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Los Angeles Eco Village Spring 2008


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Los Angeles Eco Village Spring 2008

  1. 1. An introduction to urban ecovillages & the Los Angeles Eco-Village <ul><li>“ An urban ecovillage is a piece of the ecological city.” </li></ul><ul><li> - Architect Paul Downton of Urban Ecology Australia at the First International Eco-Cities Conference, Berkeley California 1990 </li></ul>CRSP Institute for Urban Ecovillages at the Los Angeles Eco-Village ECOVILLAGES
  2. 2. <ul><li>Human scale </li></ul><ul><li>Full featured </li></ul><ul><li>Harmlessly integrates human activities into the natural world </li></ul><ul><li>Supports healthy human development </li></ul><ul><li>Can be successfully continued into the indefinite future </li></ul><ul><li>Has multiple centers of initiative </li></ul>Six components define an “ecovillage”
  3. 3. Welcome to Los Angeles Eco-Village Reinventing how we live in cities for a Lower environmental impact with a Higher quality of life at a Lower cost of living Affiliated with the Ecovillage Network of the Americas and GEN, the Global Ecovillage Network
  4. 4. Formula for Success <ul><li>Vision </li></ul><ul><li>Planning with flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>Groundedness </li></ul><ul><li>Perseverance </li></ul>
  5. 5. Los Angeles Eco-Village: Existing Conditions Existing Los Angeles Eco-Village Existing Condiitons
  6. 6. Bimini Baths: 1901 - 1951 Bimini Baths 1901 – 1951 from hot mineral springs 2,000 feet below
  7. 7. Adjacent Buildings owned by nonprofit Los Angeles Eco-Village Sponsor: CRSP 40 unit apartment building 8 unit apartment building
  8. 8. Intentional Community <ul><li>Los Angeles Eco-Village Intentional Community </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Celebrate & include joy in all our endeavors. Learn from nature and live ecologically. </li></ul><ul><li>Take responsibility for each other & the planet through local environmental & social action. </li></ul><ul><li>Learn from nature and live ecologically. </li></ul><ul><li>Build a dynamic community through diversity & cooperation. </li></ul><ul><li>Inspire compassionate, nurturing, & respectful relationships. </li></ul><ul><li>Create balanced opportunities for individual participation & collective stewardship. </li></ul><ul><li>Engage our neighbors and broader communities in mutual dialogue to learn, teach, and act. </li></ul>LOS ANGELES ECO-VILLAGE CORE VALUES
  10. 10. 500 foot streambed sinks stormwater at Bimini Slough Ecology Park Alcohol drug recovery home Bresee youth center, neighborhood Computer center, and heath clinic, Bimini Slough Ecology Park adjacent to Bresee. A “slough” is a seasonal wetland
  11. 11. A School Rich Neighborhood for sinking more stormwater Virgil Middle School: 2,000 kids each day; 2,000 adults each night. New school for 1,000 children grades 1 - 5 Kindergarten school for 250
  12. 12. First Fruit Tree Planting – Earthday 1993
  13. 13. Getting started: working with children & the kindergarten school
  14. 14. City Repair Project: transforming our intersection designed for cars into a plaza created for people And permeable pavement has just been installed on the sidewalks.
  15. 15. Using the Plaza: City-wide EcoMaya Festival 3,000 attended
  16. 16. Using the plaza: a neighborhood block party Car Solar Powered stage Small Kids Play area Neighbors Brought free Food to share
  17. 17. Car retraining in the plaza! “please go around us”
  18. 18. Permanently Affordable Housing - Transition from simple nonprofit ownership to: <ul><li>A COMMUNITY </li></ul><ul><li>LAND TRUST </li></ul><ul><li>Land under two currently owned nonprofit apt. buildings will go into a community land trust with a 99 year lease. </li></ul><ul><li>The land trust will also serve the larger neighborhood. </li></ul><ul><li>A LIMITED EQUITY </li></ul><ul><li>HOUSING </li></ul><ul><li>COOPERATIVE </li></ul><ul><li>Apartment buildings will be sold to resident ownership group as a limited equity housing cooperative. Appreciation of property is limited by state law. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Dedicated Community Spaces in the current nonprofit owned Eco-Village housing
  20. 20. Bimini Slough Ecology Park cleans storm water. It used to be an ugly street.
