Thursday, May 29, 2008

Suburb redesign, for Garden Community

So here are some of the images I have been working on to illustrate the Suburban idea. I’ve got lots of thoughts on it now. Its amazing how putting something into an image gives it reality, and allows you to critique, or take a second look at your ideas. I’m still loving the concept, but realize there are many, many details that combine to make it work. Its also amazing how I wrote like three pages of text about it, and one image pretty well sums it up. A thousand words? almost...

So some of the areas that came up after I drew this were:

winter gardens, aesthetics and uses

green houses

gathering spaces in winter - indoor areas/ fire pits

parking - what to do with those darn cars!

the importance of the street, vs. a private space

appropriate commercial spaces

the cultural factor - immigrants are often much more used to (and enjoy) density than we are

details of shared living - co-housing as a model?

food security - just how much food can be produced on 0.64 acres?

If development costs are kept low, the place has viable use for artists/immigrants, younger families. (In a community near downtown the city tried live/work studios for artists, but the property value was so high, the artists couldn’t afford them, so they sold to oil and gas consultants...)

importance of pedestrian friendly, and removing dependence on cars

turning entrances to back of houses - what this does to the street?

creating a denser environment - is a lovely contrast to all the vastness in the prairies but would this be more dense? How can we make it so?

how to use commercial houses to their best potential?

How to design the garden area to be a warm, productive, flexible space, that everyone can enjoy and use.

could there be incentives for people to work in garden?, requirements to come to community meetings? a sincere desire to join this kind of living? - or is it all managed externally?

Is there a possibility for this scenario to develop in phases, so the entire block doesn’t have to be purchased at once?

OK, that’s my list so far. Let me know what you think...


Lindsay said...

I don't have much to say, just that I am loving this idea as it takes shape! Is this something you're actually thinking of actively pursuing?

Kirstin said...

Hi! Fellow Calgarian here, just found your blog and am really enjoying reading it. I have one quick comment after my cursory reading of this blog entry. My husband and I were just in England and found a really neat example of how to create a neighbourhood where all the front doors face in. I can send you a picture, if you like?