Texas A&M Landscape Architecture & Urban Planning
Since I stepped back from the marketing field and stepped into the world of communal living, sustainability and permaculture – I’ve considered going back to school for a higher education related to these topics so I can better share them with others (while making a living).
So I contacted Shannon S. Van Zandt at the department of Landscape Architecture & Urban Planning within the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University, and we scheduled a day to meet with faculty members, Eric Bardenhagen and Galen D. Newman, so I could learn more about the programs and which would be best for me! (Many, many thanks to everyone!)
My final stop of the day was at the Roots Cooperative in Austin, Texas, for their open house and ‘meet and greet’ for those interested in upcoming available rooms.
“We are one of the 8 community cooperative here in Austin Texas. Our focus is on environmental sustainability and community building. We are governed through consensus process and highly value communication. Roots was founded by 10 activists out of the Occupy movement and takes a strong political and social stance for equality by gaining awareness of societal generated oppression and creating a new standard for non-hierarchical relationships.” – Fellowship of Intentional Communities Webpage
This is a view of the rental house turned underground cohousing community, which includes a couple of trailers for additional housing space. It’s tucked into an older neighborhood that is slowly being updated and gentrified with newer homes — a consistent trend in Austin.
Austin Central Library – Sustainable Food Systems Talk
While I was house-sitting for my grandparents in Bastrop, Texas, I planned excursions into Austin to see some sights and attend some public talks. My first public talk was at the new Austin Central Library as part the “Talk Green to Me: Sustainable Living Series,” a collaboration between the library, the Austin Office of Sustainability, and several other organizations speaking in the series.
This was first talk I attended in the series, which was presented by Edwin Marty, Austin’s Food Policy Manager, discussing about the State of Austin’s Food System.
The Seaholm EcoDistrict and Austin City Hall
After the Talk Green to Me presentation by Edwin Marty, Austin’s first Food Policy Manager, at the Austin Central Library, I walked around the Seaholm EcoDistrict and toward Austin City Hall to see some of the new sustainable developments and initiatives in the area.
“The iconic Seaholm Power Plant lends its name to the entire Seaholm EcoDistrict and symbolizes the revitalization of this prominent area in the heart of downtown Austin.
After the power plant was decommissioned in 1989, the property was designated as a brownfield site and was considered too contaminated for use. Between 1997 and 2003, significant investment was devoted to cleaning up the historic site, and in 2005 a public-private partnership was formed to redevelop the building using green design and construction practices.
Restoration of the power plant created a ripple effect of sustainable development surrounding the site and today the Seaholm EcoDistrict is a vibrant hub of residential, office, and community gathering spaces that reflects Austin’s spirit of originality and soul.” – City of Austin Webpage
Monolithic Dome Institute
My two week adventure to Austin started with a stop at the Monolithic Dome Institute’s Dome Research Park in Italy, Texas.
As a kid, I would always travel by Bruco, the giant dome caterpillar, on our family trips to visit my grandparents before they lost their home to one of the Texas fires several years ago. So this was the first time I actually pulled off the highway and took a look at the actual domes and houses that made up this unique dome community!
Here’s my travel itinerary by blog post coming from Oregon down south back to Texas. You can learn more about each of my stops by click on the links for more information.
I’ve also included my planning process so you too can see where I found these eco-road trip stops. Many of these communities were listed in official intentional community directories, which helped me find their contact information to reach out!