WELCOME
Wholeness
What is a Generative
Code?

Overview of the
Building Process

ACTION & PRACTICE : A Generative Code for Neighborhoods
1. Startup & Vision
2. Diagnosis of the Land
3. Setting Density
4. Modifying the Code
5. Public spaces
6. Building volumes
7. Building layout
8. Building design
9. Project Management
10. Craft & Construction
Library of all unfoldings
Coming soon
WORKBOOK
    Workbook Assembly

    Printing Pages

    Worksheets-Section 1
Coming soon
DRAWING PAD
    Drawing instructions
    The drawing pad itself
DEVELOPER'S PAGE
    Developer's charter
Management practices

    Money innovations
    Development process
THEORY & BACKGROUND
    Basics
    Generative codes
    Community
    Main Steps
    What is unfolding?
    Example neighborhds
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OUR SERVICES

OUR SERVICES PROVIDE A SYSTEM OF SUPPORT AND PRODUCTION THAT ALLOWS people to take back the conception, planning, building, making, and care of their own environments.
 

We provide a full range of professional services, but we specifically provide carefully chosen forms of service that support -- do not replace -- your own thoughts, feelings, and visions. Some of the services we provide are modest and low in cost. Others rely on you for a great deal of the work which needs to be done. Others provide a conventional kind of planning and building operations, in which we do everything possible to realize your wishes, but we do the bulk of the work.





Go toOUR PHILOSOPHY
Go toLOW-COST DIRECT SUPPORT
Go to PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
Go toHOW TO START WORKING WITH US


Our Philosophy
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Whether construction is run by big construction companies, or by local builders and small groups of neighbors, the tools we offer make it possible for people to live in houses or apartments that are highly differentiated and unique. These tools also make it possible for the businesses they run, or the workshops they work in, to be part of the neighborhood, and for these, too, to be unique, friendly, identifiable, and not part of the commercial and deadly world which became pervasive in the 20th century. It is our hope that, in the long run, people all over the world will gradually take back control over layout and conception of their neighborhoods and buildings -- possibly supported by enlightened developers who allow the necessary processes to thrive within the framework of a successful development business.

To achieve such a world, people must help work towards it, for themselves. Huge, distant developers and huge commercial builders are not going to supply that kind of world, and are, probably not capable of doing it with real heart, due to their separation from the real place. At best they might try to fabricate something that looks like a personal quality, if they believe it is in their own commercial interest. But that will never give us, or them, or you, the real thing. Nor will it genuinely take care of the world, the land, the trees, the flowers, or the animals. The real thing can only come from you.
It is our aim to help you, and your friends, and neighbors, and partners to achieve this quality, wherever you live, in the town or countryside where you live -- in London, or in Colorado, or in the outskirts of Madras or Istanbul, or on the banks of the Rio Amazona.

This website has a great many sophisticated tools which will make it possible for you and others to lay out new neighborhoods for yourselves, to build up a small neighborhood from a house or two, and gradually give it its own life. You can learn enough here, to know the issues that arise in city planning, and in architecture. You will also learn that to do them well, you need to follow intuition and feeling, tamed by discipline, not with a rigid hand, but with love, as you might take care of a flowerbed in your garden.

It is our hope that people will use the material on this site in their project, in making and improving their own neighborhoods themselves. Some may wish to use the material here, but may want some assistance with what they are doing. For those who desire assistance, we are happy to help.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE DIFFERENT WAYS WE MAY BE ABLE TO HELP YOU


Low-Cost Direct Support
In Case You Need a Bit of Help, We Offer Low-Cost Direct Services Like These
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PERHAPS YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT A POSSIBLE PROJECT

. . . large or small, and need some tools with which you can get people involved -- help discussion with family, friends, neighbors, professionals, or colleagues. We can advise on a wide variety of issues and projects, on an hourly basis. If you want a sounding board and advice, this low-cost option may be well-suited to your needs. We can suggest a way of looking at the materials of this website, so you find things most relevant to your situation.

PERHAPS YOU ARE STARTING TO THINK ABOUT A BUILDING OR A GROUP OF BUILDINGS

Together with others, you have an idea or inspiration to build a certain kind of complex, possibly a group of buildings. You may already have written a description, perhaps even a pattern language, which describes how some of you, collectively, see the project. In this case we could help take your pattern language, and make it into an operational generative code, so that it can then really become the basis of the actual layout, and building design. If the cost of the whole building complex is beyond your present financial resources, we can construct the generative code so that buildings can be designed and built, one by one, making the place better and better as each contributes to and fine tunes the previously existing ones.

PERHAPS YOU ARE A CITY MANAGER, OR DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR OR PLANNING OFFICER

. . . wanting to build a new neighborhood, but are beset by difficulties. Perhaps, in your town the rather extreme requirements of local and national authorities (ODPM and Pathfinder in the UK), are causing difficulties. Townspeople object to old neighborhoods being torn down. The housing authority insists on high density. All in all it is hard to make a beautiful neighborhood which keeps the best of the old, and introduces beautiful new buildings that fit and make the old ones even better.

We may be able to offer you a kind of generative code and procurement process which can resolve these human, procedural, and financial dilemmas in a practical way, that leads to a genuine renaissance of that neighborhood.

YOU MAY BE A SMALL-SCALE DEVELOPER

. . . struggling to do better work, but caught in an industry which makes it hard? In this period in history, development, often in the hands of huge corporate conglomerates, has a bad name for creating faceless and giant projects which have little soul or atmosphere.This context of practice and expectation makes innovation difficult.

