“When we started Harbor Town, there was no such thing as New Urbanism. We made it up. Then someone showed me this article in the Atlantic Monthly putting a name to it and I said, ‘We already did one of these damn things in Memphis.”
For Harbor Town, HTC envisioned a community that would emphasize the human, not the automobile. A dense, walkable neighborhood that encourages neighborliness—with small lot sizes, front porches, sidewalks and the kind of small‐scale retail that draws people outside and into the community. We put alleyways — and the garages—in the back. And we kept trying to live with our environment. In Memphis, that’s hot—so we put in a lot of shade trees and ceiling fans, and famously the Purple Martin houses that seemed to be the appropriate mosquito control device. In collaboration with our partners, we created development guidelines that would grow Harbor Town into a community that embodies the design principles now known as New Urbanism. Over the years, the martin house has become our signature. And New Urbanism has become a thing.