Chattahoochee Hill Country. Serenbe’s founded on the principles of community, green space and sustainability. They built the first home in 2004 and today over 400 people live there. But it doesn’t look like a typical, modern residential development. There’s a mix of architecture but no “McMansions.” The New York Times called it a “utopian experiment in new urbanism being moulded out of Georgia red clay.” Side note - Serenbe even has it's own newspaper.
Serenbe is comprised of four neighbourhoods. Each has its own complementary “commercial” centre including a bakery, a salon and a dog grooming business. There are also top class restaurants, an art farm, regular community events and of course schools.
But there are no driveways - Serenbe’s built for people not cars. And you won’t see any rubbish bins spilling over on the roadside. They’re cleverly hidden under manholes in the ground.
Hear what founder Steve Ngren has to say about his award winning community.