Michelle Kaufmann’s green dev resource

If you’re looking for a reliable green resource regarding placemaking and design, take a look at architect Michelle Kaufmann’s blog, as well as her firm Michelle Kaufmann Design. It’s long on practice and real world examples without getting bogged down in theory and lecture.

For instance, her blog is like a green placemaking combination of Apartment Therapy and the one you’re reading right now. She recently published Embracing Thoughtful, Walkable Neighborhoods: Housing Collapse Reveals Pressing Need for Green Communities, a user-friendly guide to green development for very current times, featuring the substantive infographics pictured above and below.

Here’s her Ten Green Communities We Love, with the most natural cultural district oriented ones in bold:

1. Somerset Parkside, Sacramento, CA
2. Greenbridge Development, Chapel Hill, NC
3. Florence Lofts, Sebastopol, CA
4. Village Homes, Davis, CA
5. Prairie Crossing, Grayslake, IL
6. Orenco Station, Hillsboro, OR
7. The Fields of St. Croix, Lake Elmo, MN
8. Steelworks Lofts, Williamsburg, NY
9. Highlands’ Garden Village, Denver, CO
10. Belmont Dairy, Portland, OR

…and her 10 EcoPrinciples, fully explained in the document described above.

1. Smart Design: Design to use less, to collaborate with the landscape, and for longevity as well as flexibility by…
2. Energy Efficiency: Reduce the need for energy and supply remaining demand via renewable sources by…
3. Water Conservation: Save and reuse water while reducing runoff by…
4. Reduce Waste: Funnel traditional sources of waste to facilities that allow for new and productive uses for refuse by…
5. Healthy Environment: Create a clean, healthful living environment for residents by…
6. Diversity: Forge a healthy mix of residents from different backgrounds and at various points in their lives by…
7. Smart Location: Build someplace and design in a way that offers environmental, social, and economic benefits by…
8. Respect the Land: Protect a site’s existing landscape and ecology by…
9. Smart Auto Strategy: Lessen the intrusion and impact of automobiles by…
10. Shared Resources: Help cultivate unity, collaboration, and reciprocity by…

What green placemaking resource would you use? This one? Comment below!

  • JimmyJazz332

    This is a great idea, but once again, why are architects using ugly modern/post-modern architecture?! It destroys neighborhood continuity!

  • There are lots of things to praise in both designs – notably the “post modern architecture”, despite jimmyjazz332’s lamentable nostalgia for twee crap. I’d love to see a twee cottage rammed in a gritty urban environment and then hear him talk about destroying neighbourhood continuity – maybe it deserves to be destroyed, Jimmy?

    Community gardens without defensible space? Even if any plants don’t get stolen to sell at car boot sales, and even if the area just doesn’t used for dogs and cats to defecate in, which resident is going to risk having his or her labour and investment taken by freeriding vegetable thieves? Nice in principle, rubbish is practice. Community gardens need to be secure if they’re going to be used to grow food; as a place for “guerilla gardening”, then fine.

    What’s so “eco” about cement? Sure it’s low maintenance, but isn’t it very carbon intensive to quarry, manufacture, transport and dispose of?

    Large windows are only “eco” if south facing and with high U values. If you live on a busy street, then the larger the window opening, the more NOX you’re beathing in. Nice.

    I’d love to compare break-in rates of flats built with easy access balconies and trellises facing public space against those without. Would you want your nice neighbours to be able to climb a trellis or overhang from the street and steal your iPod from your bedside cabinet?

    I’d love to hear of local authorities in the UK that have adopted grasscrete pavements. Absolutely love to hear it. You won’t, because it’s illegal.

    Rather than piddle around with green roofs, surely given the amount of washing and showering people do these days, it’s immoral in a new build development not to include rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling. A subterranean watertank would probably save far more run-off than a roof garden.

    My point is that what may seem like nice ideas may also turn out to be unviable or even the opposite of what they seem.

    Bill Dunster and ZED factory architects in the UK are producing some great low carbon developments: