Village Buildings

From HousingWiki


Update January 28, 2021: this book is now being developed in Google Docs doc collection, main page is at:


Village Building book cover mockup 3
Village Buildings cover mockup 3. Above: Camp Dignity, Portland, ca2000. Below: Emerald Village, Eugene, 2019.

Village Buildings: West Coast housing from the bottom up.  

a community-developed book exploring radical & low-cost "bottom-up" housing strategies, from land occupation to camps, to villages for the houseless, to cottage clusters and bungalow courts to affordable and redeployable accessory dwellings, to community land trusts and housing cooperatives.

by Tim McCormick and the Village Collaborative project of SquareOne Villages, Eugene, Oregon. 

Last update: 4 January, 2020. 

This page is an evolving book outline and partial draft; converging ground for notes and other materials collected and collecting elsewhere, such as in the Village Collaborative group, wiki platform, and comments and discussion in various other fora. Also, this is drafting and publishing space for topic discussions, which are further developed as free-standing articles as they develop in response to interest and need. (e.g. Village Buildings bibliography, Homeless encampments, Emergency housing, and articles on specific village projects).


Prefatory quote ideas: see main article: Prefatory quote ideas.

(1) Introduction / background / goals

Village Buildings studies a range of housing approaches at the margins of conventional US practices, that have in common an orientation towards self-determination, low cost, and organic, dweller-directed, community development. 'Village' here is both a term literally employed in many of the projects examined, and a organizing metaphor for housing with certain qualities that are ideally or historically associated with traditional villages. (which aren't necessarily those predominant in actual villages across human history, characterizing which is both beyond the scope of, and mostly incidental to the purposes of this book).

At the center of this exploration are contemporary villages, some of which are sometimes called camps, created by, with, and for the unhoused -- the most marginalized, most at the 'bottom' building upwards -- in the United States. Particularly, today, on the West Coast and in Oregon; an era and a region of startling, highly visible, mass homelessness, and pervasive public anxiety regarding it.

Starting with that focal area, and as a project directly rooted in and centered on those projects and the people involved in them, we circle outwards in time and place and conceptually. We consider, for what light or common pattern can be found in them, various related projects, historical precedents and roots, related development patterns from other parts of the world, and varied ways of understanding such approaches to building and dwelling, such as indigenous, "self-help"/"self build," collective, or cooperative housing. Extrapolating these views through the lens of the present, we also consider an array of proposed or emerging 'village'-patterned future housing approaches. from climate-adaptive eco-villages to mass-customized "citizen sector" social housing. These have various aims such as being more humane, just, and/or sustainable than conventional housing.

To start with just the specific topic of village housing for the houseless in US, we find there is a wide and often clashing diversity of views even about what this is or should be, reflecting conflicts in concepts, values, and framing terminology:

• For architect and community organizer Mark Lakeman, a leader in creating Portland's Dignity Village in the early 2000s, villages are an avenue for rediscovering/reinventing a way of living that is fundamentally more connected, community-oriented, and ecological than our prevailing system.

• Portland State University's Center for Public Interest Design has particularly looked at 'village' efforts as a type of alternative, temporary shelter, and opportunity for public-interest professional and pedagogical design to engage usefully. 

• For Andrew Heben, co-director of SquareOne Villages and author of Tent City Urbanism (2014), villages are a spectrum of ways to fulfill dwelling needs in an effective, self-determined, and comparatively low-cost way, from refugee to transitional villages to permanent small-home cooperative villages. 

• For critics such as USC's Chris Herring, or Barbara Poppe former head of U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, Sara Rankin of Seattle University's Homeless Rights Advocacy Project, or Eric Tars, legal director of National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, what they categorize as camps (or usually 'encampments') for the unhoused are mostly substandard, possibly false solutions, or at best temporary and harm-reduction measures. They are ways that neoliberal urban regimes sequester unwanted bodies, and potentially legitimize their dehumanization and exclusion from mainstream society. 

• For large portions of all people historically and globally 'village' patterns such as informal, incremental, and/or self-built dwelling may be seen as just how most people have lived, both traditionally/rurally and in at least early phases of their own or the area's urbanization. This was the case in fast-growing US and British cities in the 19th Century, as well as today in many 'developing world" cities, many megacities like Nairobi, Lagos, or Mumbai, and particularly the cities of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia where most 21st Century population growth is predicted will occur.

Key goals of this book are to explore and relate these extremely varied perspectives, and to:

1. Help document, assess, and connect a variety of innovative village-related housing initiatives and leaders, particularly those developed after the 2014 book Tent City Urbanism. Those initiatives & leaders include SquareOne Villages' permanent, community land trust / limited-equity coop (CLT-LEC) villages; the POD Initiative, and projects of Meyer Memorial Trust (Portland); new transitional and permanent villages of Low Income Housing Institute, Seattle; MADWORKSHOP Homeless Studio & LA County's Housing Innovation Challenge; Tiny Homes Detroit (CASS Community Social Services) and other permanent village-type housing projects that have emerged around the US and Canada.

2. Offer helpful histories and analyses of certain core underlying, perennially controversial housing questions, such as ways/reasons people distinguish between 'permanent' and 'temporary' or 'interim' dwelling; and between 'shelter' and 'housing'; and how housing needs of marginalized populations are conceived, created, and addressed (or not). We take the perspective that most housing conflicts or debates ultimately trace to just a few fundamental -- if highly complex and difficult to resolve -- issues, that tend to recur globally and perennially; but that debates, policies, and programs tend not to be particularly informed by broad global, historical, or critical perspectives. Like politics, all housing is local; but housing patterns and controversies definitely are not.

3. Consider how 'village' patterns as explored here may help us build a more diverse and socially accommodating housing environment for all, and may be expressed within various buildings forms, e.g. with cooperative and dweller-led development.

4. Provide practical help and frameworks of understanding for the 1700+ people in our Village Collaborative online network who are interested in or already working on village projects, and those with whom they may work or to whom advocate.  

Lastly, with the book project itself, we aim to explore and embody related patterns of building in and for community, as applied to media creation and publishing. I.e. how might we build not just an 'authored' book, but a community knowledge project, to be more participatory, embedded, cooperative, incremental, equity-building, and network-building -- perhaps in a sense more village-like? (see Appendix B: Revillaging the Book).

(2)  A tale of two villages: Safe Sleeping Village, SF, and Emerald Village, Eugene

"Safe Sleeping Village" (#1), San Francisco, April 2020
"Safe Sleeping Village" (#1), San Francisco, April 2020

There's a wide spectrum of possibilities. As an example of one extreme, consider Safe Sleeping Village #1, San Francisco, created during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. An explicitly temporary, reactive and ad-hoc, government-created camp, widely controversial and subject to negative media coverage internationally, characterized as carceral and authoritarian, offering for dwellings nothing more than a grid of spraypainted rectangles on asphalt. Ironically, and for good or bad depending on viewpoint, the Village is also placed directly amid what is perhaps the grandest municipal public architecture complex in the western U.S.

At another extreme: Emerald Village, in Eugene, Oregon, opened in 2019: a permanent, carefully planned, independent, non-profit-developed village, self-funded with community support. Also, implementing an innovative, combined Community Land Trust / Limited-Equity Cooperative model, with an extensive program of documentation and advocacy to support much wider application of the model, with at least three new village development already begun from it.

(pictured on lower half of mockup book cover above).

(3) Camps: places of transition, creation, settlement, marginality, exclusion

Villages often grow from, are viewed as, or have many properties of camps.

Although camps of what are today called the 'homeless' are now often called by the peculiar name 'encampments', I think it helpful to unframe that and consider what is meant by and what have been called 'camps'.

