An exciting and vibrant community of newcomers is occupying ever-increasing in height apartments, condos and lofts as Reston literally grows up to accommodate the appeal it has for new arrivals of businesses, organizations and individuals. Reston’s boundaries as a planned unit development community are clear even without a designation as a county, city or town. Once the largest farm In Virginia with corn fields and cow pastures, Reston is now a unique place for human habitation that continues to grow and receive acclaim throughout the decades influenced by and prompting changes of the world around it.
The goal of Reston from the beginning was much more than streets and buildings and homes and businesses. Its founder Robert E. Simon had much more in mind: he envisioned a place where there would be a wide choice of opportunities for all in housing, cultural, recreational, and lifelong experiences; the ability to live and work in the same community; respect for the importance and dignity of all individuals; and that the place be a financial success. The ideas and plans of the visionary developer have been abundantly realized; many of his ideas can be seen in town centers and community developments throughout the region.
The established lines on a map that encompass Reston continue to be recognized, but the influences it has have become fuzzy around the edges as more seek to live in a Reston-like place. Success breeds success as others emulate the first even as the world around changes. Most noteworthy is the strategic planning effort that Fairfax County has underway for its future. After dozens of meetings, surveys, and community discussions, nine priority areas for the County’s future have been developed.
The nine areas identified as a basis for future planning are: education and lifelong learning, mobility and transportation, safety and security, housing and neighborhood livability, economic opportunity, health and environment, cultural and recreational opportunities, self-sufficiency for all, and efficient and effective government. All meritorious goals that look a lot like Bob Simon’s. Add to them affordability, equity, sustainability, innovation, collaboration and engagement, and the history and experience of Reston, and it will be an ideal place for millennials to live, work and play!