The Village of River Ranch
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
Size: 324 acres
2000 AIA Louisiana Award of Merit for Planning
2000 APA Louisiana President’s Award
“The Village of River Ranch represents a trend in town planning that has been growing over the past couple of decades: traditional neighborhood developments, or TNDs. These mixed-use throwbacks to pre-World War II times are popular for the proximity of retail space and office space to residential areas, thus creating pedestrian-friendly towns where people can work and run errands within the community. TNDs also contain amenities such as parks and civic space.” – Creating Great Town Centers and Urban Villages
This development is the largest residential development in the history of Lafayette and the first one of its kind in the state of Louisiana. Business, retail and residential functions will co-exist in a small town fashion, facilitated by the implementation of mixed-use building codes. The way these model small towns developed more than one hundred years ago were a matter of what made sense; what best accommodated the daily life of the individual.
Most municipalities have utility and setback regulations based on the old subdivision models of the 1940’s and ‘50’s. These regulating standards will not support the neo-traditional model and must be revised. The codes adopted for the Village of River Ranch are specific to the desired indigenous character of the development, all to ensure continuity and harmony.
Human response has been conditioned over the last fifty years to revolve around the automobile. While the car has afforded great convenience, it has also managed to take the “humanness” out of our communities and civility out of our lives. The complexity of healthy town planning required a thorough and diverse approach to properly address the process of problem identification and appropriate solution orientation.