Communities

Bamboo Grove Approved!

Bamboo grove was approved last week by the Albemarle Board of Supervisors, which means that the project is moving forward. We get to build a little pocket neighborhood in walking distance to downtown Crozet!

Thank you so much to Nicole and Justin from Gallifrey who filled in the gaps of my development  knowledge to make the rezoning process as smooth as it can be. County staff and officials have all been great to work with; I’m proud of how much care they put into their complex job of city building.

Special thanks to everyone who offered encouragement and advice through all of the project’s many different iterations, especially our wonderful neighbors. I’ve received so much positive feedback on the designs from the community and neighbors; I hope that this project becomes a beacon for how to create small scale, affordable, community focused, walkable places to live that fit in with and strengthen the surrounding neighborhoods.

Part of my philosophy is to make it easier for this type of neighborhood to be built in the area, so please feel free to contact me about questions, ideas or dream projects. Here is the slide deck from the Board of Supervisor’s meeting

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Small Wonder: Neighborhood Concept Blooms in Bamboo Grove

Lisa Martin wrote a wonderful story in the Crozet Gazette about the little neighborhood we’re trying to build and how it came to be.

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Bamboo Grove Crozet Neighborhood Meeting

Thank you so much to everyone who came to the first neighborhood meeting on February 12th for our little Bamboo Grove pocket neighborhood! Your encouragement and great questions made it an educational and fun experience. I wish that we had more time to talk, but as always if you have any other questions or comments please contact us.

Here are the presentation slides that framed our discussion:

CCAC Presentation Slides

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Green Building February 11th Luncheon:

The Charlottesville Climate Collaborative empowers individuals and businesses to be climate leaders with strategies to take action. This presentation will provide practical solutions to help you make a positive impact and achieve sustainability goals in your lifestyle, business, and community.

Speakers:

Andrea Bostrom

Andrea is the Charlottesville Climate Collaborative’s Residential Program Manager. Andrea began her journey into advocacy as a high school student in the Deep South, holding the enviable title of President of the Students for Environmental Awareness club. A native of Alabama, she grew up eating home grown tomatoes, communing with horses, and riding her bike through peach orchards. She took her passion for the environment towards a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering from Louisiana State University and a Master’s Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Texas – Austin. Andrea has spent almost two decades as an engineer, policy maker, and program manager in both the public and private sectors. She served as the program manager for the flood protection program at the City of Austin’s Watershed Protection Department for seven years before relocating to Charlottesville in 2014. She served as Director of the Charlottesville Waldorf School before joining C3 in September 2019.

Claire Habel

Claire Habel, C3’s Commercial Program Manager, grew up in Minnesota exploring the natural world. At C3’ she is running the Better Business Challenge as well as our Green Schools network. She graduated from DePaul University cum laude with a Bachelors in Intercultural Communication and earned her master’s degree in Environmental Communications & Advocacy from James Madison University. Most recently Claire worked with the City of Charlottesville’s Environmental Sustainability Division and Office of Communications. Claire is passionate about engaging businesses to promote sustainable practices.

Lunch will be provided

I GBCI and AIA CE credit pending approval

Fee: $10 for members and $20 for nonmembers.

Lunch will be served, Register Here

Our meeting space is generously donated by the City of Charlottesville.

DATE AND TIME
Tue, February 11th, 2020: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT
LOCATION
City Space, 100 5th Street NE, Downtown Mall, Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
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Green Building January 14th Luncheon: Climate Action Together: City, County, UVA

2019 was a big year for climate action in the Charlottesville area. The City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County both set goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 45% by 2030 and to be carbon neutral by 2050. Last month, UVA committed to be carbon neutral by 2030 and fossil fuel free by 2050. Charlottesville, Albemarle, and UVA are now developing new climate action plans while simultaneously continuing to implement projects that reduce emissions and to engage the community on individual action. Join us to hear from sustainability staff from each entity about the planning process, new and ongoing initiatives, and ways to get involved.

Speakers:

Narissa Turner is the Climate Program Coordinator for the County of Albemarle where she supports efforts to develop and implement goals and strategies for climate protection and resiliency in the County. Prior to joining the County in 2018, Narissa was a Climate Engagement Intern for The Center for Community Self-Help in Durham North Carolina. Narissa holds a MA in Climate and Society from Columbia University and a B.S. in Natural Resources and Recreational Tourism from the University of Georgia.”

Andrea Ruedy Trimble is Sustainability Director at the University of Virginia and has been a leader in university sustainability initiatives for over thirteen years. Andrea has a passion for sustainability in higher education because of the interconnectedness of operations, curriculum, research, and engagement, and the potential to accelerate change through replicable models. Prior to joining UVA in November 2014, Andrea managed Harvard University’s sustainable building program, taught university courses in design and sustainability, and worked in architecture, historic preservation, and sustainability consulting. Andrea now leads a team of UVA Office for Sustainability staff focused on pan-university strategic planning, engagement, communication, analysis, sustainable building, Grounds as a learning tool initiatives, and additional programs across sustainability impact areas aligned with UVA’s sustainability goals. Andrea holds a Bachelor of Architecture, a Master of Liberal Arts in sustainability and environmental management, and a Master of Science in historic preservation.

