Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Preserve in Stockton

"The Preserve in Stockton will be a socially vibrant, ecologically sensitive, and economically sound community. It is designed to create new and diverse housing choices and jobs, attract new businesses, and enhance the health and well-being of both people and the environment. All of these goals will be achieved while allowing us to comfortably live within our ecological fair share of the planet."

This is the vision statement of a new community currently being planned for Stockton, California. Stockton may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about sustainability, but lots of surprisingly exciting things are afoot in this town in the heart of California's San Joaquin valley. But more about that in our next post; today, we want to tell you about "the Preserve" a master-planned community that, if built according to its current vision, will turn on its head everything you think you know about master-planned communities.

Developer A.G. Spanos Companies has envisioned the Preserve in accordance with the Ahwahnee principles and Bioregional's principles for a One Planet Community (a community which uses only one planet's worth of resources instead of the five planet's worth used by a typical community in North America today. The Preserve is aiming to be a model for a new way to build community that is both radically sustainable and eminently livable.

Two significant environmental issues at stake in Stockton are the diminishing wetlands that this town, adjacent to the Sacramento Delta, was once replete with, and the culturally, socially, economically and environmentally significant history of agriculture in this region. The Preserve plans to restore wetlands and other natural habitats as well as promote sustainable agriculture.
A significant portion of the land is reserved for environmental restoration and agriculture, providing residents with locally-grown food, open space, and natural habitats that will attract a wide array of plants and animals.

Social and economic sustainability are also at the forefront of their efforts. Businesses and retail, recreation, bike and walking trails, education, health care and job creation: All of these things are woven into the blueprint for the Preserve. Their plan is to make it simple for residents to live a healthier, more environmentally responsible lives. Check out their website to learn more.