Village Homes in Davis, California – an example of what ‘designing with nature’ looks like on the ground
About Village Homes
Developed in the 1970s and 1980s, Village Homes is a seventy-acre subdivision located in the west part of Davis, California. It was designed to encourage both the development of a sense of community and the conservation of energy and natural resources. The community includes 225 homes and 20 apartment units, and is distinguished by the following design features:
Open Land — The commonly owned open land comes to 40 percent of the total acreage (25 percent in greenbelts and 15 percent in common areas.
Natural Drainage — The common areas also contain Village Homes' innovative natural drainage system, a network of creek beds, swales, and pond areas that allow rainwater to be absorbed into the ground rather than carried away through storm drains. Besides helping to store moisture in the soil, this system provides a visually interesting backdrop for landscape design.
Orientation — All streets trend east-west and all lots are oriented north-south. This orientation helps the houses with passive solar designs make full use of the sun's energy.
Street Width — Roads are all narrow, curving cul-de-sacs; they are less than twenty-five feet wide and generally aren't bordered by sidewalks. The curving lines of the roads give them the look of village lanes, and the few cars that venture into the cul-de-sacs usually travel slowly.
Pedestrian/Bike Paths and Common Areas — Alternating with the streets is an extensive system of pedestrian/bike paths, running through common areas that exhibit a variety of landscaping, garden areas, play structures, statuary, and so on. Most houses face these common areas rather than the streets, so that emphasis in the village is on pedestrian and bike travel rather than cars.
Edible Landscaping — Fruit and nut trees and vineyards form a large element of the landscaping in Village Homes and contribute significantly to the provender of residents.
For the complete story, click on Village Homes.
Posted March 2009