Editor’s note: Art Chapman is the founder of JMA Ventures, the company that developed the Soaring Ranch project.
Somewhere along the way, neighborhoods became separated from the rest of daily life. Cars became indispensable, and neighborhoods lost the vibrancy of the corner store, the down-the-street daycare, the busy bike trail. Soaring Ranch has embraced the concept of the “20-Minute Neighborhood.”
Pioneered by some of the most thoughtful minds in urban planning, the idea is actually a return to a time when the car did not dominate everyday life. Soaring Ranch envisions a vibrant neighborhood where locals can live, work, eat, shop, and recreate without ever getting into a vehicle.
The result of this seemingly simple idea can be dramatic. Neighborhoods are healthier and more active. Community bonds grow stronger. Greenhouse gas emissions decline. Local businesses thrive.
Just look at Americans’ dependence on the automobile. The statistics are staggering. Americans take 1.1 billion vehicle trips a day, or about four vehicle trips a day for every single person in the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation statistics. That equals 411 billion vehicle trips in a given year.
Nearly half — 45% — of those vehicle trips are for errands and shopping. Americans spend 55 minutes each day in their cars and drive approximately 29 miles every day of the year.
Now imagine a neighborhood like Soaring Ranch, where shopping, work, errands, and even exercise awaits outside of your door. Where bike connections offer easy access to local destinations. Where neighbors meet and mingle and social activities occur spontaneously.
Soaring Ranch is a big step forward in reconnecting a neighborhood with everyday life. And it helps Truckee address some of the most pressing issues the town faces; namely, achievable local housing, climate action, and economic sustainability.
With critically needed housing, essential community services, elegant pedestrian and bike trail connections, our vision of Soaring Ranch is a community that is good for Truckee residents, Truckee businesses, and Truckee’s character as a mountain town dedicated to reimagining mountain living.
Communities around the globe have embraced the idea of the “20-Minute Neighborhood.” It’s time that Truckee embraces the idea as well. Soaring Ranch presents this opportunity — the opportunity to get out of the car, enjoy neighborhood living, and discover the pleasures of a community where everything is a few footsteps or pedal strokes away.
~ Art Chapman is the founder of JMA Ventures, developer of the Soaring Ranch project. He is also a founder of the Tahoe Fund, serving as board chairman from 2016 to 2018. He served on the California/Nevada governors’ committee that consulted with Tahoe Regional Planning Agency on the new regional plan update. He resides in Truckee with his wife, Colleen.