Natural Charm Along the Transect

Welcome to this week’s Wednesday Workshop, where we examine the components behind Groveland’s natural charm. This week we will dissect the rural-to-urban transect and observe how natural charm is woven throughout Groveland’s transect-based Community Development Code.

A transect is a cross-section of an environment showing a range of co-existing habitats. Biologists and ecologists use transects to sample the changes in abundance of flora and fauna over a selected distance. In one transect, one might be able to see a variety of ecosystems blended by ecotones. These ecotones are quintessential because not only are they rich in biodiversity, but they also unite the distinct ecosystems into one symbiotic system.

The same is true for the rural-to-urban transect in cities, where though each zone serves a unique purpose, the real value comes out of the entire living, breathing system. In New Urbanism, the rural-to-urban transect is used to combine social, environmental and built features along a continuum, in a way that preserves the integrity of each of the six Transect-Zones (T-zones) for the local character and form of the community.

Correspondingly, just as animals are highly adapted to different ecosystems, humans also differ in what environment is best suited to meet the needs of their daily lives. As discussed in the Introduction of the Community Development Code, some humans thrive in urban centers while others prefer rural hamlets, and many thrive in the zones in between.

The illustrative table at the beginning of the Community Development Code (refer to Image Gallery) synthesizes the dominant elements of Groveland’s natural charm and demonstrates the role they play in each T-zone. These elements include vernacular architecture, light imprint development and agriculture, among others. From the table, you can also see how the community types are blended together in the rural-to-urban transect. For example, T4 exhibits a fusion of the Town Edge, Village Center and Urban Core; this ecotone integrates social, environmental and cultural diversity.

One prominent component of the rural-to-urban transect, as applied to Groveland, is local food production. As explained in the table, Hamlets, Villages and Towns showcase local food production at varied scales, such as farms, yard gardens and rooftop gardens. This comprehensive collection of local food resources combines to create a healthy, livable and resilient city.

Check out the Image Gallery for examples of various transects and a preview of the upcoming Community Development Code. Thank you for tuning in and remember to join us today, Wednesday, August 12th, at 10:00 AM for a special virtual Wednesday Workshop!

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