Playa Coronado, Panama: The Perfect Place For A New Urbanist Community?
There are several characteristics of the town of Playa Coronado, Panama that I noticed while I was there, that may make it the perfect place for a walkable mixed-use New Urbanist community.
The first and most obvious reason, in my opinion, is the gorgeous white and black sand beach. Notice how that the coast is in the shape of a triangular point. I thought that this was reminiscent of the Master Plan of Seaside, Florida and other New Urbanist communities with an iconic structure/terminating vista and agora/amphitheatre/social space.
Seaside, Florida Master Plan:
Seaside, Florida website:
The climate and weather is usually beautiful almost year-round, and is actually much drier than in other tropical regions.
This location's proximity to Panama City, less than an hour's drive, would make it a short trip for goods to be transported into the New Urbanist community, and for the residents of the community to be able to work and/or get their city time in the highly urban environment, then drive/take the bus home to a relaxing seafront community when the stresses of the city get to be too much. Almost every product imagineable to be bought in the world travels through the Panama Canal and can be found and bought in Panama City. There is already wonderful boutique shops, stores, and parlours on and near the PanAmerican highway (just to the East/left of the photo about 2 miles). My favorite activity when I was there was going to the gelato parlour that had at least 30 different flavors of top quality gelatos. It's proximity to Panama City also makes this place viable to be a truly multi-cultural, multi-ethnic community with a wide range of incomes and sufficient economic vitality to make it all happen.
The architecture of almost all of the already existing residences and buildings is Meditteranean/Spanish Colonial (and truly old and authentic also).
Obviously there is great recreational activities such as going to the beach and offshore fishing. I also saw boats anchored right off of the beach when I was there, and famous beaches for surfing are just nearby (also see my previous Blog on Playa San Carlos by clicking on Dylan's Blog below).
Very little of the land is already developed and there is plenty of green space to be developed and/or turned into parks and recreational/social spaces. There is also beautiful mountain scenery in the distance.
There is already 1 completed condominium (the photo was taken from the penthouse pooldeck), and one other condominium in construction.
The community does include a guarded gate which stays mostly open during the day and closed at night, and feels very safe in my opinion.
I feel that if the focus was taken off of condominium construction and focused on 2-4 story walkable mixed-use New Urbanist community development instead, that for these reasons this small beach town in Panama could become one of the most thriving and attractive walkable New Urbanist communities anywhere to date.
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