Creating Sustainability in Oregon

The master plan for Salem, Oregon's Pringle Creek Community is ambitious, says Jim Fitzsimons, incorporating mixed-use, sustainable development with the community-enhancing aspects of old city neighborhoods.
January 17, 2009, 5am PST | sbuntin
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When architect James Meyer set about to create a master plan for Pringle Creek Community, he was working off a fairly ambitious request from the property owner: design a walkable, mixed-use, sustainable development with the community-enhancing aspects of old city neighborhoods; have it reflect the most comprehensive thinking and best practices in the field of green infrastructure; and save, for re-use, as many of the pre-existing buildings as possible. Oh, and save every tree that you can.

Pringle Creek Community's 32 acres are part of the 275-acre campus of the former Oregon Home for Developmentally Disabled Children. When the State sold the entire property, which sits on gentle hills just three miles from downtown Salem, it was to a group of community investors committed to green development. Whether the other 243 acres will eventually be developed as a walkable neighborhood is unclear-it's still the hope-but in December of 2004, Sustainable Development Inc. (SDI), a local company, purchased the 32-acre parcel and was ready to get started.

When SDI and the design team began their discussions about the project they realized it would be focused on the very things-food, energy, and construction-that were the legacy of the property."

Thanks to Simmons Buntin

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Published on Saturday, January 10, 2009 in Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built & Natural Environments
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