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blueprint of how rural land should be used and where the housing should be placed?  RSS feed

 
Wesley johnsen
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is there a book that shows a blue print of how the rural land should be used like for housing and how many acres for single home lots and vacation spots? i need opinions on this and want to get as much information as possible. i read some great books on cohousing and other types of communities. how can the land be used but at the same time keep it pristine and protected. should the bigger farms be cohousing communities while smaller ones single home per lot? forest tracts for cabins while keeping the big timberlands off limits to development?
 
Adam Klaus
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The book you are looking for is "A Pattern Language" by Christopher Alexander, et al. A masterwork that covers all aspects of building, from the big scale of rural/urban layout, all the way to the smallest scale of home interiors. It is a genius work, one of my favorite books of all time.
 
Wesley johnsen
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thanks for the info on the book. i will have to check it out. also i want an opinion and that is do you think its better to keep a cohousig neighbourhood in a rural setting on separate land next to the working landscape in order to prevent a community from controlling private farm operations to much? i did see a cohousing development in a rural setting that was separate from the adjacent farms and the farms were in a community land trust as opposed to being owned by the cohousing community but the people in the cohousing community are allowed to farm if their a farmer and want to make a living.
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
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Wesley johnsen wrote:thanks for the info on the book. i will have to check it out. also i want an opinion and that is do you think its better to keep a cohousig neighbourhood in a rural setting on separate land next to the working landscape in order to prevent a community from controlling private farm operations to much? i did see a cohousing development in a rural setting that was separate from the adjacent farms and the farms were in a community land trust as opposed to being owned by the cohousing community but the people in the cohousing community are allowed to farm if their a farmer and want to make a living.


You're asking a lot of different questions in both this post and the first one.

Generally, densely clustered housing makes for more efficient use of resources (including financial capital) and a much lesser ecological footprint. Makes much more sense to have a large communal sauna/bathhouse than to plumb 1.5+ bathrooms in every dwelling. Likewise with a kitchen, pantry or laundry room. Shared walls reduce the need for heating/cooling. The big tradeoff is privacy.

Where to site a housing cluster on the land? Lots of factors. Where will the roof catchment & greywater flows end up? Where is the fire sector? Is there any risk of flood or mudslides? Where is the winter sun for passive solar heating? If you heat with wood, do you have to lug firewood uphill? Will you have to pump water uphill and create water pressure? Where is existing road access?

I don't see why the housing and 'farm' would need to be in separate land trusts. I think one land trust could lease both homesites and farm sites to 'tenants', which retaining full community ownership of the land.

There are also governance questions in there. How much say does the community have in the daily operations of a farm? I would tend towards a sociocratic model, where those actually involved in the work of the farm would be the ones making the decisions about how farm land gets used.

I would also tend towards letting any farm operations be run as private businesses, run by those with the passion & ambition to make it work. Unless you have a really coherent group, communal farm operations are likely to be extremely challenging due to the fact that farming is actual work.

Lots of communities have a kitchen garden that supplies the kitchen for shared meals. Such a garden is often run by community members who are contributing the # of hours that they are required to contribute to be community members. In my mind, that would be different from raising cash crops, that I think is best run as a private business.
 
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