Posts Tagged With: Neighborhood

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 Crozet Houses: Orchard Dr

Attached Greenhouse

Just a few blocks from Crozet’s downtown district is a little one acre parcel of land that was once the home to part of a much larger apple orchard. A few of the old apple trees remain and a tenacious grove of bamboo has colonized the stream bank. Today this plot is completely surrounded by houses, has public water, sewer and electricity, and is an easy walk from coffee shops, post office, a new Library, restaurants, stores and loads of small town charm.

The concept for this one acre parcel just north of the intersection of Jarman’s Gap Rd and Orchard Dr (two lots) in Crozet is to build two houses that have attached accessory units that even though they are attached, feel like their own completely separate houses. This is done by clever house and window placement, utilizing the existing topography as an advantage. The houses are designed to be net-zero ready, using such

Entrance from Orchard Dr

little energy that a few solar panels on the roof or mounted remotely can power them while providing superior indoor air quality and comfort for the residents. The houses are placed on the site to capture their outdoor spaces, making them comfortable and loved. The grounds will be planted with native plants as well as non-invasive food producing orchard trees. The existing street will be lined with shade trees and rain gardens. The houses are also designed to fit in with the existing neighborhood’s one and two story ranches in scale, color and texture.

See the full designs here and contact me if you would like to buy one or design something like this for somewhere else!

 

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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

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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 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.

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Ecovillage Charlottesville Design Survey

We are trying to understand how to best shape Ecovillage Charlottesville with the community (you) in mind. It would help us out so much if you could fill out our survey about what you would like to see in the community. Thank you so much.

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Ecovillage Presentation

This is a presentation which gives a rough introduction to the Ecovillage Charlottesville project.  It was built to be an introduction for UVA’s “Engineering Students Without Borders” student group

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Ecovillage Charlottesville Update

The latest version of the Ecovillage Charlottesville site plan is finally here! The project has picked up a ton of traction lately, so keep checking www.facebook.com/EcovillageCharlottesville for status updates.

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Here are some renderings for one idea of what could be built… House designs inspired by http://www.rosschapin.com/ and http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/

CE - Rendering 2 - Rockbrook Pocket Option CE - Rendering 1 - Rockbrook Pocket Option CE - Rendering - Alwood Pocket Option

If you feel like drawing your own idea for what the Ecovillage could look like, here are some 8.5×11 printable sketches that make it easy for the ideas to flow onto paper. Please share your ideas!

lochlynsketch

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The Napoleon Complex

A community of tiny houses! This is a really neat idea if they can keep architectural unity and keep it well maintaned through the years. It will be really interested to see how they make this project happen as it is out of the realm of what city planners and zoning officials have ever seen.

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napleoncomplex

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