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Finally--a third way to build neighborhoods.

Executive Summary

Hometown a unique third way to build neighborhoods that adds real value.  Here are the three ways.  First, sprawl or conventional design dominated neighborhood layout since WWII.  Second, new urbanism emerged as a resurrection of historical small town design.  Third, psychologist inventor Flanders reverse engineered Hometown Neighborhood Design to more directly satisfy basic human needs.

Real value added.  Nationwide surveys show Hometown adds 22% to the value of the same housing over conventional or sprawl design, the way most all new housing is currently built.

Hometown a truly unique third way to build neighborhoods.  Hometown design comprises a unique and specific neighborhood arrangement as validated by the highest authority in the land—the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which issued Patent No. 6688052 to Dr. Flanders for Hometown design on February 10, 2004.

Creating the model.  Dr. Flanders created Hometown using a new model.  Most neighborhoods take their design from (a) zoning ordinances, (b) tradition or what  builders customarily construct,  or (c) a standard broad category such as sprawl or village (small town or new urbanism) design.  Dr. Flanders asked different question:  “What if we start with basic human needs, then reverse engineer a neighborhood from  those needs?  After all, don't the best designs for airplane cockpits and automobiles use exactly this process?”

Dr. Flanders answered this question by starting with basic human needs--safety, socialization, and serenity.  Then he designed a unique neighborhood arrangement to optimize need satisfaction and named it “Hometown” for short.  He reasoned such a neighborhood should demonstrate a powerful advantage over other designs that satisfy basic human needs in less direct ways.

Hometown as a standalone neighborhood design in towns, cities, and counties.  This document and web site primarily concern Hometown as a standalone neighborhood design.  In addition, certain new urbanism designs can incorporate Hometown as a basic building block.

Governments would do well to require developments to at least consider Hometown Neighborhood Design as a possibility, along with the other two in their proposals, and encourage it when it works best.  Of course, no one design fits all building sites.  For example, in the hills and hollers areas of Warren County, MS, only ridge line or strip design is even possible!

Hometown works as an infill application, but only on a highly site-specific basis.

Hometown for churches and companies.  Hometown Neighborhood Design enhances small group and neighborhood ties so essential for, say, church organizations building a congregation or retirement community.

In the last 150 years, companies have got away from seeing that their employees have good housing.  Using Hometown Design, companies can partner with builders to make a special deal where employees get a superior place to live and make house payments via payroll deduction, creating a win win win situation for company, employees, and builder.

 Combining Hometown and new urbanism designs.  Hometown solves some basic problems such as safety from (actually quite deadly) vehicle traffic in some new urbanism designs.  Certain small units of new urbanism designs can benefit from incorporating Hometown design as basic building blocks.


Basic human needs.  Hometown design optimally satisfies safety, socialization, and serenity.

Safety.  In the age of “Homeland Security” what could be safer than a perimeter road and fence?  Hometown incorporates “defensible space” features such as Jane Jacobs’ famous “eyes on the street,” so it does not even require a gate.  By funneling vehicles from the perimeter road to serve residences via back streets adjacent to each residence, Hometown is made safe, and the interior becomes totally vehicle free.  No child will ever get hit by a vehicle and become one of the 43,000+ traffic deaths each year in the U.S.  Hometown finally solves the age-old problem of mixing traffic and people in residential neighborhoods in a genuinely new way.  No prior design has done this.  Improved safety benefits children and elderly.

Military housing benefits from superior safety design.  See the March/April 2005 edition of Defense Communities.

Socialization Hometown creates an instant community by placing new residents in an unmistakable U-shaped grouping of residences that face each other around a common territory, the block park. All residences have the essential semi-private and semi-public transition zones, such as porches and sidewalks, known to enhance neighborliness but omitted in sprawl design.  Hometown provides an informal gathering place absent or limited in most developments, such as the upscale clubhouse where gatherings must be scheduled.  Hometown allows older folks to live independently for an additional decade with neighbors and even kids around, factors known to prolong life, in a non-institutional setting.  The mammoth Age Wave is cresting, and these older folks have cash.

Serenity.  Hometown is a park, even with just grass planted in the open areas.


Builders and developers.  Builders and developers gain a competitive advantage by enlisting Dr. Flanders to create a custom Hometown design with their buildings on their site.

Patent No. 6688052
Executive Summary
Scholarly Details