A model eco-neighborhood is being built on the Pacific Coast of the USA. Its future 300 inhabitants will be America’s least polluting citizens.
It all started in 2009, when a group of investors from Bainbridge Island, a residential island 30 minutes by ferry from Seattle, in the United States, approached real estate development company Asani about a construction project. “They said they wanted us to create something spectacular, ecological and accessible. So I started by asking my team what sort of neighborhood they would like to live in”, recalls Marja Preston, the president of Asani. And so the seeds of the Grow community were sown.
To achieve her zero carbon goal, Marja adopted the 10 guiding principles of One Planet Living organization, which include zero carbon, zero waste and sustainable water management.
Three years down the line, in 2012, just as the first homes were taking shape, Marja received some good news: One Planet Living had decided to support the project. Although the community is far from complete, Grow is already America’s most environmentally-friendly neighborhood.
There are currently 23 homes, each modern and attractive, which have all found buyers without even being advertised on the market. Designed by the architect Jonathan Davis, they are made from super-insulating ecological materials (local wood, recycled plastic, fiber cement siding and the photovoltaic panels on the roof provide all the energy needed by the occupants.
Apart from ecology, the community’s watchwords are possibility, connection and happiness. The neighborhood is designed so that homes are located no more than five minutes from bicycle and electric car stations. Residents can also grow zero-carbon seasonal fruit and vegetables together in the neighborhood’s open spaces and community gardens. “You can live in an urban area but still feel close to nature,” explains Marja.
If you’re interested in living in Bainbridge, 20 new homes will be rented out from summer 2014. Three hundred people are expected to live in Grow by 2015.
Main picture: L’ écoquartier - Copyright 2014. Grow Community | Asani