  21. 21. Shared Street Demonstration <ul><li>OVERALL GOALS </li></ul><ul><li>More pedestrian friendly street </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce auto dependency & traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage more use of public transit </li></ul><ul><li>Beautify neighborhood </li></ul>Funded by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority & the City of Los Angeles at $250,000 <ul><li>SAMPLING OF ADDITIONAL GOALS </li></ul><ul><li>Permeable pavement demonstration </li></ul><ul><li>Fruit and nut trees, food forest </li></ul><ul><li>More mini parks </li></ul><ul><li>Public gathering spaces </li></ul><ul><li>Space for small business kiosks </li></ul><ul><li>Rainwater collection </li></ul><ul><li>Public art by neighborhood artists </li></ul><ul><li>Friendly street furniture </li></ul><ul><li>Neighbors’ participation in development </li></ul>
  22. 22. Gardens: a permaculture approach Compost pit
  23. 23. North Building Water Infiltration System <ul><li>Problem </li></ul><ul><li>Surface was paved </li></ul><ul><li>Roof water run-off to storm drain and directly to ocean. </li></ul><ul><li>Water lost; ocean polluted </li></ul><ul><li>Solution </li></ul><ul><li>Eco-Villager planned a permeable surface & native landscape </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer community work parties implemented plan </li></ul><ul><li>Removed concrete and used it for a retaining wall </li></ul><ul><li>Reclaimed several truck loads of local mulch to create a micro-watershed </li></ul><ul><li>Roof water goes back to water table. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Retrofitting Apartment Buildings <ul><li>Policies </li></ul><ul><li>Use local, recycled content materials </li></ul><ul><li>Use least polluting, least toxic materials </li></ul><ul><li>Create local livelihood </li></ul><ul><li>Empower & train residents to make informed consensus decisions. </li></ul>Ten years later, here are a few results: Double glazed french doors from sustainably harvested red maple.
  25. 25. More retrofitting of apartment buildings
  26. 26. Energy: About those cars: they are increasing six times faster than the number of people!
  27. 27. Energy: solar, insulation, windows, appliances, conservation
  28. 28. off to work – saving energy
  29. 29. Multiple Centers of Initiative Bicycle Kitchen Preparing for a Weaving workshop Eco-Villagers earn some of their livelihood doing rehab work “at home.”
  30. 30. More centers of initiative
  31. 31. And still more initiatives
  32. 32. Other Major Projects of CRSP, the nonprofit sponsor of Los Angeles Eco-Village <ul><li>The Institute for Urban Ecovillages: </li></ul><ul><li>provides training </li></ul><ul><li>contracts with some Eco-Villagers for training services </li></ul><ul><li>Expands public awareness about urban sustainable living </li></ul><ul><li>The Ecological Revolving Loan Fund: </li></ul><ul><li>borrows money from friends at competitive interest rates to buy local properties </li></ul><ul><li>Plans to use equity from two apartment buildings to leverage additional borrowing for new development in Eco-Village </li></ul>
  33. 33. A few of the social aspects of Los Angeles Eco-Village <ul><li>DIVERSITY </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnic </li></ul><ul><li>Income </li></ul><ul><li>Generational </li></ul><ul><li>Gender </li></ul><ul><li>Sexual orientation </li></ul><ul><li>Household </li></ul><ul><li>composition </li></ul>
  34. 34. Intentional Community meets weekly and makes decisions by consensus. Trainings held several times each year.
  35. 35. Eco-Villagers share meals several times each week
  36. 36. Advice to new start-up groups: Avoid structural conflict <ul><li>Advice from Diana Leafe Christian, author of Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools for Creating Ecovillages and Intentional Communities </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly Identify your community vision & purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Choose a fair, participatory decision-making process & get training in it. </li></ul><ul><li>Be clear on your membership criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Make clear agreements in writing </li></ul><ul><li>Learn good communication and group process skills. </li></ul><ul><li>Make resolving conflicts a priority. </li></ul>
  37. 37. LAEV has its struggles L.A. Unified School District prepares to install a parking lot for 137 cars in the heart of LA Eco-Village!
  38. 38. And our triumphs City Council President Eric Garcetti dedicates recently completed Shared Street Project in L.A. Eco-Village: Widened sidewalks, narrowed streets, macademia trees. Phase 1 of becoming a car-free street!
  39. 39. And instead of a parking lot, we propose a green mixed use car free development: <ul><li>50 affordable cohousing units </li></ul><ul><li>Year round indoor pool with restored Bimini Baths hotsprings from under street </li></ul><ul><li>Geothermal heating plus living machine educational facility </li></ul><ul><li>Green roof, edible landscape </li></ul><ul><li>LEED-Neighborhood Development Platinum rating </li></ul>
  40. 40. <ul><li>Los Angeles Eco-Village </li></ul><ul><li>A project of CRSP </li></ul><ul><li>A nonprofit organization </li></ul><ul><li>Committed to small ecological </li></ul><ul><li>Urban cooperative communities </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Affiliated with GEN, the Global Ecovillage Network and </li></ul><ul><li>ENA, the Ecovillage Network of the Americas </li></ul>