Rural Areas Need Urbanists More Than Ever

Smart Strategies to Save on Rent Without Sacrificing Comfort

Rural Areas Need Urbanists More Than Ever
Photo by Robin Jonathan Deutsch / Unsplash

As I exit my neighborhood and hang a right, I leave the city behind me quite literally. The skyline becomes a smaller in the rear view mirror and the view just above the dash is of farmland and signage of tractor crossings. Our daughter had just fell asleep on our way home, so we decided to make the most of this time by scouting out the county we now call home.

Henrico County is quite interesting to say the least. It surrounds the City of Richmond in a crescent-like manner; acting as the western, northern and eastern border. The county has no true center or downtown. There's no city or town within the county, more on the reasoning why here. The western side serves as a shopping haven with several office parks while the eastern portion has traditionally been quieter with residential and agriculture. While neighborhoods certainly exist, they all have their quirks and makes for a county with very different needs and views with no true solution for sprawl.

Something to also note, Henrico County is one of only two counties in Virginia that maintains its own roads, with the other being Arlington County. This will make more sense later.

While we call Rocketts Landing home the neighborhood is split between both the city and the county. We are technically now within the Varina district. After attending our first county meeting as a resident, it felt right to truly get to know the district and its needs. With proposals of data centers lurking, the current drive out to tour the area with my wife resonated a bit differently.

Could this be the perfect district to begin coliving with our parents without moving to the exurbs? What could I contribute as an urbanist to those wanting to protect this sacred space from sprawl?

We'll keep the dad jokes to a minimum. No spam, ever.