Thursday, Sept 25: Community Potluck & Presentation – “Urbanism Matters”

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“Urbanism Matters – Why Healthy Urbanism is Essential for Healthy Communities”, presented by Nick Deitch of Main Street Architects, an award winning Ventura firm specializing in sustainable design.
Nick will let us know the newest concepts for urban planning intended to reverse the negative impacts communities have suffered since the arrival and domination of the automobile. He’ll focus on pedestrian friendly connections versus the promotion of urban sprawl, the separation of homes and services, and distancing that grew following the onset of the car. He will also share concepts for a healthy community taking into account our local Valley concerns and the rural / urban interface.
Thursday, September 25, 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the Chaparral Auditorium – 414 E. Ojai Ave.
This event begins with our popular community potluck. If joining us for the meal, please bring a vegetarian dish to share (local and organic ingredients encouraged) and your own table service.

There is a $5 suggested donation at the door and includes a drawing for a Nutiva gift pack.

Evening Program:
6:30-7:00 networking
7:00-7:30 dinner
7:30-8:30 presentation and Q&A
8:30 drawing (must be present to win)
Our Green Living Series is being made possible by the Nutiva Nourish Foundation.
Watch for further educational and skill-building events to come.

“Urbanism Matters – Why Healthy Urbanism is Essential to Creating Communities in Balance”
Nicholas Deitch, Architect and Urban Activist
Key Topic Points
Urban and Suburban are not antithetical… Suburban is a sub-set of the urban realm.
Urbanism and Sprawl are antithetical… It is our tendency to sprawl that has created so many problems.
“The patterns out of which a building or a town is made may be alive or dead (Sustainable or
Unsustainable).To the extent that they are alive, our buildings, towns and cities can let our inner forces loose, and set us free. But when they are dead, they keep us locked in inner conflict.”
Christopher Alexander
A Pattern Language
Urbanism is of our nature – part of our human heritage, but from which we have separated ourselves – a collective memory forgotten. Yet, it is this settlement form (close-knit and interconnected) in which we can most readily thrive, in balance with the forces and elements of nature and the forces and elements within ourselves.
Introducing the automobile into our cities was like introducing cancer into the cells of a living organism.

is essentially urban erosion. The normal patterns of the living tissue – walkable streets and dense urban structure – were eroded by car-enabled growth, with no relevant connection to the existing organism… Sprawl only makes sense when we drive everywhere.
Old Urbanism is simply the way we built our towns and cities before the car enabled us to detach ourselves from the natural patterns and stuff of daily life. The introduction of public transit, like rail and streetcars, affected this basic form, but not beyond recognition.

New Urbanism
seeks to understand and describe the characteristics of good urban places with thoughtful planning and codes that emphasize City Form over Land Use.
The essential strategy of new urbanism is focused on discarding the notion of planning through separation of uses, instead focusing on creating livable communities by emphasizing:
• walkable neighborhoods
• a mix of housing and other building types, scaled to their place in the city
• a system of connected streets and blocks
• a distinct sense of hierarchical intensity (a “transect”) from center to edge – a “sense
of place”