Integrated, Sustainable Community

An Integrated Design for a Sustainable Community A 160 acre, 36 dwelling community is being planned that re-imagines how we interact, live and work in a three dimensional environment. It begins with the professions and trades that are needed, and only after that, commits this pattern to a two dimensional design. It demotes cars to "out back" and puts an emphasis on where and how people interact.

This means each group of six dwellings is centered around a commons area where people can meet and children can play. In addition, all six clusters of six dwellings each are situated around a central commons area. The outer part is for workshops and learning. This is done so that the children can be exposed to their parents work as they are growing up. At the heart of the commons area are gardens, fountains and gazebos. The center commons can be used for larger gatherings, wandering to after work, or perhaps the odd evening concert.

Each of the following sections provides more detail, starting with a brief background of the area and how it was developed and moving on from there.

00Background

Skyline of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada The communities that have been established in Canada since the white man arrived generally followed a systematic pattern. As they have been in place for some time, it would not wise to attempt to change what is already there, but rather to learn from it. To help do this, a list of twenty communities was developed that were deemed to be "just about right", with statistics on each. More...

01Overlay on Author's Property

IIC superimposed on farm where author grew up To gain a sense of scale, the inital community design was developed using satellite imagery of the farm where the author grew up. Since then, that design has been created using a computer program to allow it to be refined more easily. More...

10Growth

Growth Pathways for the Professions and the Trades in an Integrated Community It is not that difficult to come up with a list of which professions and trades might be needed in a community. However it is quite a bit more difficult to come up with a way in which it could be decided which profession or trade should be added next. This diagram attempts to do just that, with a discussion. More...

People::Professions

The list of disciplines for the pure sciences defined so far include an mathematician, physicist, chemist, biochemist, biologist and logician. For the applied sciences, they are an architect, engineer, programmer, permaculturist, landscape designer and roboticist, in approximately that order. This section discusses these disciplines and provides some examples as to how they will fit into these communities. More...

People::Trades

The list of trades defined so far include a carpenter, electrician, plumber, millwright, mechanic and mason, in approximately that order, according to need. More...

20Design

An Integrated Design for a Sustainable Community Two layouts are available: a quarter section, which is 2,640' on a side and a full section, which is 5,280' on a side. The quarter section comprises six larger circles surrounding a central commons area. The full section comprises four quarter sections. This works out to a 220' diameter circle for each individual property. More...

21Design::Locations

Five Selected Locations across Canada Five locations were selected across Canada, with approximate equal distribution, to get a feel for how the integrated design might interact with the existing climate, topography and human useage. These are located in British Columbia, Manitoba, Northern Ontario and New Brunswick. More...

22Design::Modelling

To move from conception to implementation, a model needs to be created that includes how people, processes and materials move through the phases of growth. This either needs to be contained in the mind of the creator and communicated effectively, or there needs to be a step by step model that can be followed by the actors in the script, so that the design can be implemented with a high probability of success. More...

24Design::Modular

The principle of modular design can provide a lot of return for the investment. Designing in such a way so that the components can be replaced, rather than thrown away means that the parts that last longer don't have to be discarded, merely because one part of the item ceased to function. Home can be designed in this way. Cars can. Laptops can and smartphones can. Included here are two examples, one for phones and one for cars. More...

23Design::Staging

Three stage construction of dwellings is being proposed for the integrated, sustainable community. This will allow for harmonic growth, meaning that the initial participants can start with much less: fewer materials, and a simpler skill and tool set. As they settle in, get to know each other and develop their knowledge and skills, more advanced building techniques can be used. Here are the three stages being proposed. More...

24Agriculture

It wouldn't make sense to make a fresh start... and then revert to the old ways of doing things. Indeed, it was the range of experience over 45 years that resulted in the idea that a hybrid approach was needed to develop a model that could both supply our needs, and yet be friendly to the human body and psyche. Industrial farming supplies food en masse, but it is not friendly to the human (nor, in many cases to the animals). At the other end of the scale, CSA farms are work intensive, yet cannot always offer full wages to their workers.1. There must be a third approach. More...

Output

A net positive output is being planned. This should not be technically difficult with existing technologies as sufficient sun, wind and rain are present in many locations in Canada. The more challenging aspect is to find the right people and to train them in the appropriate structures to see an integrated, sustainable community flourish. It should even be possible to run this as a business and to see a monetary profit from it, especially if the initial communities are begun as innovation centers. More...