Gulf Road - USA
Building an intentional community is a complex process not only ecologically and for supporting infrastructure, but additional tasks are involved for organizational development and defining relationships within the community. The task of laying out the ecological systems for the community must consider these dynamics. Access within and onto the property is one of our first design considerations. Within a homestead or farm, the traffic load is fairly light. In an intentional community, however, the traffic can be repeating the same pathways multiple times a day. The area of rooflines in hardscapes is multiplied many times over which increases the volume of water running off the built environment in each rain event. Systems need to be aligned to deliver landscape resources to each residence and gather any waste materials for composting or disposal. The pressure on the land is immense as is the extraction of resources to support the community. The carrying capacity must seriously be considered before the number of occupants on the land can be decided. Is there enough natural capital to support production? If trees are cut to make room for buildings and roads, how does that affect the hydrological cycle within that environment? How will human waste be managed? Overall what is the tolerance of the members within this community for the variables or limits of resources? Are the members willing and capable to adapt their lifestyle to new rural systems or does there need to be a modest amount of infrastructure for modern amenities? Assumptions and romanticism abound during the planning stages. Initially, thoughtful pragmatists (that’s us) are seldom appreciated until carefully structured conversations build a cohesive understanding. The human systems design process will take time and need intentional mindfulness ( or like-mindedness) to make the community a lasting success.
Climate: Gulf Coast, Sub Tropical
Annual Precipitation: 38 inches
Function: Intentional Community
Size: 35 acres