Character Counts

Community character is something that urbanists often refer to. It describes the sights, smells, sounds, tastes, and emotions that a place might draw out of someone: the calm you feel when you look out past a deep porch to see a boat on the river beyond; the surprise scent of the salt marsh at low tide that wafts farther inland than you might have imagined it could; the way the taste of a fried soft-shell crab seems to match the feeling of the sun on your shoulders as the Lowcountry summer quickly approaches.

Community character is also about the quality of the shared social and cultural and natural and physical life of a place, and Beaufort has more character in all respects than most towns could dream of. Nowhere is that more on display than downtown, in Beaufort’s historic architecture and natural vistas and community warmth.   Downtown Beaufort is where the fabric of our community is kept alive, and working to ensure the character of that community is an organization now in its 29th year here in Beaufort: Main Street Beaufort USA.

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Zoning Codes: How should Beaufort look?

"A few generations ago, places looked the way they did because neighbors built the buildings of a community together, in the effective methods handed down without formal regulations. There was no such thing as "traditional zoning,"some sort of rulebook that determined how to construct the buildings that preservationists now refer to as "traditional" in form and style. Instead, communities locally-sourced materials and know-how and responsibility for the built environment. Towns like Beaufort were built slowly, at very high personal investment, with very little to do with today's real estate development industry.

In short, zoning codes did not exist back then; they didn't need to."

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Beaufort, SC City Guide | Design*Sponge

Originally published on the widely popular lifestyle blog Design*Sponge

"Today’s Beaufort, SC City Guide comes to us from Mallory Baches.  Ten years ago, Mallory, her husband, daughter, and French bulldog settled into the southern city of Beaufort and quickly fell for the charm of the sea islands. An urban designer and civic specialist, she is the founder and director of The Civic Hub, where she focuses her work on the intersection of urban design and community development. Today, she shares with us the many gems this city has to offer with her extensive guide on the best dining, sites, and activities to enjoy in Beaufort.  Thank you for such a wonderful guide Mallory! –Stephanie

Read the full guide after the jump…"

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Why Towns Matter

"...small towns are often forgotten, in a world where size matters.  In fact it is a critical detail in the American narrative, that anyone growing up in a small town can (and as the narrative goes, should) eventually move to the city to make something of themselves, reinforcing the notion that small towns are supposed to be left behind.  Think: Jay Gatsby, Howard Roark, Abraham Lincoln, and Mr. Smith.

Still, we shouldn’t forget that without all of those great small towns quietly raising fresh new talent for it to then up and leave to the opportunities of the big city, there wouldn’t be the narrative to begin with.  Towns may seem small and un-noteworthy from the skyscraper view of the city, but they are an unsung breeding ground that serves to first support and later cheer the successes of great people, great ideas, and great changes..."

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Introducing Sea Islands 2050

 "...Sea Islands 2050’s mission is to develop, advocate, and implement the goals and supporting strategies needed to achieve full-spectrum sustainability. Partnering with local organizations, parallel initiatives, key stakeholders, and fellow communities, Sea Islands 2050 cultivates collective investment in a common vision, focusing on the critical environmental, social, and economic issues impacting the long-term potential of our region and its citizens, present and future.

Put simply, our objective is to help our community achieve full-spectrum sustainability by the year 2050..."

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