Camps arise from special needs, contexts -- emergency, disaster, protest, settlement, occupation, travel, pilgrimage recreation, festivity, handling disruption or rapid change. Camps can embody wide range of dynamics/goals: agency, adaptation, transformation; or negatively: suspension, state of exception, extra-legality, poverty.

[Where did the term 'encampment' come from? It seems to function as a way to designate specifically houseless camps in the US, tending to break a conceptual connection to all the other kinds of camp. Why do and which people use it?]

[Also, 'tent city'?]

Settlement, squatting, direct action, occupation, land struggles

"One-night house": a global tradition in etymology, law & folklore, holding that anyone who can build a house in one night, on available land, gains the right to stay there. A well-documented and long-running practice in various places such as Turkey and Lima, Peru (where the resulting settlements are called "pueblos jovenes". cf Colin Ward's essays.

See also Tim McCormick's "Knight Houses" project for popup housing in San Jose, awarded $40K grant by national jury in the Knight Foundation's "Knight Cities" challenge, 2014. The name was partly a reference to "one-night house" term used in Turkey and other places for 'squatter' housing, which I naturally thought was amusing and apt, but which also may help explain why local interests or officials apparently intervened to dissuade the Knight Foundation from ever paying me the grant funds, in breach of contract, never resolved. [TM - get logo, visual materials from the project.]. The mayor, Sam Liccardo, was super friendly and encouraging and posed nicely shaking my hand at the public announcement party downtown which Knight Foundation required me to organize [TM - dig up that picture and post here], but something sure put the squeeze on that play soon after.

Nonetheless, the City of San Jose seems to have eventually come around to something like this idea, and now, with Mayor Liccardo still at the helm, and San Jose housing prices and homelessness another leap more out of control, they've developed in last few years the Bridge Housing Communities program using movable tiny houses, and in 2020 the Emergency Interim Housing program [link to section in Emergency housing" article] in response to Covid-19 pandemic.

Anarchist tradition: Kropotkin, Ebenezer Howard, Colin Ward, Giancarlo De Carlo, J.F.C. Turner

Latin America - J.F.C. Turner "Freedom to Build"

Vernacular housing: J.B. Jackson, et al.

"Right to the City" concept and activism: Henry Lefebvre, David Harvey, etc.

1960s onward - alternative housing - Whole Earth catalog, Shelter Publishing, etc.

Kern, Ken. The Owner-Built Home. (Homestead Press, 1972).

Corr, Anders. No Trespassing!: Squatting, Rent Strikes, and Land Struggles Worldwide.1999.

Vasudevan, Alex. (2017). The Autonomous City: A History of Urban Squatting. 2017.

Dignity Village, Portland began as Camp Dignity, employing direct action & land occupation strategies. Mark Lakeman says he eventually counselled them into adopting 'village' name, and strategies of synergizing with Portland aspirational values of ecology and decentralization, ergo 'village' e.g. Dome Village, Los Angeles of the time.

Quixote Village - early days, 2007- as occupation in downtown Olympia, Washington.

Lents Womens Village - precursor to Kenton Womens Village - direct action leads to new village. 

Military camps, & town foundings (e.g. Greek, Roman)

Campus Martius, Rome -- the main etymological referent of 'camp'.

A flood plain between the city (walled area, religious bound) and the Tiber.

Originally mostly a field for military exercises and gathering. Subsequently developed into space for sporting events (natch), and many temples, now the geographic center of Rome and e.g. where the Pantheon is.

A place for changing and exceptional uses -- military preparation, competition, festival, worship, etc -- but stable in its location. In some ways like the 19th Century ex-urban 'borderlands' as examined and theorized for United States suburban development: places for "camp meetings", religious revival meetings, leisure excursions, land-sale promotional events (sometimes elaborately choreographed and lavishly amentized by land promoters, cf. Dolores Hayden Building Suburbia).

Emergency housing - e.g San Francisco "Earthquake Cottages" 1906

see main article Emergency housing

Migrant worker housing

Shafter Camp, Central Valley, California, 1939. Photograph by Dorothy Lange.
Shafter Camp, Central Valley, California, 1939. Photograph by Dorothy Lange.

McCoy, Mike. "Farm Labor Camps: A Look Back at How America Solved the Crisis During the Great Depression." Valley Ag Voice, 3 March 2020.

cf. Steinbeck, The Harvest Gypsies. -- the set of journal articles Steinbeck wrote in 1930s, upon which he developed The Grapes of Wrath.

"[After WWII] in some instances -- in rural California, for example -- tent and shack cities in unincorporated areas gradually were transformed into more settled, if still often informally built, settlements (Stein 1974; Gregory 1988; Starr 1996)."

- Mitchell, Don (2013). "Tent Cities: Interstitial Spaces of Survival." in: Brighenti, Andrea Mubim ed. Urban Interstices: The Aesthetics and the Politics of the In-between. Ashgate Publishing, 2013. [reprinted with minor changes in Mitchell (2020). Mean Streets: Homelessness, Public Space, and the Limits of Capital. (2020).


  • Starr, K. 1996. Endangered Dreams: The Great Depression in California. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Stein, W. 1973. California and the Dustbowl Migration. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
  • Gregory, J. 1989. American Exodus: The Dustbowl Migration and Okie Culture in California. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
from tents to houses in California "Little Oklahomas" ca. 1940.
from tents to houses in California "Little Oklahomas" ca. 1940.

from tents to houses in California "Little Oklahomas" ca. 1940. from Gregory, J. 1989. American Exodus: The Dustbowl Migration and Okie Culture in California:

"Like work, housing accommodations fell way behind the requirements of the 1930s influx. Some families found houses to rent, but tiny incomes forced many others to make their homes in auto courts, trailer parks, or in the private campgrounds usually located just outside established towns. There for a few dollars a month a family rented a tent, a cabin, or a patch of ground and gained access to toilets and showers.

"Even cheaper were the Farm Security Administration camps....Clean, generally well-managed, with tent platforms, sometimes metal cabins, and assorted recreational facilities for up to 300 families, these were the federal government's principle answer to the problems created by the Dust Bowl migration...Mostly  they served new arrivals and the highly mobile elements in the farm labor force. A one-year residency rule and the stigma of living in a 'government camp' kept the more fortunate and established away."

"Buying property of their own was an option for those with somewhat more resources. Despite their frequently marginal economic situation, a substantial number of farm workers acquired their own homes during the 1930s. It was possible because of cheap land values on the outskirts of many valley communities. Understanding the potential market, developers subdivided unused land and sold it in tiny lots with only minimal improvements...

"Of course that was just a start; the next step was building a home. Some paid others to do it for them, but a surprising number, equipped with carpentry skills from years on the farm and burdened with lull periods between jobs, took on the challenge themselves...Scavenging or trading for materials, people built all sorts of dwellings: sound or unsound, attractive or unsightly, usually beginning with a crude shack and working from there on a real house. 'The houses have been built just a piece at a time,' a resettled Oklahoman noted proudly of the Modesto-area subdivision where he lived...At one time nearly everybody in here lived in tents but they have build little houses and have kept addin' on.'"

"Called 'Little Oklahomas' or 'Okievilles' by Californians who resented their makeshift, typically squalid appearance, the migrant subdivisions appeared wherever there were concentrations of Southwesterners eager to buy property, landowners willing to sell, and no buildings codes to interfere. Huge developments spread around the outskirts of Bakersfield...Similar, just beyond the city limits of Modesto, Little Oklahoma's emerged....Fresno, Stockton, and Sacramento watched similar developments spread out beyond the incorporated limits."

