Planned communities, planned city, or planned town is any community; that was meticulously planned from the start and is typically built on previously undeveloped land. In contrast, settlements evolve in a more haphazard and organic manner.

The term “new town” refers to planned communities associated with the new towns movement, primarily in the United Kingdom. It was also common during the European colonization of the Americas to build according to a plan; either on virgin land or on the ruins of previous Native American villages.

Master Planned Communities

Master-planned communities are a type of development that is envisioned and delivered as a self-contained; unified community with clear boundaries and a comprehensive range of land uses, employment opportunities, and public facilities and services. Furthermore, master-planned communities are frequently built on the outskirts of existing metropolitan areas, and as a result; they are frequently associate with sprawl.

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There is no universally accepted definition of master-planned communities. Indeed, master-planned communities have been known by a variety of other names over the years, including new towns; model cities, planned communities, and Planned Unit Development. Furthermore, most master-planned communities will have a consistent design character while allowing for some variation in design styles, home sizes; prices, and lot sizes to cater to multiple segments of the market and allow for the diversity that can help create a sense of community.

Although master-planned communities are frequently developed by a single entity; many developers will allow separate builders to create these smaller subdivisions; so that each one is unique and offers residents something different from the others.

While some master-planned communities embody the most contentious and troublesome aspects of single-family residential developments; many master-planned communities are designed to incorporate multiple uses, providing easy access and proximity to residential neighborhoods; commercial and retail districts, as well as shared community centers, park and open space for recreation, and public facilities and infrastructure.

Master-planned community example

Many master-planned communities can be found all over the world, including many urban and suburban areas in the United States. Among them are the following:

#1. The Woodlands in the Houston metropolitan area:

The Woodlands, which spans 27,000 acres, was built in 1974 to meet the needs of Houston’s growing population. Also, it now has six championship golf courses, a 200-acre lake, 100 miles of trails, 80 parks, a 17,000-seat amphitheater, a large shopping mall, a conference center, and numerous other amenities.

#2. Central Florida’s Villages:

The Villages bill itself as an active adult retirement community, and residents must be at least 55 years old. Golf, tennis, town squares, shops, fitness centers, restaurants, entertainment venues, pools, social clubs, and also other amenities are available.

#3. Savannah Quarters in Savannah, Georgia: 

Savannah Quarters is made up of several distinct residential neighborhoods that are separated by waterways, parks, and green spaces. Furthermore, there is a commercial district as well as amenities such as golf courses, tennis courts, parks, a spa, and a fitness center. Subdivisions are a similar term in the planning and land use lexicon to master-planned communities also.

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Best Master Planned Communities

A luxury master-planned community is simply the best place for families who want to live a once-in-a-lifetime lifestyle on a daily basis. Furthermore, this type of community is design with its residents in mind, and it provides all the amenities and benefits you could want. Moreover, these luxury communities provide beautiful homes as well as a vibrant social life for both adults and children. Discover what the country’s top master-planned communities have to offer residents and why you should consider buying property in one.

#1. The Cliffs in North and South Carolina

The Cliffs feature seven master-planned communities tucked into three distinct regions, each within minutes of America’s favorite small towns and dreamy Southern cities, including Asheville, Greenville, and Clemson. Also, choose between living near Asheville, on the shores of beautiful Lake Keowee, or surrounded by the famous Blue Ridge Mountains.

#2. Fenwick Island’s Bayside, Delaware

The Bayside neighborhood is perfectly located in the quiet resort town of Fenwick Island, close to everything the area has to offer. Also, Fenwick Island is a beautiful coastal destination with a variety of activities. This lovely master-planned community has a Jack Nicklaus golf course, a health club, an aquatic center, and an outdoor swimming pool complex. The clubhouse hosts a variety of community events and activities, as well as a restaurant, bar, and golf shop adjacent to the course. You have access to the bay as a resident, where you can participate in watersports during the summer.

#3. Governor’s Land in Williamsburg, Virginia

The Governor’s Land, located in Virginia’s beautiful and tranquil Two Rivers region, is an ideal retreat where retirees and diverse families have come to appreciate its beauty and also its tranquility.

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This master-planned community, located just minutes from the heart of beautiful Williamsburg, embodies the charm and ambiance of the historic city. Furthermore, the community itself features sweeping waterfront views, a marina, a private beach, and a golf course designed by Tom Fazio.

#4. Victory Ranch in Kamas, Utah

Explore the master-planned community of Victory Ranch near Park City, Utah, to take in the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Because of the area’s location, there are endless outdoor adventures for people of all ages and throughout the year. Wakeboard at a nearby reservoir, then clay shoot at the community range, or tubing down the Provo River.

#5. Scottsdale, Arizona’s Desert Mountain

In the Sonoran Desert, there is a community with not one, not two, but seven golf courses. Arizona, like the Carolinas, takes golf seriously, so this should come as no surprise to anyone who is familiar with the state. Desert Mountain, a Scottsdale, Arizona community, is a beautiful desert oasis. All members of the community, including adults and children, are also welcome to attend events on a monthly calendar. Desert Mountain members and their guests can also enjoy a variety of events and activities throughout the year.

