An Eco-Friendly Community Outside of Atlanta Celebrates Nature and Sustainability

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By Kate Reggev / Published by Dwell
Formed around the values of nature, passion, creativity, and community, this sustainably oriented community outside of Atlanta, Georgia, is ripe with modern homes, local produce, and a deep appreciation for the natural landscape.

Consisting of four small villages, Serenbe is an eco-friendly community that sits just 45 minutes outside of Atlanta. Established in the mid-2000s by founder Steve Nygren and his family, it's set amid acres of preserved forests, nature trails, and rolling meadows, and employs New Urbanism planning principles to create an innovative way of thinking about sustainability and community living. 

Watch the whole backstory in this video created by Peter Glazer, and continue reading about the forward-thinking community below.

Today, the community is home to over 400 residents who are enjoying some of the major tenets of New Urbanism planning: an emphasis on walkability, a range of housing types and sizes, and the provision of in-community jobs through the creation of commercial centers. In fact, each of the four hamlets in Serenbe has its own retail area and personality. They also offer a number of creative outlets that range from visual and culinary arts to healing, healthy living, and access to renowned restaurants.

An Eco-Friendly Community Outside of Atlanta Celebrates Nature and Sustainability - Photo 1 of 10 - The community revolves around a variety of green spaces, including open fields, farmland, and forests.

The community revolves around a variety of green spaces, including open fields, farmland, and forests.

An Eco-Friendly Community Outside of Atlanta Celebrates Nature and Sustainability - Photo 2 of 10 - Each of the four hamlets has a commercial downtown area that's filled with local businesses.

Each of the four hamlets has a commercial downtown area that's filled with local businesses.

Architecturally, the community has also distinguished itself, thanks to a broad range of single-family houses, large estates, and small row houses that are distinct from each other, rather than constructed en masse like many typical suburban developments. Design styles range from more traditional Arts and Crafts-style cottages to loft-style townhouses and sleek modern homes—with the goal of creating harmony through details and variety. 

An Eco-Friendly Community Outside of Atlanta Celebrates Nature and Sustainability - Photo 3 of 10 - Housing includes loft-like apartments and townhouses in a range of traditional styles with double-hung, operable windows and brick facades.

Housing includes loft-like apartments and townhouses in a range of traditional styles with double-hung, operable windows and brick facades.


An Eco-Friendly Community Outside of Atlanta Celebrates Nature and Sustainability - Photo 4 of 10 - Single-family homes range in size and style in order to appeal to a variety of residents.

Single-family homes range in size and style in order to appeal to a variety of residents.


An Eco-Friendly Community Outside of Atlanta Celebrates Nature and Sustainability - Photo 5 of 10 - Farmhouse-style homes feature corrugated metal, standing-seam metal roofs, and wood siding.

Farmhouse-style homes feature corrugated metal, standing-seam metal roofs, and wood siding.

In fact, Serenbe promotes new builds, re-sells, and specs that are still under construction, giving homeowners the opportunity to choose the final features of their home. Each residence has a front porch and no backyard, which not only promotes the use of common green space, but also encourages neighborliness and the creation of community bonds.  

An Eco-Friendly Community Outside of Atlanta Celebrates Nature and Sustainability - Photo 6 of 10 - Modern homes with shed roofs and wood siding provide contemporary options in Serenbe.

Modern homes with shed roofs and wood siding provide contemporary options in Serenbe.

Attention to detail has been given a high priority, particularly in the public spaces, where edible blueberry bushes have been planted alongside trails, while sidewalk curbs are finished in high-quality materials like granite. Even the roads in the hamlets have been thoughtfully laid out in order to avoid disturbing the existing topography as much as possible.

An Eco-Friendly Community Outside of Atlanta Celebrates Nature and Sustainability - Photo 7 of 10 - Front yards with older and newer trees create privacy, while granite curbs along the sidewalk indicate the community's attention to quality and detail.

Front yards with older and newer trees create privacy, while granite curbs along the sidewalk indicate the community's attention to quality and detail.

An Eco-Friendly Community Outside of Atlanta Celebrates Nature and Sustainability - Photo 8 of 10 - Even townhouses located next to each other are distinct while featuring the same architectural language.

Even townhouses located next to each other are distinct while featuring the same architectural language.

At its core, Serenbe strives to promote environmentally-friendly habits through its walkable neighborhoods, its local commercial centers, a 25-acre organic farm with seasonal Saturday Farmer’s Markets, and year-round cultural events. This unique mission has not gone unnoticed: Serenbe has been the recipient of several sustainability, design, and development awards—and the prices of homes continue to rise. Learn about the different housing options and prices here.

An Eco-Friendly Community Outside of Atlanta Celebrates Nature and Sustainability - Photo 9 of 10 - A wastewater area doubles as a nature trail along a raised boardwalk.

A wastewater area doubles as a nature trail along a raised boardwalk.

An Eco-Friendly Community Outside of Atlanta Celebrates Nature and Sustainability - Photo 10 of 10 - The local farmland provides food for weekly farmer's markets and restaurants in the community.

The local farmland provides food for weekly farmer's markets and restaurants in the community.