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View Diary: Fix the Burbs : Kossacks under 35 [fixed the links] (65 comments)

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  •  Wastewater... (2+ / 0-)
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    kath25, clarkowitz

    Don't some California communities reuse "gray water"?

    •  They do (2+ / 0-)
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      decafdyke, clarkowitz

      But what I'm talking about is recycling the wastewater inside the development itself. So in that case if you have a thousand people in the development, you really have the scale to use the water to do things like irrigate the landscaping and wash off sidewalks.

      Even more so than energy costs, water costs are escalating too. We've already seen what happened in Atlanta this year with their water crisis. In the East Bay there are places that cannot be developed because the sewer system is not robust enough to support more development.  So, if people want to do more development, they will have to either 1) upgrade the entire sewage system 2) start recycling some of the waste onsite or 3) combination of both.

      •  Think sustainable neighborhood (0+ / 0-)

        And you will have the whole bundle.

        I know I am being a bit of a pest here, but the neighborhood is the essential first unit of city building, and it is not what the corporate builders and the usual planners are producing.

        Everything you have talked about on this thread is about creating life-sustaining places for people. We have that model--it's called a neighborhood. And it can be fitted with the most modern of storm water, and sanitary and power networks. But all of that infrastructure will be useless if it is not sustainable as a place where people can live, work and play without resort to automobiles (or with minimal use of same) for all ages and races and incomes.

        Lots of us are working on this very thing. Please see the link I posted for the Fayetteville 2025 plan. It really is a different way to think about this stuff. It may answer some questions. In the process, we managed to kill some highway plans while actually improving mobility on the local level, for instance. And the plan accommodates the future population without sprawl, and preserves open space while providing a mix of units that will be at every price range, coupled with employment space,retail and services within walking distance for each new neighborhood.

        •  I'll take a look (1+ / 0-)
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          At that plan.  But I'm essentially talking about large, somewhat-off-grid developments within larger urban/suburban centers.  As we see things like solar and heat/power systems become smaller and more mainstream, that's where I think a lot of the action is going to be, for several reasons. First off, because it's carbon neutral. But also, because it provides more direct security in the sense of buffering volatility and failure in traditional utility networks. But I may be misunderstanding you here.  

          When I was in grad school we worked on a project for Hurricane Katrina infill housing.  It was for the rural south so the instructor mandated that it should be  single family home focused. However , we also included apartment over retail units as well to provide for mixed income housing (rental as well as condo).

          I may still have the plans someplace.  But basically the people who owned the homes, all owned an equal share of the retail space as well.  We broke up each section into four parts-- three would be single family homes, and the fourth was the condo/apartment/retail section.  All the condo/apartment/retail sections of each section butted up against each other, to form a cohesive walking focused "shopping district."  We replicated this layout for, I think, a few hundred homes.  

          Ultimately, the residents were still going to have to use their cars to drive to a lot of jobs.  However it still created the ability for people to drive home and then walk to the store, or out to dinner.  Whether it could work with some of the tricked out off-grid stuff I was talking about, I don't know.  We never ran those numbers because we didn't have the time or expertise.

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