"boom towns of destitutution"

Wartime worker, detainee, refugee camps/housing

Vanport, Oregon.

Marin City - enclave in wealthy, exclusionary Marin County; remains so to this day.

see / adapt sections from Social Housing article.

Revival meetings, Chautauqua, Burning Man

Nomadism, poverty, disaffiliation: Hobo camps, Hoovervilles

Camps as protest initiatives and organizing sites 

Hoovervilles, "Bonus Army" march and camp 1932

Nel Anderson.

Don Mitchell - discussion of political/organizing role of hobo camps.

see main article Bonus Army

The Bonus Army march and camp in Washington D.C. began mostly in Portland and was led by a Portlander! Possibly among the most consequential protests in US history, in that it is perceived as having majorly contributed to the election of FDR over Hoover, the first ever Federal social program for homelessness, and key components of the New Deal.

This is one of strangely many key elements in this story that happened in Portland, such as the 2018 seating of US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that issued landmark Martin v. Boise ruling on constitutionality of sleeping/camping bans.

Tent City Boston, Poor People's Movement, ca.1968, Tompkins Square Park 1988

The large camp that occupied much of Tompkins Square Park, in the East Village / Lower East Side of NYC ca. 1987-88, was something called by promoters and observers "Tent City NY". It was controversial among local residents and organizations, and not surprisingly mostly opposed by city officials. Tensions escalated until in [date, year] the New York Police Department organized a huge takeover action, leading to a violent multi-day confrontation later termed the Tompkins Square Riot of 1988.

Tompkins Square Park had a long historical association with radical and labor protest gatherings, particularly from the "Tompkins Square Riots" of 1873 [?], among the largest urban riots in US history, and internationally publicized particularly in labor movements.

Village Buildings organizer Tim McCormick lived adjoining and overlooking Tompkins Square Park from ca. 1998-2003.

In the 1950s-60s, various Beat figures lived or stayed near there -- particularly Allen Ginsberg, who was still living nearby and observed the 1988 riot. Several well-known photographs of Jack Kerouac were taken near there, at Ginsberg's apartment, and walking on 7th St. past what what would later be my building, with the equestrian statue in Park behind him. Kerouac's novel The Subterraneans, though set in San Francisco, is actually based closely on his experiences from that time in the 'Village' (i.e. West or Greenwich Village) and what was then still called/considered part of Lower East Side, now usually called by realtors' term East Village. The part African-American love interest of the narrator in The Subterraneans was based in [what's her name again?] with whom Kerouac was involved at that time, and lived in the area, known from photographs by/with William Burroughs at Ginsberg's apartment, and often depicted on cover art for editions of The Subterraneans.

Christiana, Copenhagen

decades-long-running self-organized sub-city within Copenhagen, occupying an area of former army barracks. Perhaps the most famous of all "temporary autonomous zones".

Dignity Village

from Camp Dignity protest to the most famous and influential authorized village for the houseless.


Right 2 Dream Too rest area, also known as R2D2, began in part -- weirdly enough -- as a retaliation and free-speech protest, on the part of a business owner in Chinatown, downtown Portland, who had long feuded with the City over their efforts to shut down his adult bookstore in an unfortunate (from officials' viewpoint) location right next to the Chinatown Gate. [Arch?].

In the early 2000s, he decided to demolish his store, and host on the lot a rest area for unhoused local residents, which he determined could be defended under free speech legal claims.

15 years later, Right 2 Dream Too is a largely self-sustaining non-profit with a successful and influential, model rest area now located on the Central East Side (near Moda Center arena). It is authorized under a permanent Oregon law permitting urban "campgrounds" -- not, unlike other villages, under a state of local emergency declaration -- and played a significant role in the settlement and broadening of that law to allow more such campgrounds per city. The current rest area is built with tent on platform, tiny houses, and some trailers, on a disused Portland Bureau of Transportation parking lot leased from the city for a nominal rent, in what's actually a very central, well transit-serviced, and in many ways quite scenic and dramatic position overlooking the Willamette River across to downtown Portland.

Right 2 Dream Too is frequently sited as an example of the extreme potential cost-efficiency of self-managed camps for the unhoused, sheltering 20-25 people ongoing and up to 100 people/night with drop-in visitors, with a budget of around $4000/month. (Editor: essentially, zero, unheard-of in homelessness-services terms). It has an operating agreement with the City, like most ongoing such camps/villages, and also a notably positive relationship with the area, as represented by Lloyd Center [what's name of that group - Keith is a leader of?] combined resident and business association.

Right 2 Dream Too has financial assets of over $800,000 which were awarded to it through an agreement with Old Town business association to pay for its relocation, but which have been subsequently tied up in legal proceeding related to an aborted relation to a site further south on Eastside near the Tillicum Crossing bridge. While apparently considered indefinitely tied up, and perhaps steadily dwindling from legal fees just like, appropriately, Jaundice v. Jaundice in Dickens' Bleak House, nonetheless this is financial asset practically unheard of for self-organized villages.

Right 2 Dream Too also helped form a wider advocacy organization Right 2 Survive, headed by organizer Ibrahim Mubarak, formerly an early member and leader of Dignity Village and then Right 2 Dream Too. It has become, along with Dignity Village, perhaps the most influential Portland self-organized villages and among the best known in the country.


Hooverville updated to refer to Seattle Mayor Nickels.

Lents / Kenton Womens Village

A key leader in this site occupation in Lents, which led to creation of Kenton Women's Village, may become Portland Mayor! We can hope.

Occupy Movement, & related villages, eg OM Village

Many village projects around the US originated with or have close ties to Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011.

The founder of SquareOne Villages and Village Collaborative, Andrew Heben, began his exploration of this area via an undergraduate planning thesis project of site research to Occupy camps around the country. He and other people observed that these consciously political, autonomous camps often attracted and joined with unhoused residents, and sometimes converted into or joined with or helped spin off more politically conscious, intentionally autonomous and self-identifying unhoused camps/villages.

SquareOne Villages developed from Occupy Eugene camp, which evolved into Opportunity Village Eugene site, which led to SquareOne Villages non-profit being formed to develop and manage OVE and then expand to further villages.

Oakland: direct action, & city co-option, opposition, embrace

see main article: Oakland village initiatives


Moms4 Housing protest, Magnolia St, Oakland; photo by Molly Solomon
Moms4 Housing protest, Magnolia St, Oakland; photo by Molly Solomon

Hagerty, Colleen.  "These moms were homeless. Now they are starting a housing revolution." The Lily (Washington Post), 6 February 2020.

"Moms 4 Housing is tight-lipped about its early days of organizing before the occupation and the specifics that led the group to occupy that particular house at that particular time. It has also, pointedly, avoided laying out who, exactly, makes up its ranks. Throughout their time occupying the house at Magnolia Street, news outlets would report that different women were or were not living there. A volunteer working with the women says this was by design, as some involved were concerned about retaliation at work. The Moms 4 Housing website does not name its founders, despite including photos of some of the women with their children."

"It’s a process that Cross, an Oakland resident for nearly four decades, has been dealing with over the past six years, while juggling multiple jobs and raising two daughters. For help, she ended up turning to the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) Action. That’s where she met the other women in the same situation, including Walker, an ACCE Action employee.

“They've all reached out to me at different times last year, like, ‘Carol, I need your help,’ in ways that moved my heart being that I don't have any resources to give,” explained Carroll Fife, the director of Oakland ACCE Action. “All I had is my ability to organize. So I said, ‘I don't have anything to give you, but I can organize. So let's figure out what we're going to do.’”

