Tiny Houses Alone Can’t Solve the Housing Crisis. But Here’s What Can

By Chris Winters, YES! magazine

For Julia Rosenblatt, the solution to affordable housing was to move in with friends and family—more than 10 people under one roof. Rosenblatt, a co-founder of the HartBeat Ensemble theater group in Hartford, Connecticut, had a wide circle of friends and acquaintances in local activist communities. The year was 2003, the United States had launched a war in Iraq, and the post-9/11 environment was making her think differently about what kind of life she was going to have for herself and her family. An initial group of about 20 people liked the idea of creating an intentional community: living together with a shared set of goals and values to have a life that would be more meaningful, less harmful to other communities and the environment—and more affordable.   In 2008, six people moved into one house. The big move came in 2014, when those six were joined by five more...

Paris is Building the Eco-Community of the Future Right Now. Here’s How.

By Susannah Shmurak, Ensia

May 23, 2018 — Every so often an environmentally friendly building gives us a glimpse of the low-carbon future so many climate plans envision. With the development of Clichy-Batignolles, the city of Paris has created a groundbreaking eco-village filled with such buildings. Begun in 2002, the massive redevelopment project is about 30 percent complete and is slated to be finished in 2020. In 2007, Paris became one of the first municipalities in the world to adopt a climate action plan, setting goals for greenhouse gas emission reductions above and beyond those outlined by the European Union. Employing virtually all the tools in the green builders’ toolkit, Clichy-Batignolles aims to be tangible evidence of the city’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint as well as an experimental laboratory for testing what’s possible in climate-sensitive redevelopment. What used to be a train yard is being turned into an urban park surrounded by...

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