Communities

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.

 

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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
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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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GVGBC September Luncheon: Biophilic Design for Cities

Join us at noon next Tuesday, September 12th for the monthly green building talk…

Biophilic Design for Cities: How Can it Transform Health and Wellbeing?

biophillic

Biophilia refers to our innate tendencies to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. This presentation will explore how biophilic design at a city-wide level can generate positive health and wellbeing. Firstly, it will present a theoretical framework that explains why nature has a positive health effect, together with a model of ‘green health’.   Examples of this model will be presented across three themes: mental health focusing on stress regulation; the life span (children and older people) and chronic health conditions (Alzheimer’s and Cancer Care) with examples drawn from around the world.

Speaker:  Jenny Roe is Professor of Design and Health, and the Director of the Center of Design and Health at the School of Architecture, University of Virginia in the US. An environmental psychologist, she has expertise in how the design of the built environment can maximize human flourishing and mental wellbeing.  Before her move to the USA, she worked alongside environmental scientists and health professionals as Leader in Human Wellbeing and Behavior Change for the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) exploring how best to build sustainable, resilient and healthy cities. Her research has pioneered methods for quantifying the health benefits of good urban design, using physiological indicators such as cortisol – the stress hormone – and mobile electroencephalography (EEG) to explore emotional activity on the move in cities, a form of ‘neuro-urbanism’. Much of her research explores health inequities in economically disadvantaged communities, including racial/ethnic minorities, children and teenagers, the elderly, and people with chronic health conditions including severe mental health problems.

This luncheon will be held at City Space, 100 5th St. NE, on the Downtown Mall, Charlottesville, VA. Doors open at 11:45 and the Seminar begins at 12:00. Luncheons are open to the public. Lunch is provided, attendance is free for GVGBC members and $10 for non members.

Register Here

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GVGBC August 9th Luncheon: Charlottesville SIA

siaJoin us downtown on Tuesday, August 9th downtown Charlottesville for the monthly seminar on green building.

Technically, the Strategic Investment Area (or SIA) is the area just south of the downtown mall that the city has chosen as a targeted area for revitalization and reinvestment. This vision goes beyond economic stimulus by aspiring to create a vibrant, healthy place with more opportunity for current residents as well as new.

Matthew Slaats and the Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative (The Bridge PAI) are already hard at work building relationships and understanding through art; embracing the past, creating in the present, and planting seeds for the future. They celebrate all the things that make our neighborhoods unique by championing the vibrancy, skills and knowledge that resides in us all; through cookouts, talent shows, exhibitions, workshops, and community projects that bring us together and help define the future of our city.

He will inform us of the current initiatives, challenges, inspiring stories, and visions for the future of a city created by all of the people who call it home.

The luncheon will be held at City Space, 100 5th St. NE, on the Downtown Mall, Charlottesville, VA. Doors open at 11:45 and the Seminar begins at 12:00. Register Here

 

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Crozet Pocket Neighborhood

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 a community that shifts the focus away from the personal automobile to personal interaction. Click here to see the full design.

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

Categories: Announcements, Architecture, Communities, Design | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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