So why is this so interesting? Well, as USA Today put it, all this "...hints at a shift in the way Americans want to live: in smaller houses and dense neighborhoods that promote walking and social interaction." And I say three cheers to that!
More new homes are being built closer to mass transportation and where people work, because that's what people are asking for. More people are choosing more urban-like settings that allow them to walk to things more, rely on their cars less and participate in the neighborhoods and communities around them more.
I love that people are choosing more homes with front porches. In my house, the front porch is a huge part of our lives. And it was a huge factor when we were house hunting when we first decided to move to Rochester. We looked at various neighborhoods throughout the metro area and every time we came back through the one we now live in, we noticed the activity on porches. We dug that everyone was out and about, talking to people, eating their dinners, reading the paper, playing music, waiting for the school bus, etc. all on their front porches. We knew a house without a porch would not fit who we are.
It should be noted that we have been longing for the front porch we now have. In our little tiny row house on Capitol Hill, we front-porched our front stoop (as did everyone else). Everyone sat on their front steps, crowded around, soaking up and participating in the activity in the neighborhood. Many of us even grilled out there because that's all the space we had. Hell, when I first met Adam, he had a "Great Porches in America" calendar hanging up. No joke. Perhaps a bit old guy for a guy in his mid-20s, but he has always loved a good front porch and it probably led us here.
Our front porch is a casual extension of our home. Hanging out there gives us an opportunity to sit outside, yet allows us to witness and participate in our neighborhood, while still chillin' in our own living room like setting. It's more social than sitting inside and makes a neighborhood more approachable and friendly.
I know front porches and urban settings aren't for everyone, and I respect that. But this latest story about construction trends really warmed my porch-loving heart.