A difference exists between building large tracts of commodity housing and "authentic community". Both are necessary for a “perfect economy”, that is, meeting the housing needs of all. The latter however tends to be in short supply due to the extra time, effort and cost involved. It has been proven however, that such investments do pay, if undertaken with serious research, thought and a process that digs deep into user needs and preferences. This page illustrates several communities that have found their stride in strong consumer acceptance, positive impact on quality of life and strong economic performance.
The 424 acre redevelopment project Monrovia Nursery in Azusa, California, a first-ring city in Los Angeles County had at its core a mixed use transit oriented district. Being on the Gold Line light rail system, the albeit suburban context allowed a modest intensification of density and the addition of retail to create a walkable, service-oriented core.