Below: 'About' page, photo shows man in ACCE t-shirt.

Moms 4 Housing site About page
Moms 4 Housing site About page

Moms 4 Housing site About page [from 20 Jan 2020 comment on Vahid Brown Facebook post]:

"The current agreement is for Wedgewood to give on this & its other 20 Oakland properties, right of 1st refusal for city/non-profits to buy at fair market value. But, they already had that ability, more or less. The problem is that in a market like Oakland's, this is an extremely costly way to get housing - the Magnolia St. property might be over $1M. Also, it 1-for-1 removes housing from market -- so we have to consider, the people that would have rented or bought the house, what will they do now, leave the area? No, most likely rent or buy other property(ies) in Oakland and displace others.

Meanwhile, within 2 blocks of there, I know from living a block away, there are many dozens of people living informally/precariously in non-residential buildings, being steadily evicted or at high risk of sudden eviction, which City of Oakland could readily address by working out a reasonable amnesty and safety inspection and live-work ordinance extension, as groups like Oakland Warehouse Coalition have been assiduously working for years to get them to do, with the help of probably the county's leading live-work law and architecture expert, Thomas Dolan, who lives in Oakland.

Also, within a block from Moms4Housing's house are at least two long-vacant lots where people I knew worked long and hard, with temporary success, to create many units of very low-cost housing for themselves, friends, and locals, using self-build and container housing and various angles of campground, interim-use, shelter, vehicle dwelling etc. (those were Containertopia, and Sunrise Village, the former who bought the lot in question, the latter who leased it from private owner. See: ""Thinking Outside the Box by Moving Into One." The New York Times, Oct. 13, 2015.

Those low-cost community housing projects, entirely self-funded, were generally fought every step of the way by City of Oakland, apart from some periods when the city just dropped the ball and went inactive on it. Oakland could have had several thriving sites right there of community-built housing, led by really motivated and ingenious local residents, if the city had done little more than just stayed out of the way.

So ironically, to me, this huge media focus on Moms4Housing feels like it's mostly dispossessing the locals, from a richer, longer-running, and rather more complicated local situation. While it is by almost all accounts represented as a kind of spontaneous, local-community uprising, I think the media is being a bit credulous or willfully disregarding the point that one of the moms is an employee of major state-wide advocacy group ACCE (Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment) that is highly involved in battles like that against #SB50 statewide upzoning legislation. ACCE is clearly very involved in coordinating this action, demonstrations, and media, and in my opinion it's quite possible they originated the entire project, including picking an unsympathetic owner whose property to occupy. Which is, in my opinion, all power to them, great organizing! But a more complex story than what's being told, and a missed opportunity for people to really consider what "community development" or community-controlled housing could be in Oakland.

City-brokered sale to a community land trust seems to me a rather costly, institutionalized response that is not likely to address very much of the local need, and stands in sharp contrast to multiple more scalable, cost-efficient, truly community-driven efforts nearby that would have actually added quite a lot more housing, and been better models for change elsewhere.

Sunrise Village, Containertopia, 37MLK (near Mom's House).

(4)  Villages: places of ecology, local scale & control, organic or intentional community

somewhat paradoxically, transitory camps have archetypal village aspects: scale (eg Dunbar's number), local/community control, simple & vernacular building, relative self-sufficiency, mutual aid. Parallels/overlaps w  ideas of universal "traditional urbanism".

Pre-modern - located based on some ecological basis or traditional activity/route.


How did people originally or anciently build in this area? What can we learn from it -- both exempla and counter-exempla -- to help build well-adapted and counter-fragile practices e.g. for heating, cooling, food supply, water supply, health, sustainability, or land-use management?

How have, in any area, people lived and built in places like this who had the least resources, the least social standing and inclusion ("How the other half live")?

What practices do the most marginalized people in our environment choose or resort to, or aspire to, or have applied to them? What practices are used by people in this environment who are choosing to build/dwell with the most minimal resources or environmental impact (e.g., camping, Burning Man).

Pacific NW tribes winter dwelling, from Zuker and Hogfoss
Pacific NW tribes winter dwelling, from Zuker and Hogfoss

Klamath tule hut (southern Oregon / Northern California)
Klamath tule hut (southern Oregon / Northern California)

"Homelessness and indigeneity in Portland"

[notes for a presentation at Portland Forum on Alternative Shelter and Villages, June 25 2020].

"To build on [this event's] land acknowledgment from earlier, we might consider that the native peoples of this land, like the Multnomah and Clackamas, lived sustainably for many thousands of years, in ways we might call homelessness.

They lived

  • semi-communally
  • with shared facilities
  • in somewhat temporary buildings,
  • built from stuff they could find around them.
  • with techniques many people knew;  
  • in different places at different times of year - winter house & summer camp(s)
  • maybe camping or outside sometimes in warmer seasons.

However, we can guess, usually they weren't 'homeless', or unsheltered, because much of the area's land, you could use if someone else wasn't; nor were you forbidden to build for or shelter yourself,

So, yes, we live in a different time and world, a city of 2.5 million people, but still, we might ask: how sensible are our ways of land-use and dwelling, if year after year thousands of us live unsheltered, or stuck somewhere we hate, or facing eviction and no place to go as soon as a paycheck ends?

You might call it naive or idealistic, but this is how I tend to think of shelter and villages -- as just, the ways we might build and dwell using what's around us, so all of us around here might live at least decently. If I'm on the street, or shut out tonight, or got nothing after this month's lease, I call it, a major step up, a huge relief, and a path to where I want to go.

Now, "what's around us" today might include FEMA money, stimulus payments, ballot measure funds, as well as Western Cedar or straw-bales or unused parking-lots. The key thing is to do what we can, with what we have, for all -- for it to be inconceivable to leave thousands of people out, on the street, neither sheltered nor allowed to shelter themselves.

Alternative shelter and villages, therefore, I see as basically, things we can do to give people a place of their own, to be fully human, and a resident, like any of us. They might be basic, things you can do quickly such as a pre-fab cottage or a shared house or cabins; but these might also be homes or sites you could further develop, or relocate -- to someone's backyard, say, as an affordable accessory dwelling -- and stay living in, if you wanted and the situation worked. Call it the new starter home.  

This place, it should be recognized and respected, by city and community, so you know it won't shut down suddenly or disappear, and that your space is your space, your privacy and possessions are yours. You should have clear rights, a voice and a stake and a role in deciding how the place runs; a choice in going there, and choices to move on to from it. You should have health and safety, like anyone else. It should be in a location that's workable, to get to your job or friends or whatever, and it shouldn't be dumped somewhere nobody else wants to live.

It *could* be a place you help make, and shape, and run; and actually something fun and different. It could be a place that isn't only for the desperately poor and pitiable, but maybe also, for the frugal, village-inclined, or minimalist or traveller. It's actually where I want to live, which is another reason I'd like to help build it.

Indigeneity / Indigenism.

Grant, Elizabeth, and Kelly Greenop, Albert L. Refiti, Daniel J. Glenn, eds (2018). The Handbook of Contemporary Indigenous Architecture. Springer, 2018. E-ISBN.

Watson, Julia. LO-TEK: Design By Radical Indigenism. Cologne: Taschen, 2019. ISBN:9783836578189.

Oregon indigenous dwellings.

Berg, Laura, ed. The First Oregonians. 2nd edition, 2007. Portland: Oregon Council for the Humanities.

Lewis, David G. (2016). "Houses of the Oregon Tribes." NDNHistory Research, December 31 2016.

Organic community.

Residents (or local Lord!) significantly determine who lives there.  

