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Pocket Neighborhood Slideshow

Boomers can downsize without losing the amenities of suburban living

A Commons in Common

Walkways and shared spaces connect homes—and residents—to each other in the Greenwood Avenue Cottage, a pocket neighborhood, in Shoreline, Wash.. Such communities are becoming increasingly popular among older adults who want to downsize and live in a close-knit community. “Pockets” are typically a cluster of six to twelve homes, tucked into an existing neighborhood near walkable destinations.

On Greenwood Avenue, eight small houses—ranging from 768 to 998 square feet—surround landscaped gardens, a lush lawn, fruit trees, a tool shed, and walkways that connect them all. Garages and parking are intentionally off to the side so that residents walk through the commons and interact informally. Meaningful relationships trump cars and anonymity.

  — Photo by Misha Gravenor

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Among the features of this development are its pedestrian and bicycle focus, affordable units designed for multi-generational residents, and close proximity to public transportation and key community services.

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