Tags >> housing
Oct 29
2009

Builders of the Pacific Coast

Posted by Bruce Robinson in trees , Science , planning , open space , Ideas , housing , environment , design , coast , California , author , art

Bruce Robinson

From remote cabins crafted of driftwood to stunningly beautiful and unconventional family homes, Bolinas-based writer and photographer Lloyd Kahn collects innovative individual builders up and down the Pacific Coast.

Below are two examples of the buildings featured in the book: The elbaorate temple built by SunRay Kelly at Harbin Hotsprings, and a whimsical gazebo made of driftwood on a Vancouver Island beach.

The farther north he ventured, the more Kahn found projects that had been built in substantial part from found materials—driftwood on the beaches, and fallen timber inland. He says that immersing himself in that world has had an enduring effect in the way he sees potential resources around him now.

Lloyd Kahn's first building experience was with geodesic domes, which led to his first book as well. But  he eventually became disenchanged  the domes, and turned his attention to the more generalized subject of  Shelter, published in 1973. The success of that volume launched his Bolinas-based publishing business,  which concentrates on books about do-it-yourself homebuilding, and health. He'll present a slide show drawn from Builders of the Pacific Coast at Copperfield's Books  in Sebastopol on Thursday night, Oct. 29, at 7  pm.

 

For his next publishing project, Kahn says he will be narrowing his lens to focus on creative “micro” housing efforts, such as this work in progress.

The intricately ornamented staircase and loft below is yet another of the utterly unique homes Kahn has featured in Builders of the Pacific Coast.

 

Oct 22
2009

Community Benefit Agreement

Posted by Bruce Robinson in unions , Sonoma County , Rohnert Park , nonprofit orgs , jobs , housing , environment , energy , employment , corporate responsibiliyt , construction , community , business , activism

Bruce Robinson

A  new “Community Benefit Agreement” between the developers of the big Sonoma Mountain Village project in Rohnert Park and a coalition of labor, housing and environmental groups could set a new standard for cooperation between factions that have more often been adversaries.

David Grabill with the Housing Advocacy Group was one of the first to contact Codding Enterprises about the Sonoma Mountain Village project. He recalls that after some encouraging early meetings, it soon became apparent that it would be more productive to engage the full Affordable Development Coalition in the ongoing talks.

Kirstie Moore, development manager for the Sonoma Mountain Village project (seen fully built out in this artist's rendering), says the lengthy negotiations with the Affordable Development Coalition (ADC) were a learning experience for both sides.

The voluntary agreement with Codding Enterprises is legally binding for  Sonoma Mountain Village is concerned, but for other development projects, says ADC Director Marlene Dehlinger, it represents a standard to live up to, not a requirement that anyone else is obligated to meet.

Oct 08
2009

The Immigrant Paradox

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , students , speaker , Santa Rosa , resources , poverty , policy , parks , nonprofit orgs , medicine , jobs , immigration , housing , healthcare , Health , government , food , finances , families , events , employment , education , economy , community , children , California

Bruce Robinson

What segment of California’s population is healthiest?  It’s probably not what you would think.

As Alameda County’s Public Health Officer, Dr. Anthony Iton (left) directed efforts to correlate data from death certificates, parole offices, income reports from the national census and other sources and see where they overlapped in his county. And he found a high correspondence to the areas where poverty is most prevalent.

Taking their cue from the social support systems that many immigrant families enjoy, Dr. Iton suggests that public health departments also instigate informal gatherings of residents in impoverished neighborhoods, as an additional tool for improving their collective well-being.

Dr.  Iton  also co-authored this report (pdf, 87 pages) detailing the relative medical and social factors that shape health outcomes among the population of Alameda County. Similar results apply in Sonoma County and much of California.

 

Oct 01
2009

The Greening of Greensburg

Posted by Bruce Robinson in weather , teens , speaker , solar , planning , housing , government , farms , families , environment , design , construction , community , climate change , carbon , business , alternative energy , activism

Bruce Robinson

Just two years after being leveled by a tornado, Greensburg, a tiny town in the middle of Kansas has become a model for green rebuilding.

Nearly 95% of the town's homes and other buildings were destroyed by the storm, as seen in this photo, taken a week after the tornado hit.

The green rebuilding of Greensburg, Kansas cannot be attributed to an unlikely enclave of progressive thinkers in the American heartland. Rather, says Daniel Wallach, (right) founder and Executive Director of Greensburg GreenTown, the fact this has happened in a small, deeply conservative town makes it even more significant.

FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) was quick to respond to the Kansas tornado that flattened Greensburg, in part to improve their public profile after the Gulf Coast hurricanes. But Wallach says the agency had to be persuaded at length to buy into the green vision that the community shared.

There's an extensive photo gallery of the damange caused by the tornado and the new buildings that have emerged in its wake on one page of the Greensberg GreenTown website. Another page hosts their design competition for eco-friendly homes. "The Chain of Eco-Homes"  has attracted 150 entries, which can be viewed and voted for online. The winnign design will be built as part of the town's ongoing effort to promote itself as "a living science museum" on green consrtruction and muncipal planning.