Local ownership (even if possibly very uneven or feudal)

Social roles & mutual aid for a variety of people.

'Village' concept in urban development and urban studies

Park Village, London - the progenitor of 'village' urban & suburban development

Park Village, near present Camden Town, London, sometimes referred to as Regent's Park Village: two small, but highly influentially housing developments (Park Village West, intact, and Park Village East, now 1/2 gone because of London-Birmingham railway line). The site plans and houses were designed by leading English architect of the Regency & Georgian eras, John Nash (1752-1835), designer of Buckingham Palace, the Brighton Paviliion, and London's central Regency Street shopping district. He did the Park Villages as a personal side project, conceived as middle-class housing, using some leftover area from his main much larger project overseeing development upper-class housing in and around what is now Regents Park. The planned development of the park area itself didn't end up happening, but the small fringe project Park Village did, and became famous in architecture and planning.

The conception and design ideas of Park Village(s) are clearly traceable to a then-new aesthetic movement championing the "picturesque" (Alexander Pope's anglicization of a French (?) aesthetic term pitteresque (?) meaning picture-like, or picturable) in contrast the 'beautiful' or the 'sublime' modes of art and experience.

Key establishing work: Price, Uvedale. "Essay on Architecture and Buildings." in Essays on the Picturesque, 1794. [section discussing villages].

This and the lineage of how it inspired John Nash are studied in:

Taylor, Nicholas. (1973). The Village in the City. London: Maurice Temple Smith Ltd, 1973. ISBN 0851170110. [available for 1-hour loan from Internet Archive: Tim ordered used paperback 28 June 2020].

see also discussion in:

Survey of London. "Park Village west." Survey of London: Volume 21, the Parish of St Pancras Part 3: Tottenham Court Road and Neighbourhood. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1949. Pages 153-155.

Village in urban studies

Whyte, William Foote (1943). Street Corner Society: The Social Structure of an Italian Slum. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1943. Obscure until republished in 1955 as just, Street Corner Society, after which it became a standard work of urban sociology.

Gans, Herbert J. (1965). The Urban Villagers: Group and Class in the Life of Italian-Americans. Free Press, 1965.

Taylor, Nicholas. (1973). The Village in the City. London: Maurice Temple Smith Ltd, 1973. ISBN 0851170110. [available for 1-hour loan from Internet Archive: Tim ordered used paperback 28 June 2020].

Prince Charles, UK: Poundbury development, village ideas.

from [David Harvey, Spaces of Hope, 2000]:

"But how could it happen that the critical and oppositional force given in utopian schemes so easily degenerates in the course of materialization into compliance with the prevailing order? There are, I think, two basic answers to this question. Let me unpack them by a closer look at what is now held out as one of the leading candidates to transform our urban futures, the movement called 'the new urbanism.'

"[Andres] Duany (1997), one of its leading lights, 'feels strongly that urbanism, if not architecture, can affect society.' Getting the spatial play right, in the manner proposed by the new urbanism will, he argues, help rectify matters. His proposals evidence a nostalgia for small-town America, its solid sense of community, its institutions, its mixed land uses and high densities, and its ideologists (such as Raymond Unwin). Bring all this back in urban design and the quality of urban living and of social life will be immeasurably improved. This argument is buttressed by appeal to a long line of critical commentary (Kunstler, 1993; 1996) on the 'placelessness' and the lack of 'authenticity' in American cities (soulless sprawling suburbs, mindless edge cities, collapsing and fragmenting city cores fill in the pieces of this dispeptic view). The new urbanism does battle with such monstrous deformities (Katz, 1994). How to recuperate history, tradition, collective memory, and the sense of belonging and identity that goes with them becomes part of its holy grail. This movement does not, therefore, lack a critical utopian edge.

"The new urbanism offers something positive as well as nostalgic. It does battle with conventional wisdoms entrenched in a wide range of institutions (developers, bankers, governments, transport interests, etc.). In the tradition of [Lewis] Mumford, it is willing to think about the region as a whole and to pursue a much more organic, holistic ideal of what cities and regions might be about. The postmodern penchant for fragmentation is rejected. It attempts intimate and integrated forms of development that by-pass the rather stultifying conception of the horizontally zoned and large-platted city. This liberates an interest in the street and civic architecture as arenas of sociality. It also permits new ways of thinking about the relation between work and living, and facilitates an ecological dimension to design that goes beyond superior environmental quality as a consumer good. It pays attention to the thorny problem of what to do with the profligate energy requirements of the automobile-based form of urbanization and suburbanization that has predominated in the United States since World War II. Some see it as a truly revolutionary force for urban change in the United States today.

"But there are problems with materializing this utopian vision. The movement presumes that America is 'full of people who long to live in real communities,but who have only the dimmest idea of what that means in terms of physical design' (Kunstler, 1996). Community will rescue us from the deadening world of social dissolution, grab-it-yourself materialism, and individualized selfish market-oriented greed. But what kind of 'community' is understood here? Harking back to a mythological past of small-town America carries its own dangerous freight. The new urbanism connects to a facile contemporary attempt to transform large and teeming cities, so seemingly out of control, into an interlinked series of 'urban villages' where, it is believed, everyone can relate in a civil and urbane fashion to everyone else. In Britain, Prince Charles has led the way on this emotional charger towards 'the urban village' as the locus of urban regeneration. Leon Krier, an oft-quoted scion of the new urbanism, is one of his key architectural outriders. And the idea attracts, drawing support from marginalized ethnic populations, impoverished and embattled working-class populations left high and dry through deindustrialization, as well as from middle- and upper-class nostalgics who think of it as a civilized form of real-estate development encompassing sidewalk cafes, pedestrian precincts, and Laura Ashley shops.

"The darker side of this communitarianism remains unstated. The spirit of community has long been held as an antidote to threats of social disorder, class war and revolutionary violence (More pioneered such thinking). Well-founded communities often exclude, define themselves against others, erect all sorts of keep-out signs (if not tangible walls), internalize surveillance, social controls, and repression. Community has often been a barrier to, rather than facilitator of, social change. The founding ideology of the new urbanism is both utopian and deeply fraught. In its practical materialization, the new urbanism builds an image of community and a rhetoric of place-based civic pride and consciousness for those who do not need it, while abandoning those that do to their 'underclass' fate. Most of the projects that have materialized are 'greenfield' developments for the affluent (including, of course, Prince Charles's own venture in the construction of Pound bury in Dorset, Plate 8.25). They help make the suburbs or the ex-urbs better places to live (Langdon, 1994). But they do little or nothing to help revitalize decaying urban cores. [Vincent] Scully (1994), a sceptical ally of the movement, doubts if the new urbanism can ever get to the crux of urban impoverishment and decay. In commenting on Seaside, that icon of the new urbanism, he notes that it has 'succeeded beyond any other work of architecture in our time ... in creating an image of community, a symbol of human culture's place in nature's vastness' (the same is now being said, by the way, of Prince Charles's Poundbury). But, Scully continues:

"[O]ne cannot help but hope that the lessons of Seaside and of the other new towns now taking shape can be applied to the problem of housing for the poor. That is where community is most needed and where it has been most disastrously destroyed. Center city would truly have to be broken down into its intrinsic neighborhoods if this were to take place within it. Sadly, it would all have been much easier to do before Redevelopment, when the basic structure of neighborhoods was still there ... It is therefore a real question whether 'center city' as we know it can ever be shaped into the kind of place most Americans want to live in." (229)

The presumption here is that neighborhoods are in some sense 'intrinsic,' that the proper form of cities is some 'structure of neighborhoods,' that 'neighborhood' is equivalent to 'community' and 'community' is what most Americans want and need (whether they know it or not). It is further presumed that action at the scale defined by this new urbanism is effective and sufficient to solve problems that exist at all other scales. The nostalgic and spatially limited strain of the utopian dream resurfaces." [Illustration - Plate 8.25 Poundbury, Dorset. Prince Charles has led the way in a movement that calls for the construction of 'urban villages' as a solution to big city problems. He has put these ideals to work on one of his own estates close to Dorchester, and constructed a high density neighborhood appealing to the nostalgia of vernacular styles and small-town intimacies that were supposed to characterize a bygone era]."

