Industry News

Ancient lessons in building new communities

Experts discuss modern master-planned projects

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Peter McMahon, president of Kennecott Land, a company that specializes in master-planned communities, said it is appropriate to look to the past when discussing designs for communities of tomorrow. Lucca, Italy, for example, a town that was founded by the Romans in 180 B.C., has maintained much of its original community plan. There are rectangular blocks, a system of roads, public and private buildings, a theater and an amphitheater. And, of course, high walls to fend off attacks. During "21st Century Master Planning," a panel discussion at the annual PCBC home builders' conference Wednesday at Moscone Center in San Francisco, McMahon said that Lucca "is a reminder that many of the elements of success in this business are timeless and we shouldn't ever forget that. "The communities of the future will embody things that were done in Lucca." Then again, invasions by Ligurians are not a worry these days as they were for the people of Lucca. But you get the poi...