November 27, 2013

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.

Pop-Up Planning: New Methods for Transforming the Public Process

(RECAP: Looking to push the envelope beyond the traditional community workshop with its unimaginative PowerPoint presentations at the lectern, and weary audiences dissatisfied with the process? Want to liven up the planning process? Well pop a ‘Pop-Up’ into it and see what happens.)

What is Placemaking?

(RECAP: Rooted in community-based participation, ‘placemaking’ is both an overarching idea and a hands-on tool for improving a neighborhood, city or region. It has the potential to be one of the most transformative ideas of this century.)

Maufacturing Solutions

(RECAP: There’s a growing number of success stories where residents are gaining ownership of their communities and their futures, thanks to organizations that recently recognized the untapped potential of manufactured homes in addressing the affordable housing crisis, and the role residents can play in that transformation.)

Strength Matters: Improving Organizational Operating Performance

(RECAP: To be cost effective and have impact, nonprofit owners and developers must be entrepreneurial, productive and cost-effective. To achieve these results, community development real estate institutions (CDRIs) need tools to identify operational strengths and challenges, respond appropriately to each, and to assess and mitigate risk.)

Built to replace Ellen Wilson housing project, townhouses are a mixed-income model

(RECAP: Washington D.C.’s first social experiment with mixed-income housing—a federally funded project that replaced abandoned public housing—has become a model for other developments, even if it made only a modest contribution toward solving the District’s affordable housing problem.)

20K project builds smart homes for under 20k

(RECAP: Sometimes the definition of "affordable housing” is enough to raise eyebrows, but in Alabama, a state with some extremely impoverished regions, a group of architecture students decided to take it seriously with the 20k Program. The program aims to build houses for under $20,000, reflecting the maximum amount of money someone living on Social Security could realistically spend on a home.)

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