With Babcock Ranch surviving Hurricane Ian, what can we learn from and how can we replicate this community’s resilience?
According to Next City, the Levittown model of development established a pattern of growth that upended our early 20th-century traditions of walkability and urbanism. It also contributed to a growing sense of isolation, disinvestment, and deterioration of community for many, and still reverberates in the racial wealth gap that persists today. If Levittown is the example of how we got here, it’s high time that we look for a new model of where we go in the future — one that reflects the sort of systems focus that is required to create true community resilience that better serves our demographic future.
Babcock Ranch may serve as that new type of model community. Built on principles of climate resilience, sustainability, and choice, this 18,000–acre master-planned community of 2,000 homes near Fort Myers, Florida, was designed to withstand the area’s hurricanes — and succeeded, given the negligible impact to its 5,000 residents during Hurricane Ian in late 2022.