#6.  Whitetail Club, McCall, Idaho

The Whitetail Club in McCall, Idaho, the inspiration by the natural beauty of the area. From acclaimed ski runs to ancient hot springs, the seasons provide numerous opportunities for adventure and relaxation. However, McCall’s high mountains, glacier-carved lakes, and hot springs are more than just a picturesque backdrop; they are your personal year-round playground. In the midst of thousands of acres of wilderness, Whitetail Club provides every luxury while encouraging an active lifestyle.

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#7. Boot Ranch in Fredericksburg, Texas.

A lake, green rolling hills, and a golf practice facility on 34 acres are just a few of the benefits of living at Boot Ranch. This master-planned community is ideal for families because of all the activities available. Children can participate in a variety of summer camps, while adults can visit the golf course. The Ranch Club, which is located in the community, has several sports courts, swimming pools, a fitness center, and a beautiful pavilion for summer fun.

Best-Planned Communities

Many seniors are flocking to Master Planned Communities (MPCs) for social interaction. By encouraging a nostalgic sense of neighborly kindness and interaction, residents can find true comfort within the community. To include and connect neighbors, the Retirement Community centers will frequently host events for residents, such as weekly local farmer’s markets. Cycling, golfing, jogging, and equestrian paths and courses also physically connect the residents of the mini-town.

The list of extraordinary amenities allows neighbors to bond over shared interests, whether they are old or new. Master Planned Communities focus on keeping you and your loved ones in your happy place together, whether it’s sharing a glass of wine with friends in California or learning how to shoot skeet in Texas.

#1. Woodside

Aiken, SC Homes: $325K – $750K Lots: $40K – $100K

Woodside is a master-planned, lifestyle community located in Aiken, South Carolina, which was given Southern Living Magazine’s “2018 Best Small Town”, and has been given three other awards including “The South’s Friendliest Town”, “Second Best Food Town” and “Second Best Hotel”, which was awarded to the Willcox.

#2. Island of Dataw

Dataw Island, South Carolina Homes range in price from $200K to $1.5M, and lots range in price from $35K to $200K.

There is a spot off the coast of South Carolina, near the charming town of Beaufort, where nature and luxury coexist. Also, the SC gated golf community of Dataw Island is a pristine parcel of 870 acres waiting to be discovered, shaped by the Intracoastal Waterway and rich Southern history.

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#3. Bayside

Shelbyville, DE Homes, Villas from $400K – $2M

Bayside is an award-winning classic beach resort community developed by Carl M. Freeman Companies, a regionally renowned developer. Tree-lined streets showcase a community of stunning homes, all inspired by the coastal towns of New England.

#4. The Retreat at Ocean Isle Beach

Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina Homes starting at $280K

The Retreat at Ocean Isle Beach is a unique community located just one mile from Ocean Isle Beach’s beautiful sand and waves. Residents of The Retreat are uniquely situate within walking distance of the local grocery store, fantastic restaurants, and charming shops that make Ocean Isle Beach so desirable.

#5. Savannah Quarters

Pooler, GA Homes and Town homes: $300,000 – $1,000,000 Lots: $125,000 – $250,000.

Savannah Quarters is located just minutes from historic Savannah, and it combines beautiful homes and outstanding amenities with a vibrant club experience to create a one-of-a-kind lifestyle. Graceful, well-kept landscaping in a lovely Lowcountry setting creates the ideal setting for residents to build their dream home.

#6. Rarity Bay

 Vonore, TN Homes, Townhomes, Condos: $139.9K – $2.8M Lots: $20K – $595K

The Smoky Mountains’ undulating vistas provide an idyllic backdrop to life at Rarity Bay on Tellico Lake. This gated lakefront community, located approximately 40 miles southwest of Knoxville, provides space for the growth and exploration of the region’s iconic wilderness.

#7. Tellico Village

Homes and townhomes in Loudon, TN range in price from $225K to $1.5M, with lots ranging in price from $4,500 to $500K.

Tellico Village is Eastern Tennessee’s premier active-adult community for retirees and remote workers of all ages looking to take advantage of the region’s finest collection of resort-style amenities.

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#8. Del Webb Wilmington

 Wilmington, NC Ranch homes starting from the upper $200K

Del Webb Wilmington, located in the master-planned River lights community, offers resort-style amenities to active adults aged 55 and up. There will be an indoor and outdoor pool, walking trails, tennis and pickleball courts, and social clubs for residents to enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a planned community work?

They are purposefully designed, self-sufficient areas that combine housing, infrastructure, education, work, and leisure, – as opposed to residential suburbs, which grow organically and reactively over time.

Are planned communities good?

Though planned communities are popular throughout the country, they are especially popular in the south and coastal states, with the top-selling communities located in Texas, Florida, and California. They’re often able to simply enjoy everything the community has to offer, as well as the lifestyle that comes with it.

What is it like to live in a planned community?

Lack of Privacy: From block parties to resident events to schools and amenities, residents of master-planned communities are often tightly-knit, which can be both a pro and a con, as you may feel unable to escape the busyness of life within the community.

What was the first planned community in the United States?

Riverside, Illinois (USA)

Riverside was designed by the famous Central Park designers Frederic Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in 1869 on a tract about a half-hour train ride from Chicago. The pastoral vision of the duo became the nation’s first planned community.

Why is it important to have planned communities?

Living in a master-planned community allows homeowners to spend less time running errands and more time enjoying themselves. MPCs are designed to put residents in close proximity to everything they might need, from commercial goods to health care and education.

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