Build Ivywild by Lola S. Scobey
How awakening an old school is sustaining our world: Fennell Group's proposal to redesign cities from the neighborhood up

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Build Ivywild is an appeal to Americans. It is an appeal to regain control of our lives by adopting the vision and tools we need to achieve a healthier, happier, newly prosperous way of life.

The concepts presented in this book view the natural environment and the built environment—cities, neighborhoods, and buildings—as well as the cultural environment as organisms that must benefit one another if any are to survive. Build Ivywild addresses many of the problems plaguing our society and our world today. It asserts that the way we design and build can be a springboard for making difficult lives better.

Economically, this book makes the bold move of placing individual small businesses in the same paradigm (as organisms in mutually beneficial associations) that facilitate the exchange of byproducts. Sharing byproducts allows businesses to function more efficiently and minimize waste, which lowers operating costs, increases profits, and encourages stability. Ivywild, in a pioneering move, brings system-based byproduct sharing, typically seen only in large industrial and agricultural applications, to small businesses at the neighborhood level.

Building community is perhaps the ultimate goal. In the Ivywild model, a specific group within a community—an age group, for example—can have a mutually beneficial association with another group. The wisdom of elderly neighbors can instruct our children and our children can reciprocate with energy and fresh ideas, to give one important example.

While serving both natural and built environments, Ivywild serves as an economic and cultural catalyst as well. Enterprises in the Ivywild district are designed to share byproducts with one another: the waste from one enterprise is repurposed and reused as a component of another enterprise’s new product. Water and spent grains from the brewery, for example, are used as irrigation, compost, and fertilizer for the gardens. Sharing byproducts reduces operating costs and reduces waste.

The district is designed to emulate a closed-loop system: an endlessly circulating loop that keeps the district alive. It is a first step toward a neighborhood becoming more self-reliant.

We need stronger ways for communities to cooperate and get things done, and we need them now. A district like Ivywild promotes America’s success by addressing everyday challenges on a neighborhood scale in three broad areas: environmental, economic, and cultural. This is the distinctive characteristic that sets an Ivywild district apart from other sustainability efforts: it debuts in the real world as a comprehensive system actually designed into neighborhood life. And this model can spread from neighborhood to neighborhood to revolutionize an entire city.

Ivywild is visionary because it responds systematically to environmental, economic, and cultural crises. It’s also highly pragmatic because it is a solution that resourceful teams of neighbors can easily accomplish. It encourages emerging designers to join with neighborhood teams of entrepreneurs and skilled workers to create a unique signature—an Ivywild style—a design approach that can help our citizens understand how to build a new way of life together.

In the face of disappearing natural resources, economic decline, and fragmented human community, Ivywild shows us a sustainable path forward—a path we can make work, a path we can easily take.

The Ivywild district will be carefully tested and phased in over 10 years by a small group of committed citizens intent on creating a valid working model for other neighborhoods and cities nationwide. To prepare ourselves and our children to prevail, we must exercise both our intelligence and our love. Ivywild lets us achieve this.

So, Build Ivywild! Build it in every neighborhood.

About Lola S. Scobey

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James R. “Jim” Fennell (fen 'NELL) works as an architect and planner with Fennell Group in Colorado Springs. He is recognized with numerous design awards including Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architects and the Department of the Air Force for his work in sustainability. Jim founded Fennell Group in 1987 and has designed over $1 Billion of buildings, neighborhoods, and districts throughout the United States and in Europe.Author's Home: Colorado Springs, CO
Published May 8, 2013 by Centurion Servant Publishers. 288 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, Arts & Photography, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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