With Porches And Parks, A Texas Community Aims For Urban Utopia

John Burnett, an NPR correspondent located in Austin, reported on the development of Mueller. The 700 acre master-planned and designed neighborhood is located just three miles from Downtown Austin, where the Robert Mueller Municipal Airport once stood.

Burnett considers it to be “The product of the ‘new-urbanism’ concept: the idea that a built environment can create meaningful community.” It is described as a place where people know their neighbors and every single-family house has a garage in the back and a porch in the front. He explains “One of the criticisms of new urbanism is that its communities look too much like a movie set — too quaint, too utopic. Yet Mueller feels real, with its ample greenways, eclectic yard art and Craftsman-style homes built with lots of native limestone”.

The area also features 13 miles of walk and bike trails, resulting in residents spending less time driving and more time walking. They spend an average of 90 fewer minutes a week in the car, and most reported higher levels of physical activity after moving to Mueller, according to a poll taken by a research team from Texas A&M University. “Mueller seems to have it all: electric cars, solar panels, green buildings, walkability and native landscaping,” Burnett states.

You can read the full article or listen to the recording here.

Contributed By

John Burnett, NPR