New villaging: Utopian, religious, intentional communities,

cf Dolores Hayden (2003), Building Suburbia, on the origins and preeminent influence of 'communitarian' movements in 19th Century US upon broad shift to suburban development. She argues that this was the dominant cultural precedent, rather than British Evangelist movement and such factors focused on in Fishman's Bourgeoise Utopias (1993). But, like almost any lineage of cultural influence, many things entwine and influence is hard to definitively determine.

New villaging: anarchism, Kropotkin, soviets, worker units.

n.b. 'soviet' is a Russian term for a collectivized agricultural village or other production unit.

thus, top-down villaging, you might say.

Dome Village, LA


Hayes, Ted. "History of JHUSA" [Justiceville/Homeless, USA - i.e. Dome City, Los Angeles].

Justiceville/Homeless, USA (2001). "A Look at Dome Village." Dome Village Booklet Publication, Issue 3, July 2001.

Dome Village (Justiceville II), downtown Los Angeles,1993-2006

Founder and housing activist Ted Hayes was friends with Craig Chamberlain, architect and student/friend of Buckminster Fuller, who proposed creating dome dwellings on the site. Chamberlain also apparently had experience with fabricating fiberglass surfboards, and this informed his design of the Omni-Sphere dwellings at Dome Village, made of polyester fiberglass panels bolted together.  

Mr. Lod Cook, the then President and Chairperson of the Board of the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) which contributed $250,000 to initiate the Dome Village said of it at the opening ceremony on November 3, 1993, “The most innovative concept addressing homelessness in at least the last 50 years.”

The 20 20’+12’ apex omni-sphere domes of that made up the village on 11/4 aces lot in downtown, Los Angeles, was invented by Craig Chamberlain, a US Military, Vietnam combat  Veteran and ardent disciple-student, as well as personal friend of the late, R. Buckminister Fuller.

A wealthy property owner, Mr. David Adams, met with Ted, and so understood the immediate and long term resolution to chronic, sidewalk, encampment homelessness, became his business credibility partner; along with LA Mayor Richard Riordan who led the cities Planning Department, to permit the omni-spheres as legal, temporary, transitional structures for so said purposes.

Dignity Village, Portland

particularly strong articulation of cultural & ecological meanings of 'village'.

interview/features: Ibrahim Mubarek, Mark Lakeman

uniqueness: perhaps first US permanent city-sanctioned, resident-established village

Dignity Village's [web] site:

Gragg, Randy. "Guerrilla City." Architecture, May 2002.

“In its ‘permasite’ configuration, Dignity Village could potentially be a working model for a new type of truly sustainable, high density and mixed use, organically developing urban village model. If developed according to Dignity Villages wishes, the village would enhance Portland’s reputation as being the most green city in America. ... Dignity Village hopes to become a demonstration site for solar and wind power, permaculture, environmental restoration, stormwater and greywater reuse and innovative use of recycled materials and alternative building techniques for construction.”


(5)  Camps/camping / transitional villages as part of global history of temporary, transitional, mobile/nomadic dwelling(s)

Camps & informal villages are typically seen, especially in the most modernized and wealthy nations, as distinct from and not convertible into legal, permanent housing - and by implication, as substandard. They may be so, or begin so, in the US in a descriptive or legal sense, but if we take a wider global and historical view, we can see that much of all human dwelling and dwellings, from prehistory to the present, could be called temporary or transitional, and it isn't necessarily non-legal, substandard, or marginalized. Also, the concept of "permanent housing" even today is ambiguous, as it could refer to building types, types of tenure, or types of entitlement to or sustainability/ inalienability of housing.To assume buildings, land-uses, tenures need be 'permanent' to be legitimate is constrictive, maladaptive, ahistorical, ethnocentric, & future-fragile.

Varieties of nomadic dwelling: Schoenauer.

Even separation of workplace & home is type of mobile living.

J.B. Jackson, Cain and Able: fixed vs mobile as ancient, archetypal, opposition.

The battle between fixed and mobile: from Cain and Able to today

Historical and archetypal patterns of

Cain and Abel story:

Allen, John J. (2011). "The Mixed Economies of Cain and Abel: An Historical and Cultural Approach." Conversations with the Biblical World, Vol 31.

Jackson, John Brinckerhoff. "The Mobile Home, and how it came to America." in Discovering the Vernacular Landscape (1984).

Hailey, Charlie (2003). "Camp(site): architectures of duration and place." Ph.D dissertation, University of Florida, 2003.


Vagrancy as a society-wide, formalized concept and subject of criminalization is usually traced to 14th Century Europe, most clearly in England during and after the time of Great Plague.

Mobility isn't necessarily marginal: journeymen, nobles, wealthy

Camps, settlements, waystations, boarding houses, hotels.

Car camps (1930s), mobile home/RV parks, rest areas, state parks, BLM / NPS.

Community First! Village, Austin, particularly integrates mobile, RV park forms.

Modern / regulatory-state view: land use / dwelling form fully determined in advance

by authority, before 'development' of the site. Usually changeable only by a powerful land-owner/developer. Counter-cases: mobile park preservation, tenant protections, area-wide upzoning, allowing owners to upbuild & add ADUs, hyperlocalism,  

Variety of permanence in building forms.


the degree to which buildings are likely sustainable, and to what extent built and operated to be usable after predicted disasters like earthquakes or wildfire, also in effect limit their 'permanence'.

Tenure and precarity

Many people's housing is precarious because of having few to no tenant rights, little financial or income security, & perhaps little protection from catastrophe.  

3.x contemporary 'village' usage often partakes of these dwelling patterns of temporary / transitional. Dignity Village, Opportunity Village, Seattle's LIHI Villages.

What is 'permanent' dwelling?

Perhaps a permanent voucher,or vehicle dwelling you own, is better than rental permanent housing.

(6) What are villages not like?

Another way to approach the question of what villages are -- or really, symbolize -- is to consider the post- or non-village experiences people have had historically, and do have now contemporarily. Which also bears on the questions of why we have mass homelessness, and why 'village' housing isn't suited only to, nor appeals only to, the houseless or marginalized.

Actual village/rural life may not have been much like the archetype

Stadtluft macht frei[1] ("urban air makes you free") - the city/town as realm of freedom, in German, Hanseatic, post-Norman Conquest English regimes.

The experience after the village: mass scale, inorganic community, fractured/partial acquaintance.

from Gemeinschaft to Geschellschaft

Ferdinand Tönnies

Goldsmith's "The Deserted Village" (1770).

Simmel, "The Metropolis and Mental Life" (1903),

individuation, atomization, interactions mediated by many & impersonal mechanisms (market, bureaucracy.)

In "The Fin-de-Siècle Homeless City", focusing on New York City in the late 19th century, Webb [2014]:

"The concerns with the city were not mere fictive backdrops for a good story. They represented an incipient turn to bourgeois reform in the face of modernization. Activists eventually began to acknowledge that bucolic small-town life and the sense of community that was supposedly lost with its waning could never overtake the city—too many forces of capital, migration, rationalization, and technological innovation made such a return impossible.

