Imagine a Self-sufficient Lafayette Terraces


[Image: courtesy Guallart Architects]


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With the City Council's approval of the Lafayette Terraces project, it's now time to focus on development and construction. This is an important topic that came up several times - in various forms - during the last two public hearings. The different concerns ranged from threat of wildfires and evacuation routes to ensuring the buildings blend into local scenery. But one particular comment from a community member caught my attention, and that was for the hope that this new community would be built with COVID-19 in mind.


Building Self-sufficient Communities

That idea is very plausible - to build new communities, and even cities - with pandemics in mind. The premise is based on creating self-sufficient cities. These cities would be capable of growing their own food; having their own work, live, and rest areas; would be powered with on-site solar power; and the streets would be designed for foot and bike traffic. China is currently planning just such a city for 5 million people — Guallart Architects won a post-covid housing competition for Xiong’an. But how does that help with a pandemic?

[Image: courtesy Guallart Architects]


Designing Communities with Pandemics in Mind

According to Fast Company, these self-sufficient cities are designed with pandemics in mind, "Apartments are designed with space to work from home in future outbreaks; if the lock-down isn’t as strict, people can use co-working spaces in each apartment building. The abundance of onsite food production offers fresh daily produce. Terraces give each apartment private outdoor space, and are designed to have a landing zone for future drone deliveries. Manufacturing spaces in the building give residents access to 3D printers and other tools, so they can make parts for repairs in their unit without leaving home." See more design images here


Creating a Self-sufficient Lafayette Terraces

Building a community of the future could start right here in Lafayette with the Terraces project. We might not quite be ready for drone deliveries; but solar power, rooftop gardens, bike lanes and pedestrian sidewalks are all great first steps towards a self-sufficient, and sustainable, Lafayette.

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