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Communities of Watertown

Wacousta, Michigan

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Planning

Summary

In this planning project, Nederveld designed two alternate plans to create a series of hamlets on over 1,000 acres of land straddling the Looking Glass River. This property is near a highway interchange and is directly adjacent to a small mid-Michigan village. The two concepts essentially produced approximately the same number of residential units and the same diverse mix of retail, civic and residential types.

The difference in the two concepts was in the approach each took to integrate hamlets to preserve natural and rural habitats. One scheme utilized an Olmsteadian based design with curvilinear streets and an organic block structure, while the other scheme utilized a traditional mid-western small town block structure, based primarily on a gridded street system. These concepts allow the land owner to preserve both natural habitats along the river’s edge and rural habitats that can still be utilized with active agricultural pursuits.