"The Christian home ideal, which fostered the family as the last remnant of a collapsed Gemeinschaft, would remain the measuring rod for society and that by which the city would be critiqued. Elements of the pastoral and communitarian—thought to best promote the family—would be introduced into the slums to restore order and assimilate the poor laborers overflowing in the slums. The search for order in its legal, spatial, and linguistic senses all sped forward in an often haphazard rush for reforming rationalization. The loss of community and small-town life was considered by bourgeois reformers like Jacob Riis to be a problem of homelessness; the ideal location for the family was lost to the homelessness of the city.

"the problems of overcrowding, cultural hetero- geneity, insufficient privacy for the family, lack of green space, and general urban dirtiness were all considered aspects of homelessness. Journalists and activists considered the city to be the locus of homelessness because it brought these attributes together and because the processes of urbanization undermined older social structures of the small town, which were thought to foster the family."

Housing shifts to more individuated, private/separated (as affluence increases).

Marginalized people & dwellings

In societies and communities generally, many groups of people are marginalized: poor, ill, disabled, indigent, out-grouped, ethnic/racial minorities, foreigners, dissidents, low-caste.

if we consider those "experiencing homelessness," or the houseless, to be merely those who can't afford housing, we'll tend to miss the variety of ways the homelessness reflects marginalization: not only economic poverty but social estrangement ('disaffiliation'), racial discrimination, gender/sexual-orientation discrimination, illness and disability, refugee and immigrant status.

This tends to be so the more conditions are inequitable, disrupted, maladaptive, misgoverned.

Societies + communities always have margins

"The poor will always be with us"

The Bible:

"Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, “Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.” Deuteronomy 15:11 NRSV.

"A woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table. But when the disciples saw it, they were angry and said, “Why this waste? For this ointment could have been sold for a large sum, and the money given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me."  Matthew 26:7-11, NRSV.

"For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always." KJV.

Of course, today as in other points in history it is widely considered a goal of law, policy, and education to assure equal rights and status to groups that have been marginalized or outgrouped: e.g., those of different religious affiliations, racial/ethnic identification, sexual/gender orientation, or all "protected groups" in US law. Nevertheless, this continues to operate in tension with communities' self-definition, with ongoing prejudice, and the many ways segregation and exclusion continue to occur.

Allport on prejudice

Allport, Gordon W. (1954). The Nature of Prejudice.

"Everywhere on earth we find a condition of separateness among groups. People mate with their own kind. They eat, play, reside in homogeneous clusters...Much of this automatic cohesion is due to nothing more than convenience...most of the business of life can go on with less effort it we stick together with our own kind." (p.17-18).

"Open-mindedness is considered to be a virtue. But, strictly speaking, it cannot occur. A new experience must be redacted into old categories. We cannot handle each even freshly in its own right." p.20

"Contrary evidence is not admitted and allowed to modify the generalization; rather it is perfunctorily acknowledged but excluded. Let us call this the 're-fencing' device. When a fact cannot fit into a mental field, the exception is acknowledged, but the field is hastily fenced in again and not allowed to remain dangerously open." p.23.

"the very act of affirming our way of life often leads us to the brink of prejudice." p.24

Nightingale on global history of segregation

Nightingale. Segregation: A Global History.

Diversity of state, status, means, needs, preferences

Immigration, mobile work, disaster/disruption

where housing provision is poor and segregation/exclusion greater, larger portions of people are marginalized to poorly located, substandard, overcrowded, or informal housing.

Today, anti-gentrification view that disadvantaged communities should have more right to exclude. (exclude development, or newcomers, or types of people?).

Gentrification & the new revanchist city of elites:

Villages are distinctly not like, and chosen over, conventional homeless shelters

(Loftus-Farren, 2011).

(7) - Abeyance - Social responses to the marginalized 1: exclusion, exploitation, carceral containment

[image: SF, Fulton Street Mall, tents contained by metal barriers, April 2020]

Vagrancy laws

Workhouses, work farms. Punitive public housing.

Banishment, trans-shipment (e.g. to colonies).

Homeless shelters

Fears of homeless advocates: criminalization, transcarceration, FL

Immigrant detention camps; internment camps.

"The Positive Functions of Poverty" (Gans).  

Homelessness as constitutive (defining, necessary) for housedness (Feldman).

Social control of the labor reserve army. (Piven & Cloward)

Opportunistic disaster response - GW Bush, Trump

Slum housing as profitable endeavor.

'Renter Nation' - refeudalization - bifurcation of owners & renters /UK

"Homeless industrial complex," prison / detention-center complex.

Willse, 2015.

Housing standards (& perhaps socio-economic rights) as exclusionary mechanisms.

In the US, most responses to homelessness are at least partly exclusionary, in that they don't offer to all in need even a baseline of dwelling rights or support.

(8) Social responses to the marginalized, 2: Ambivalent/inequitable containment

[image:  workingman's housing, public housing with rules]

Old Poor Laws

in a sense provided for everybody, but inadequately (some places too poor to support indigent), selectively by indigent vs able; & preventing freedom of motion.

Ghettos, trader/foreigner zones

Asylums, places of refuge

Skid rows, refugee camps

Nel Anderson.

Don Mitchell - discussion of political/organizing role of hobo camps.

Public & early social housing, settlement houses

Informal self-build housing. Colonias in the US.

[+ critiques, e.g. Roy]

Homeless Encampments:  de facto tolerated, or 'sanctioned' temporary

see main article: Homeless encampments

Transitional villages

Nickelsville, SHARE/Wheel, Seattle

SafeGround Sacramento

Low Income Housing Institute, Seattle

Quixote Village, Olympia WA

see main article, Quixote Village.

Opportunity Village, Eugene OR

created by Andrew Heben / SquareOne Villages.  

Parr, Evanie and Rankin, Sara (2018). "It Takes a Village: Practical Guide for Authorized Encampments." Seattle University Homeless Rights Advocacy Project, May 3, 2018. Available at SSRN:


Village of Hope, Portland

Schmid,  Thacher. "A New Self-Managed Homeless Village Just Sprang Up in Northeast Portland." ["The 'Village of Hope' Sits on City-Owned Land, and Is the First Such Community to Emerge Under Mayor Ted Wheeler"].

Portland Mercury, Jan 28, 2018.

Harbarger, Molly. "Police sweep new homeless camp, Village of Hope." The Oregonian. Feb 02, 2018

Elia, Cory. "Keeping hope alive: seeking answers for the future." PSU Vanguard, March 16, 2018.

Elia, Cory.  "City of Portland threatens houseless advocates with fines." PSU Vanguard, April 13, 2018.

Kenton Women's Village, Portland

interview/feature: Sarah Iannarone, members of Lents occupation

Communitecture page on Kenton Women's Village

Petteni, Marta and Leickly, Emily, "Kenton Women’s Village Update and Survey" (2019). Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative Publications and Presentations. 10.

Clackamas County Veteran's Village

Agape Village

Tim's photo album on Agape Village:

Shelter designs after the POD Iniative:  how users, villages, and builders have modified or chosen/developed different designs, and why.

Hazelnut Grove 2.0

Cascadia Clusters.

Clackamas Veteran's Village

Agape Village, Portland

(9) Social responses to the marginalized 3: accommodation & assimilation

Almhouses, asylums, caravanserai - religious missions

Traveller stopping sites, rest areas, Sailors Homes

UK Caravan Act

Urban camping (e.g. in Great Depression), allowing encampments,

Pu’uhonua (place of refuge, in Hawai'ian culture); ancient & contemporary.

