[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

SG-W:/ Cohousing

      In the Nov 22 issue of the Ann Arbor News there was an article on A6 entitled "Severe global energy crises  may be coming". This article outlined a very serious situation but failed to make the point that this crisis could be permanent and ultimately catastrophic. There are many partial solutions including mass tree planting. However a movement to plan and develop cohousing projects may be the most meaningful single measure needed to save the children. There must be a society where poor people can exist without cars.
This is a copy of what I mean to say before council.
                                         The Ecomindium
         Energy shortages and Global Warming both threaten the future of mankind. The people who fear climate change think we have so much fossil fuel left that we could kill billions through climate change. The people who fear running out of energy believe that this could cause anarchy and mass starvation. Both of these problems have the common solution of using far less energy than we are now.
         The only way we can survive in on 30% or less of our present energy consumption is to cluster human dwellings and life giving activities in such a manner that cars can be eliminated. This means that you must cluster factories, farms, and schools and build only large general purpose buildings. In order to accomplish these goals the city should set up a commission to sponsor cohousing developments which would be designed to save energy.
          One of the meaningful projects that could easily be started now would be to build a small apartment building which I call an Ecomindium on 10 acres of city donated land at the landfill property on Ellsworth road. This would be a building of approximately 4000 square feet on foundation, four apartments per floor, and at least 2 stories for a total of 8 units. By selling each unit for $125,000 per unit, a total of 1 million dollars could be brought in to finance the operation. This should easily build the core building. However the sewage and heating system would probably cost more than a normal system. There would be many experimental energy projects associated with the building. Therefore the city might have to provide some additional funding, perhaps $200,000 to get the project started. One of the important projects for example would be to process and recycle all sewage and waste materials into energy and fertilizer. A system for using biomass for energy would be essential. There would be several solar energy projects. There would be many agricultural projects. The total idea would be to make the whole project as self sufficient as possible.
           It would be essential for the Mayor of Ann Arbor to contact the heads of the University of Michigan, EMU, and WCC in order to get student and faculty help on this  project.. There would be a possibility of getting federal, state, county, or private  money. Many proposals could be written to the Federal government in order to get funding for specific projects. Maybe even Sustainable Washtenaw would raise some funds. The total labor force to make this work could come from building inhabitants, prisons, schools, social organizations and volunteers..
          Widely publicizing this project in order to alert the general public to the fact that our children are in danger would be an essential part of the project. This city government must take the lead in studying both Global Warming and running out of energy in order to get the public support necessary to take action. If the city govenment takes these problems seriously then a portion of the general public may also. If even 1000 people could become activated then wonders could be accomplished. Please help me on this. I am 76 years old and in poor health. I need help in saving my grandchildren.      
                                               Kermit Schlansker  PE  971 5283