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Sustainable Community Design
It is not possible to envision a compelling future without first building bridges to a sustainable tomorrow, by way of planning and designing intelligent, self-sustaining communities. Creating a Sustainable Future (CASF), a non-profit organization, proposes to establish living models for zero-waste, sustainable communities with very low-energy requirements. Provisionally named the ‘Intelligent Clusters 286W Communities,’ the models would lead the vitally important transition to the post-fossil fuel era, a tumultuous time dominated by failing ecosystems, environmental catastrophes, toxic pollution, civil conflict, food water and land scarcity.
Intelligent Clusters are eco-centered communities that are planned to substantially reduce, or eliminate where possible, the residents reliance on cars, fossil fuels, consumer goods and imported food that travels halfway across the world. Sustainable planning and community design allows the residents to live and work within the Clusters, walking or biking for nearly all of their daily tasks and requirements. The link from the Clusters to other destinations would be served by mass-transport systems.
It is intended to create sustainable local and regional economies by eliminating waste and pollution, decreasing transport miles, thus reducing the environmental degradation, and creating high quality goods that are produced within the Clusters. The communities produce their food locally, generate own renewable energy, utilize local resources for their needs and recycle their waste and by-products to the maximum extent possible.
Intelligent Clusters 286W communities apply ethical design, such as permaculture for food production, land use and community building.
What is Permaculture?
Having evolved as a holistic design process, permaculture is a combination of principles and design techniques that are applied to creating sustainable human settlements, which integrate plants, organisms, humans, other animals, energy and natural cycles, organizations and buildings and their interplay. The aim of permaculture is to create ethical, productive and sustainable habitats and communities by mimicking nature’s patterns.
Permaculture is a successful approach to designing sustainable systems that are adaptable and meet human needs in both rural and urban settings and in varying climatic zones and cultural circumstances.
Intelligent Clusters would integrate disciplines including ecology (eliminating emissions and pollution, water cycle, waste management), renewable energy, sustainable architecture (energy efficient housing, production units and landscape), local and regional economy, social sciences, animal husbandry, organic food production and agroforestry to create sound socioeconomic cultures that are vital to creating sustainable communities.
An Intelligent Response
Intelligent Clusters are ethical, permanent communities created as an intelligent response to the rapidly deteriorating, unsustainable urban cultures, environmentally destructive food production methods that are polluting the atmosphere, poisoning the air, land and water, reducing biodiversity and causing desertification by removing billions of tons of topsoil from fertile lands annually.
Physical Design and Construction
The residential, educational and business units within the Intelligent Clusters would be built from emission-free, natural materials that are available locally. The Clusters are designed esthetically as eco-centered cultural structure conducive to maximum human welfare. Residents will live and work in a sustainable environment without the need to commute – allowing for more quality-time spent with their families and friends and the pursuit of happiness.
In its first phase of operation, the Clusters aim to reduce the residents’ per capita fossil fuel consumption by about 80 percent compared with the regional averages, without compromising the standards of comfort. Such large reductions in fossil fuel consumption would contribute to a carbon neutral environment locally.
The Greatest Challenge: ‘Retrofitting’ Existing Populations Centers to 286W Communities