"It’s difficult to overcome the culture that we live in.
It’s a culture where a state-of-the-art bathroom and kitchen
are what one needs, plus enough square footage to show everyone
that one could afford it. We’ve gone a couple centuries
without understanding community.
It’s too bad that it’s so hard to communicate what pleasure one gets
from living with one’s fellow human being."

Coverage: Reston Association | Reston Now | Washington Post | Washingtonian | Patch | New York Times

News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Reston: The Survey: The PowerPoint: We're #4! (or #33)

Man oh man, we love us a good Powerpoint presentation, and since "web loggers" don't get paid by the hour, we sure enjoyed clicking through this summary of the community survey conducted for the Reston Association earlier this year. Clearly the designer had an appreciation of Reston's vibrant color pallette, given the choice of creamy taupe background, mustard arrow, and muted green accents.

We Restonites are a competitive lot, so we skipped right to the benchmarking results to see how our beloved earth-toned community stacked up against others nationwide. Turns out that based on survey responses, we're ranked 33rd as a place to live and 7th as a place to work (which makes us wonder just how many aspiring opera singers are hidden among us). When you look at comparably sized communities, we're ranked fourth as a place to live and second as a place to work. Ha! In your FACE, Coon Rapids, Minnesota, Goodyear, Arizona, and Grand Island, Nebraska! Apparently you're not quite as good or rapid or grand as you think, flatlanders!

Of course, there were some surprises. Apparently, we're a community of sad, isolated loners, living quiet lives of desperation:

Won't anyone think of the emo white silhouettes, deprived of the ability to meet puppies while out with their jogging strollers?

Also, respondents were more likely to have read Reston: The Magazine than have ridden a local bus. O RLLY?

Here's a no-brainer:

Guess we'll have to take our plans for the Restonian World Industries Pork Byproduct Rendering Plant and Web Logging Server Log Printouts Warehouse off the drawing board.

The full survey results is where you found the "meat" of the results, as those of us in the urban planning/pork byproduct rendering business like to say. According to the results, two-thirds of respondents were on board with at least "some" additional housing development over the next 20 years. However, "preservation of natural areas such as open space" and "managing and planning for growth" were identified as critical priorities for the RA, not that anyone has ever said that before. For some strange reason, "respondents living in Hunters Woods and South Lakes were more likely to say that preserving natural areas was 'essential' or 'very important' for Reston's future." Gee, wonder why? Lake Anne residents, hippies that they are, were more interested in "mixed housing types in the community," while North Restonites "placed less importance on reducing dependence on automobiles," because, let's face it, if you're not driving a quality German import, you might as well be riding the bus, the end.


  1. Sausage making is already covered by the Master Plan process thus far. Who needs a new pork-rendering facility when we've got the county planners to put our fat in the fire?

  2. Ragging on planned communities is about as worthwhile as complaining about mass-produced bread, beer, cheese and photo-op smiles. There are people whom Reston (and its plastic-and-particle board Toll Brothers clone, Ashburn) fits like a glove. Then there are those who ended up here because of work.

    If you're in the latter category and either don't put in the effort to isolate yourself into a parallel universe or can't fund doing so, you'll be miserable.

    As manufactured bedroom communities go, there is actually quite a bit available in the area, beyond wasting away life spinning in the gym rat wheel or on the bar stool of RTC "nightlife."

    Keep in mind - the impression of the area The Restonian conveys is dead-on IFF the very term "planned community" kills a little bit of you and what's left of your belief in Santa Claus, the tooth fairy and the like. Otherwise, this is probably pretty close to Brave New World paradise. Complete with Xanax/soma.


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