Grow Community, USA
An endorsed One Planet Community
The Grow Community in the urban commercial center of Winslow, Bainbridge Island, in Washington State, is the second endorsed One Planet Community in the USA. The pedestrian-oriented, zero carbon, multi-generational neighborhood emphasizes housing accessibility to a variety of economic levels and embodies all of the goals of One Planet Living. The project is less than a 5-minute bike ride to the ferry to downtown Seattle’s financial district, making it a unique transit-oriented development for cyclists.
The project’s 131 lofts, townhomes, flats and cottages are energy and resource efficient, small-footprint homes designed at a human scale, incorporating compact and livable design features, with built in storage, composting and recycling spaces. Homes are carefully designed to accommodate families, single residents and older people interested in downsizing, and multifamily buildings provide much-needed rental housing on the island. Residents will find plenty of shared outdoor space and a central shared community building that serves as an art and rehearsal studio, workshop, and neighborhood party space.
The layout of the Grow Community is intentionally designed to encourage interaction and build social capital, and originates with the concept of a seedpod, a self-sustaining module, containing everything it needs to grow and thrive in an organic and spontaneous environment. The green spaces throughout the site are also shaped like a seedpod,with a central community green area and pedestrian pathways branching out from private and shared gardens. An ambitious urban agriculture program is planned, and well-kept organic pea patches and fruit trees will be located throughout the design, providing opportunities for urban food production and community interaction. In addition, a partnership with a nearby farm will expand the potential for residents of the Grow Community to participate in a working farm just a short walking distance away.
The project is designed with the goal of achieving zero carbon living by 2020. On- and off-site photovoltaic systems will be used to achieve this goal. Water reuse systems are incorporated into each home and multifamily building to reduce water consumption, and materials are sustainably sourced with an emphasis on local materials and PVC-free housing.
A community center is located directly across the green from the school. The center is a shared space for both the school and the residents, providing an assembly/gathering space for group events for the school, as well as space for the residents to expand their living experience. A fireside room, a kitchen, a children’s play area, art and music rooms, a woodshop and an outdoor terrace for dining and concerts are central to building community in this project.
The Grow Community is being designed to encourage residents to use alternative transportation. The project site is an urban infill project, within 5-minute walking distance to a major transportation hub – the ferry terminal, and within 5-10 minute walking distance to urban amenities, including a grocery store, schools, the library, restaurants and shops. Strategies to reduce the vehicle usage are therefore being developed, and include unbundling of parking spaces, flex cars and a flex truck, and provision of bicycle storage facilities.
The design of the Grow Community enriches everyday lives of residents by creating the opportunity to live in close proximity to people who have chosen a sustainable urban lifestyle.
Phase 2 construction underway
Grow Community’s first neighborhood, the Village, broke ground in 2012 and all homes promptly sold out, indicating strong demand for the innovative One Planet Living concepts on which the community is based. Construction of multifamily units in the Village will be completed this summer. All units are preleased, and there is a strong waiting list for future vacancies.
Grow Community’s latest phase will bring two new neighborhoods, the Grove and the Park, featuring a mix of townhomes, single-level homes and single-family residences. Homes in the Grove will be arrayed around a quiet native woodland, while the Park’s residences will flank a broad open green. A community center for use by residents unites these neighborhoods and the Village, which is nearing completion.
“We’re very excited to be embarking on this next phase of the community,” said Jeff Sharp, Grow Community development manager. “In designing and building the Grove and the Park, we are completing our vision of providing an enriching place to live – one that provides opportunities to age in place, enjoy the benefits and satisfaction inherent with intergenerational living and doing it all in a sustainable and healthy community.”
About The Developer
Asani is a real estate development firm working to create projects that impact positively on communities and the environment. Asani develops profitable projects that are based on quality, integrity, creative design and innovation. Asani focuses on urban infill developments that are both socially responsible and environmentally sustainable.