CNU21 Saturday Sessions

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Agrarian Urbanism and the Mormon Block

   I had the pleasure of doing this session with Susan Finlayson of Wasatch Community Gardens and Sharon Leopardi of BUG Farms, both of Salt Lake City. Here's my tweet-cast of their comments, followed by a few comments on my presentation:

• Susan: A community garden is a place, an activity, and an idea.

• Susan: A community garden is 10% garden and 90% community.

• Susan: At the heart of every community garden is an engaged community.

• Susan: To engage the garden's community you need a community organizer.

• Susan: We have workshops through the year on gardening and cooking.

• Sharon: I never grew food or even liked vegetables growing up.

• Sharon: I came to realize that the food industry is one of our biggest problems, and that gardening is a great way to help.

• Sharon: SPIT farming: Small Plot Intensive Farming

• Sharon: One of the most interesting things is knocking on people's doors and saying "hey, can I use your yard for a garden?"

• Sharon: My starting capital was $5,000 from my parents.

• Sharon: When I started, I didn't have a single day off from May to October.

• Sharon: My first year I had 1/8 acre. My second year we upped it to 3/4 acre and I hired 3 people to help me.

• Sharon: Growing vegetables is great but it's hard to make money. I'm looking at expanding into prepared foods as well.

• Sharon: Most of our planting is direct-seeded; all of our planting is in raised beds with closely-spaced plants.

   My part in the presentation asked the question: is it possible to .

CNU Open Source

Mike Lydon: Tactical Urbanism: 4 people with shopping carts cross street w/signs: 1-problem 2-what if? 3-rendering 4-if you like, honk

Chuck Marohn: Topic - How to stop soothing the conscience of the privileged and start learning from the public

Chuck: infrastructure projects create lots of support because of jobs, local consultants, etc.

Chuck: the public learns of infrastructure projects at the end of the process. we should start with the public

Chuck: if infrastructure project options are ever shown to the public, they are usually Dumb, Dumber, and Dumbest

Michael Mehaffy: Topic - Urban Acupuncture

Michael: great cities are always undergoing transformations that are making them better

Michael: the ability for cities to continually adapt makes them resilient

Michael: great cities are always undergoing transformations that heal and improve them

Michael: top-down and bottom-up in place-making should not be either/or. we need systems capable of being both

Michael: "We need a web way of thinking" - Jane Jacobs

Paul Crabtree: current Saudi water systems run long distances. our proposed system for city expansion is neighborhood-based treatment

Paul: our streets harvest all the rainwater that falls in the community into a French drain in the median

Paul: the French drain was co-located in the trench already being dug for the wastewater line

Paul: our system reduced existing runoff by 75%, while typical practices double or triple undeveloped land runoff

Howard Blackson: Topic - The Decision District

Howard: Decision Districts are one lot deep along two sides of a street

Howard: how do you do standards for an entire cities that allow for the setup of Decision Districts?

Bruce Donnelly: Topic - Urban Tissue and Subsidiarity

Bruce: the idea of subsidiarity came originally from Catholicism

Bruce: Urban tissue formation: 1-connection centers, 2-develop back land, 3-connect backs to make blocks

Bruce: Whose responsibility is it to connect the backs?

Bruce: front street is mainly a public responsibility

Bruce: it is a spiritual responsibility to connect the backs, weaving our cities together

Bruce: Step 4 of urban tissue formation is breaking through the grid as needed

Mark Nickita: the primary city works best if it is well-tied to the metro area

Mark: I'm from the Rust Belt, which is horribly positioned branding-wise with the Sun Belt

Mark: we're re-branding the Rust Belt as the Lake Belt

Mark: water is a significant part of all Lake Belt activities

Mark: you've gotta identify what you have before you can brand and leverage what you have

Mark: the Lake Belt is a network of 50 million people

Mark: old corridors that have been abandoned to rot can be reborn as something new and interesting

Mark: embrace your four seasons. if winters are cold, celebrate with winter festivals

Mark: they're not remaking Buffalo as it was before; they're remaking it as a new place

   ~Steve Mouzon


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