Three Keys to Every Great Neighborhood

Certain areas of towns and cities generate an elusive vibe that sets the mind at ease and makes even strangers feel welcome. This sense of community is difficult to define and even harder to quantify. Often, it just inexplicably feels like home.

Thanks to research by urban planners and real-estate agents, though, the uncanny has been pinned down. Whether it’s for Okotoks real estate or anywhere else on the globe, here is a list of essential elements for a thriving and vibrant neighborhood.

The Make-up of a Great Neighborhood

Friendly Streets

Personal transportation has revolutionized human settlement patterns, though not always for the better. A backlash has responded against automobile-centric layouts; to encourage pedestrians, narrower streets and wider sidewalks are a must.

The streets must also have an appeal all to their own; well-lit, tree-lined boulevards provide the most stimulation for foot-traffic while also making them feel secure and separate from noisy vehicles. Interesting architecture like archways, courtyards, arcades, and pedestrian-only footpaths also tend to arouse the senses and encourage exploration.

Gathering Places

Obviously, the most important component of any neighborhood is the people who live there. Local business owners in places like Okotoks or Calgary provide amenities to tempt customers into lingering, such as adding a coffee shop to a laundromat. Also, having art displays or flavorful accents can draw in customers from the street and give them an excuse to pause.

Something as simple as placing a public bench in front of a restaurant can make people feel more welcome. These factors create opportunities for conversation, meeting new friends, and even potentially collaborating on projects like community service or open-mic nights.

The key factor is people who make others feel wanted. This attitude of openness can mean the difference between a seedy dive bar and a beloved pub, and it tends to trickle down throughout the community.

Proximity to Schools and Jobs

Of course, no one would want to live somewhere with an unbearable commute or unimpressive schools. Occupations typically dictate where someone chooses to live, with culture being a common afterthought.

Simply put, jobs bring in money, and that money stimulates the local economy. Without one, there could never be the other.

Likewise, a young person’s lifestyle revolves around school, which is where they gain the skills to be contributing members of society. With poor school systems, a child’s opportunities dwindle and their inspirational spark can sputter.

Having access to quick, easy transportation such as buses or light-rail can bridge the gap between jobs or schools and your favorite locales, so even neighborhoods that aren’t strictly close to those facilities can still get a leg up.


Many more factors can generate a flourishing community and distinctive neighborhood, but the above ones are some of the most vital. Okotoks is home to many great communities that are only a few steps away with the help of the right real estate agent.

To find out which Okotoks areas suit your tastes, please contact our office so we can make the search that much easier.

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