Following on from my post yesterday on the talk by Hank Dittmar, I thought I would have a look at the neighbourhood that I live in to show how it does against the 5 minute pint test. First a little bacground, I live out west nearby the Sturges Rd train station, the area was developed about 10-15 years ago and before that was farmland. Here is an image of what it used to look like from 1996:
But now it is much more developed and along with the housing we have things like schools, parks and even a community centre which I have highlighted in the image below. I live in that area covered by the blue dot.
I like my area but there is one problem, it completely fails the 5 minute pint test as while quite a bit of housing was put in and the place is generally fairly nice to walk around, no thought appears to have been given to serving the needs of the residents of the new houses. The only place in the area to get a bottle of milk is the shops at the bottom of image which for me works out as roughly a 15 minute walk away, not surprisingly most people drive there. Things are even worse if I wanted a pint of beer with the closest location being in Henderson although I’m not too sure I would want to have one there.
To me a logical place for some shops to be would be around the school. Drawing a ~500m circle around that zone and the zone of the existing shops to roughly represent a 5 minute walk. That gives us the image below and I was surprised by just how little cross over there was.
The circle I live in contains about 600 houses and 2000 people so the question really is if that is enough to support some commercial development. It probably makes things harder to do now considering all of the sections have been developed. To me it just shows how vital it is that when we build suburbs that we do so in a way that at least allows for things like shops to be easily integrated into the community so that not everyone has to drive to get somewhere. For me, I guess I’ll just keep dreaming that my home could pass the 5 minute pint test.