The task is to help people's lives to become better. Not an easy task. The required changes in procedure and management can work in the context of running a successful business. If this interests you, please let us help you find out how it would work in the case of the way you run your business.

ARCHITECTS AND ARTISTS MAY BE ESPECIALLY INTERESTED IN THE GEOMETRICAL COHERENCE OF BUILDINGS

This geometric and artistic quality of buildings, one of the deepest losses of the last 100 years, can be understood and taught, and can be practised. We often collaborate with other architects on real projects -- architects who may wish to learn in the process what some of the deepest aspects of this geometric quality are, and when to introduce such buildings into neighborhoods, especially where they can do the greatest good for the human core of the place.

UNDERTAKING DIRECT BRICKS AND MORTAR CONSTRUCTION IN A PUBLIC PLACE: A GIFT TO THE COMMUNITY

It could be that a city, a neighborhood group, a church council, a charitable trust, or a company want to make a mark in a public place, for the public benefit -- something as small as a fountain, or as grand as the medieval cross in Chichester, West Sussex, UK. If there are groups hoping for such a thing, to be undertaken in a craftsman spirit, with the aim of providing something memorable, and profound to mark a spot, we are able to undertake such work. In particular we can work to involve local citizens and craftspeople, and teach them the way such work is done to make something truly beautiful and memorable, perhaps making a lasting trace that animates the place for a very long time.


Professional Services
In Case You Would Like More Full-Scope Help, We Offer These Professional Services

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PLANNING AND BUILDING AN ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD WITH YOU

If you own a large parcel of land, and want to build a group of houses and business on your land, we can undertake community development and construction, in the fashion described in Main Steps. We can help attract people and build a community, develop a generative, process-based master plan which allows context-sensitive growth to take place over time, build the infrastructure and the buildings.

GENERATIVE MASTER PLANS FOR NEW COMMUNITIES

We can develop for you a generative, process-based master plan which allows context-sensitive growth to take place over time. The community will then be able to grow sensibly and evolve by reacting to the already built context, with little effort wasted on fixing too much ahead of time. See an example of such a master plan, for a town in Oregon.

GENERATIVE CODES FOR NEIGHBORHOODS IN EXISTING CITIES

Like the many examples shown on this site, we can prepare a generative code for your neighborhood or your city. We have written a wide variety of generative codes, covering a wide variety of particular situations. These codes can address:
  • new neighborhoods,
  • renewal of neighborhoods,
  • zoning for pilot neighborhoods,
  • city wide zoning,
  • multi-family housing codes,
  • infill housing
We can also write generative codes which can address other problems/opportunities you may face.

DESIGN OF THE PUBLIC OUTDOOR SPACES IN A NEIGHBORHOOD

Public outdoor space is the lifeblood of a community. The public spaces together provide the connective tissue that brings a place to life. We can assist your neighborhood by working out the design of the web of outdoor spaces, or the detailed design of individual outdoor spaces: for example streets, intersections, parks, paths, a waterfront, a neighborhood garden -- or any one of these.

DESIGN OF INDIVIDUAL BUILDINGS

Ultimately a neighborhood is realized by the buildings which shape the outdoor space. If you wish we can design, or design and build the building project which you may face. We work on projects from the very large to the very small. Public buildings, schools, neighborhood centers, multi-family housing, individual homes, gardens -- we can be of assistance to you.


How to Start Working with Us
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TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROJECTIf you would like to explore the possibility of getting low-cost advice or professional help from us on your project, using the techniques described on this website, please send us an email in which you tell us, in rough terms, what your needs are.

If you havent already filled out and submitted our basic worksheet, please submit it now.

If you have already submitted the worksheet on the home page, and want to explain more, please do so by e-mailing info@livingneighborhoods.org .

Or, if you don't know yet what your needs are, or do not know how best to describe them, please tell us in very informal language how you are situated, what you would like to do, and what problem you are facing.

OUR REPLYWe will email you back telling you if we are able to help, and how we think we might best provide assistance. If you choose to go forward with us, we will begin by phone. An initial phone discussion with one of our staff might last anything from half an hour up to three hours. If you wish, it could be spread over several days. During this time we will try to formulate a very rough approach to your situation.

FEES
This initial consultation costs $120/hr. Should you wish to continue after the initial consultation, we will formulate, with you, an approach that meets your financial constraints, and gives you something useful for as little money as possible. If you have an appointment for a phone consultation, please sign up your credit card details together with the maximum charge you currently authorize.

WHEN YOU FEEL THE NEEDOur long-term aim will be to put you in a position where you and your partners can continue working together, with the help of materials available on this website, backed up when necessary by our help, as and when you feel you need it.

We would not normally expect that you would require full professional services in the early stages. If your project does ultimately progress to the stage where you need planning permission, or need help running group discussions in your neighborhood, or preparing building designs, or site layouts, we will always be prepared to provide these services, as needed at professional rates. But the aim, to start with, will be to get you and your partners to a stage where you have a clear idea of what you want to do, and how you may best go about doing it together.

SEND US AN EMAILTo make an appointment for a phone consultation, please send us an email by clicking this link: info@livingneighborhoods.org . Please include the basic worksheet and include it with your email.

Didn't Find Your Situation Described Here?
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If you have a problem that is rather different from the ones described above, and feel you need help, but do not know that the help you need fits into these categories, please describe the problem to us. It will help us and other users of this website, and we will try, if possible, to suggest some way of solving your problem, or talking it through with you. Please contact us and talk to us.


CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STRUCTURE
established 1967
and
CENTRE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STRUCTURE, EUROPE established 2005


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