Communities

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
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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.

 

Categories: Architecture, Communities, Design, New Urbanism, Resilience | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

The Twelve Steps of Sprawl Recovery

As we strive to build towns and neighborhoods that are vibrant, lively and great places to live, we inevitably find that people being there are what makes them this way. It is not architectural acrobatics or parking lots that make great places, but interesting street life. Hopefully the paradigm of building everything so far apart from each other, which in turn creates personal automobile dependence, is drawing to a close. The question then is how do we re-imagine areas that were built with this thinking into vibrant and essential places?

Steve Mouzon has a fantastic post outlining The Twelve Steps of Sprawl Recovery. It is a simple and incremental approach to making places vital again.

If you are thirsty for more people-focused town design, The Congress for New Urbanism is a collection of people that have made it their mission to answer these sorts of questions; inspiring towns, cities and their inhabitants to work towards making their places better every day.

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Green Building June 12th Luncheon: Shaken, Not Stirred: Community and Building Resilience – the means to it and its measures

We will first establish a context for the idea of resilience – how it relates to notions of sustainability, regeneration and the triple bottom line. We will then establish its components, as communities and building investors address natural and economic disasters, as well as social equity and land use issues. We’ll acknowledge that some factors that may contribute to resilience are difficult to measure, such as beauty, social cohesion or even biophilia. We will also discuss the complexity of analyzing resilience, which is really the assessment of a complete system containing not only a wide range of variables, but also feed-back mechanisms. For example, if one property owner fortifies their property against flood, it may increase the negative impacts on an adjacent property, or if businesses put bars on their windows, they may increase the crime in a neighborhood. Finally, we will examine some of the ways that different entities have begun measuring community and building resilience, including the RELi standard, now being advanced by the USGBC, and how these measures might be used in the future.

Speaker: Dan Slone

This event is co-presented with Resilient Virginia as part of a Virginia resiliency education series looking at how buildings and communities support statewide resiliency goals.

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

Lunch will be served

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

DATE AND TIME
Tue, Jun 12, 2018: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT
LOCATION
City Space, 100 5th Street NE, Downtown Mall, Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
Categories: Announcements, Communities, Education, Resilience | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Green Building August 8th Luncheon: Building Neighborhoods for People

Since the inception of the personal automobile, the way that communities are designed has changed considerably, so much so that many neighborhoods are arranged so that people only interact with each other as they pass in their cars. New Urbanism is a movement to undo this by designing walkable places where people and communities flourish; using the tools of cohousing, traditional neighborhood development, pocket neighborhoods and many others designers seek to make new places that are centered around people, not cars. By addressing more than just the built environment, Cohousing takes it a step further and intentionally seeks to rebuild the social fabric one neighborhood at a time.

Speaker: Peter Lazar has lived in the cohousing community “Shadowlake Village” in Blacksburg for many years and is an advocate for the movement on the national level with the Cohousing Association (http://www.cohousing.org). He is currently working on bringing the new 26 home “Emerson Commons” cohousing neighborhood in Crozet to life. Join us this month as Peter highlights the design, benefits, challenges and experiences of living and building neighborhoods centered around people.

Fee: Free for members, $10 nonmembers, Register Here

Lunch will be provided.

DATE AND TIME

Tue, August 8, 2017, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT

LOCATION

City Space, 100 5th Street NE

Downtown Mall, Charlottesville, Virginia 22902

Categories: Communities, Education, Resilience | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crozet Pocket Neighborhood #2: St George Cottages

Crozet, Virginia is becoming a vibrant, bustling, livable and walkable center. Within walking distance of all the amenities that this growing town has to offer in the heart of an existing neighborhood is the possibility of yet another community that shifts the focus away from the personal automobile to personal interaction. Click here to see the full design.

If you want to live here, invest in the concept, or help make it a reality please contact us.

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