Susan Elliot is the Climate Protection Program Manager for the City of Charlottesville. The Climate Protection Program aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with community and municipal activities within the City of Charlottesville’s jurisdictional boundary. These efforts reflect climate protection commitments and greenhouse gas reduction goals adopted by the City, including its commitment to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy. Having worked with the City since 2012, Susan has been involved with greenhouse emission inventories, supporting and developing programs and services for the community, tracking and analyzing emission reduction opportunities, and leading the City’s efforts under the Covenant of Mayors commitment to adopt a new emissions reduction goal and transition into climate action planning.

Prior to working at the City of Charlottesville, Susan worked at the County of Albemarle managing an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant. She has a Masters in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia, a BA from Wellesley College, and is working towards a Masters in Public Administration at Old Dominion University.

Lunch will be provided

I GBCI and AIA CE credit pending approval

Fee: $10 for members and $20 for nonmembers.

Lunch will be served, Register Here

Our meeting space is generously donated by the City of Charlottesville.

DATE AND TIME
Tue, January 14th, 2020: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT
LOCATION
City Space, 100 5th Street NE, Downtown Mall, Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
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Bamboo Grove Pocket Neighborhood

Bamboo Grove is a miniature neighborhood with six compact, affordable and energy efficient houses is designed for an acre of land a few blocks from downtown Crozet. Shared green space between the houses anchors the neighboorhood together while walking trails and sidewalks connect it to nature and the surrounding community. Common landscaped areas, patio, bicycle parking and mail area will be located between the vehicles and the houses to encourage the informal interaction so essential to build a feeling of belonging to a community.

This type of housing is often referred to as a “Cottage Court”, “Bungalow Court”, or “Pocket Neighborhood” and provides a housing choice that is desirable, affordable and very rare in the current housing stock. All the houses will have a compact design which will help them fit in well with the surrounding neighborhood and will make them more affordable than almost every new house being constructed in the surrounding Crozet area.

The area next to the stream running through the property will be dedicated for Public use as a part of the proposed future greenway trail system that is shown in the Crozet Master Plan.

Rain gardens, native surface landscaping and other green infrastructure techniques will be used as much as possible to manage stormwater from hard surfaces on the site and from the areas draining through it. The site lies next to a small stream, so careful design will be used to filter and slow down the water travelling through the site as much as possible with tools that work with the existing environmental features. The existing topography will be respected and used to enhance the character of the neighborhood. For more details go to the project page:

Charlottesville Tomorrow did a little article on our little project!

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Prairie Queen Missing Middle Neighborhood

Reintroducing the 4 and 6 unit apartment building and placing them in a new neighborhood is a great concept for building housing with the character of lovely turn of the century streetcar neighborhoods with the realities of the modern mega-financing world.

This is a great model to create vibrant, community fostering, walkable places instead of soulless apartment buildings. Thoughtful design goes a really long way.

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Required Reading: Walkable City

Written in an entertaining style, Jeff Speck’s Walkable City brings urban planning concepts to a place that anyone can understand. This book takes the concepts of Jane Jacobs’ The Death and Life of Great American Cities and draws upon loads of independent research to show how street design directly affects a place. You don’t have to be a designer to understand this book, which makes it a great introduction to the way that your city works (or doesn’t) for citizens and planners alike. Everyone should feel like their city gets better every day, and this books gives you the tools to understand some of the interconnected concepts of making a livable and vibrant city or town.

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Green Building January 8th Luncheon: Resilience for All: Striving for Equity Through Community-Driven Design

In the United States, people of color are disproportionally more likely to live in environments with poor air quality, in close proximity to toxic waste, and in locations more vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather events.

In many vulnerable neighborhoods, structural racism and classism prevent residents from having a seat at the table when decisions are made about their community. In an effort to overcome power imbalances and ensure local knowledge informs decision-making, a new approach to community engagement is essential.

In Resilience for All, Barbara Brown Wilson looks at less conventional, but often more effective methods to make communities more resilient. She takes an in-depth look at what equitable, positive change through community-driven design looks like in four communities—East Biloxi, Mississippi; the Lower East Side of Manhattan; the Denby neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan; and the Cully neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. These vulnerable communities have prevailed in spite of serious urban stressors such as climate change, gentrification, and disinvestment. Wilson looks at how the lessons in the case studies and other examples might more broadly inform future practice. She shows how community-driven design projects in underserved neighborhoods can not only change the built world, but also provide opportunities for residents to build their own capacities.”

This course will be approved for 1 GBCI LEED Specific and AIA CE

Fee: $10 for members and $20 for nonmembers.

Lunch will be served, Register Here

Our meeting space is generously donated by the City of Charlottesville.

DATE AND TIME
Tue, January 8, 2019: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT
LOCATION
City Space, 100 5th Street NE, Downtown Mall, Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
Categories: Announcements, Communities, Design, Education, Resilience | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Required Reading: A Pattern Language

I can’t say enough about this book. When I first read A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander it completely changed my outlook about what the built environment should strive for. The introductory book The Timeless Way of Building highlights the fact that humans are emotional creatures and that architecture should recognize this and be built to enhance the lives of the people that inhabit the places created. “A Pattern Language” takes that fuzzy concept of happiness, comfort and wholeness and details how to achieve it in the built environment with a scope that no book before or since has replicated. This books should be required reading for every architect, urban planner, engineer, and social activist.

 

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