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The Grow Community  //  Bainbridge Island, Washington State

Grow Community, Bainbridge Island, Washington State

The Grow Community, the second endorsed One Planet Community in the USA, is now under construction on 8 acres (3.2 hectares) in the urban commercial center of Winslow, Bainbridge Island, in Washington State. The pedestrian-oriented, zero carbon, multi-generational neighborhood emphasizes housing accessibility to a variety of economic levels and embodies all of the goals of One Planet Living. The project is less than a 5-minute bike ride to the ferry to downtown Seattle’s financial district, making it a unique transit-oriented development for cyclists.

The project’s 131 lofts, townhomes, flats and cottages are energy and resource efficient, small-footprint homes designed at a human scale, incorporating compact and livable design features, with built in storage, composting and recycling spaces.  Homes are carefully designed to accommodate families, single residents and older people interested in downsizing, and multifamily buildings provide much-needed rental housing on the island. Residents will find plenty of shared outdoor space and a central shared community building that serves as an art and rehearsal studio, workshop, and neighborhood party space.

The layout of the Grow Community is intentionally designed to encourage interaction and build social capital, and originates with the concept of a seedpod, a self-sustaining module, containing everything it needs to grow and thrive in an organic and spontaneous environment.   The green spaces throughout the site are also shaped like a seedpod,with a central community green area and pedestrian pathways branching out from private and shared gardens.   An ambitious urban agriculture program is planned, and well-kept organic pea patches and fruit trees will be located throughout the design, providing opportunities for urban food production and community interaction. In addition, a partnership with a nearby farm will expand the potential for residents of the Grow Community to participate in a working farm just a short walking distance away.

The project is designed with the goal of achieving zero carbon living by 2020.  On- and off-site photovoltaic systems will be used to achieve this goal.  Water reuse systems will be incorporated into each home and multifamily building to reduce water consumption, and materials will be sustainably sourced with an emphasis on local materials and PVC-free housing.

A community center will be located directly across the green from the school.  The center will be shared space for both the school and the residents.  This building provides an assembly/gathering space for group events for the school, as well as space for the residents to expand their living experience.   A fireside room, a kitchen, a children’s play area, art and music rooms, a woodshop and an outdoor terrace for dining and concerts are all possible design elements that could be included in this building that will be central to building community in this project.

The Grow Community is being designed to encourage residents to use alternative transportation.  The project site is an urban infill project, within 5-minute walking distance to a major transportation hub – the ferry terminal, and within 5-10 minute walking distance to urban amenities, including a grocery store, schools, the library, restaurants and shops.  Strategies to reduce the vehicle usage are therefore being developed, and include unbundling of parking spaces, flex cars and a flex truck, and provision of bicycle storage facilities.

The design of the Grow Community enriches everyday lives of residents by creating the opportunity to live in close proximity to people who have chosen a sustainable urban lifestyle.


About The Developer

Asani is a real estate development firm working to create projects that impact positively on communities and the environment.  Asani develops profitable projects that are based on quality, integrity, creative design and innovation.  Asani focuses on urban infill developments that are both socially responsible and environmentally sustainable.