Pu’uhonua o Waianae is the name of a community of unhoused residents near the town of Waianae, 30 miles from Honolulu. "Starting as a houseless encampment, Pu'uhonua o Wai'anae has become a full blown community and transitional shelter serving all those who need help."

Barney, Liz. "Hawaii's largest homeless camp: rock bottom or a model refuge?" ["Long America’s vacation paradise, Hawaii is in a state of emergency as it battles a homelessness crisis. Could Pu’uhonua safe zones help alleviate the problem?"]. The Guardian, 22 June 2017.

The organizers of Pu’uhonua o Waianae invoked a traditional concept in Hawai'ian culture of "Pu'uhonua," meaning "place of refuge," the best known of which is preserved at Pu'uhonua o Hōnaunau National Park on the west coast of Hawai'i island (big island).

A fugitive who had broken kapu (sacred law) could seek refuge and forgiveness within the walls of the Pu'uhonua. In addition, in the event that war was declared, families of combatants could seek refuge and safety within the Pu'uhonua. [NPS 2015].

Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Park, Hawai'i. NPS photo.

"Pu'uhonua o Hōnaunau is an important Hawaiian ceremonial site bounded on its southern and eastern sides by a massive L-shaped wall, known as the Great Wall, and on its northern and western sides by the ocean. In addition to the Great Wall, within the Pu'uhonua are several other important ceremonial structures including the Hale o Keawe, 'Āle'ale'a Heiau, and the Ancient Heiau.

"In ancient Hawai'i a system of laws known as kānāwai enforced the social order. Certain people, places, things, and times were sacred -- they were kapu, or forbidden. Kapu regulated fishing, planting, and the harvesting of other resources. Any breaking of kapu disturbed the stability of society, and the punishment was often death. Any fugitive who had broken kapu (sacred law) could seek refuge and forgiveness within the walls of the Pu'uhonua. In addition, in the event that war was declared, families of combatants could seek refuge and safety within the Pu'uhonua and be assured to return home unmolested on cessation of battle regardless of the outcome. Although many pu'uhonua existed in ancient Hawai'i, Pu'uhonua o Hōnaunau is the best preserved and most dramatic given the extent of its monumental architecture.

"The concept of refuge in Hawai'i is an ancient one, with roots found in the larger Polynesian culture. Traditional accounts indicate that a ruling chief of a kingdom could declare certain lands or heiau (sacred structures) as pu'uhonua, and as long as they retained undisputed power these designations would remain in force. Unfortunately no absolute chronology exists for dating the original establishment of Pu'uhonua o Hōnaunau. However, rough estimates can be made based on genealogies and traditional accounts. Some have indicated that the Pu'uhonua may have originally been established by 'Ehu kai malino, ruling chief of Kona, around 450 years ago."

- National Parks Service. "Pu'uhonua o Hōnaunau." Last updated 28 February, 2015; accessed 24 May 2020.

Photo tour:

Hotels, boarding houses, "municipal dorms"; shared, congregate, collective housing.

Full integration

Likewise, in social practices towards the marginalized, there is often a goal or ideal of total integration -- for example, "supportive housing" / "Housing First" models for the formerly chronic, addicted/disabled homeless whereby housing "scatter site" amid and indistinguishable in form or practices from mainstream rental housing. Or regulated-affordable buildings, or Inclusionary housing units, that are by design or by law indistinguishable in form from contemporary market housing; or the use of vouchers or rent assistance whereby poor/disadvantaged households might rent any home they choose can be afforded (and at which the landlord accepts them, which may not be legally or socially assured).

Opposing the ideal of full integration for all there are, of course, various practices whereby some groups are deemed to require separation -- most obviously, the seriously ill, or violent criminals, but also any people segregated away by the more powerful, which as Nightingale observes in Segregation: A Global History

Social housing

Housing First & scatter-site supportive housing

"All types and conditions of men"

Housing as a human right?

Universal rent assistance

appears to include all, except only applies to certain range of low-income, and it tends not to address the problem of housing being scarce where needed.

Housing For All, Minimum Dwelling / Existenzminimum

Most societies don't have enough shared prosperity and tradition of political equality to readily support mass social housing like Vienna. Compare USSR, PRC China, Japan.

Nationally administered programs have often been hard to do well, or to adapt / maintain. E.g US, UK, France, South Africa, USSR, Soviet Bloc, China.  

Villages as urban developers: the curious case of Shenzen and Malaysian kampung

The "appropriate technology" viewpoint comes from observing situations of global disparity, where colonized or underdeveloped countries are marginalized relative to a globalized power, trade, and technology system.

We can also relate this to various ways societies handle or accommodate marginalized people internally -- the poorest, suppressed racial or religious or caste groups; the ill, disabled, indigent, and outcast

There is one viewpoint that the marginalized society or sub-society should be integrated and made equal -- for example by exerting equal rights to self-determination, fair trade and distribution of resources, and attainment of similar fully 'adequate' (eg in international law terms) economic and social conditions. This we could roughly associate with the "modernization" paradigm as described in international development.

In contrast to and polemical opposition to this, the appropriate technology paradigm sees equal development and techno-social practices as not yet and possibly never attainable in some places, and also perhaps in any case inappropriate and undesirable, by imposing uniform and foreign practices on societies not well served by them.

(10) "Positive marginality": building/dwelling on margin as homesteading, cultural identity/project, (re)claiming, community creation, counter-dominant building

Ascetic,religious, literary theme: exile, spirit quest: Vamalkirti, Chomei, Thoreau


Vimalakīrti (Sanskrit: विमल vimala "stainless, undefiled" + कीर्ति kīrti "fame, glory, reputation") is the central figure in the Vimalakirti Sutra, which presents him as the ideal Mahayana Buddhist upāsaka ("lay practitioner") and a contemporary of Gautama Buddha (6th to 5th century BCE). --Wikipedia, "Vimalakirti", accessed 26 June 2020).

Vimalakirti is the wisest of men, and fabulously wealthy, yet lives by himself in a simple hut, where he called upon by princes and people from all around, seeking counsel and wisdom:

The Lord...said to the venerable Sariputra, 'Sariputra, go to inquire after the illness of the Licchavi Vimalakirti.'

Thereupon, the venerable Sariputra had this thought: 'There is not even a single chair in this house. Where are these disciples and bodhisattvas going to sit?'

The Licchavi Vimalakirti read the thought of the venerable Sariputra and said, 'Reverend Sariputra, did you come here for the sake of the Dharma? Or did you come here for the sake of a chair?'

from: Vimalakirti. Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra, translated by Robert A. F. Thurman. The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1976.

Vimalakirti's famous humble hut is the archetype of a rich Buddhist tradition, in scripture and literature and practice, of the small hut or cell as symbol and dwelling of reflective wisdom. Related figures of ascetic dwelling and wisdom are found in many other cultural traditions as well -- for example, in Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition, John the Baptist dwelling in the desert, Jesus and Mohammed living in seclusion or wandering, etc.


"Kamo no Chōmei (鴨 長明, 1153 or 1155-1216) was a Japanese author, poet, and essayist. He witnessed a series of natural and social disasters, and, having lost his political backing, was passed over for promotion within the Shinto shrine associated with his family. He decided to turn his back on society, took Buddhist vows, and became a hermit, living outside the capital. This was somewhat unusual for the time, when those who turned their backs on the world usually joined monasteries. Along with the poet-priest Saigyō he is representative of the literary recluses of his time, and his celebrated essay Hōjōki ("An Account of a Ten-Foot-Square Hut") is representative of the genre known as 'recluse literature' (sōan bungaku)." -- Wikipedia (En). "Kamo no Chōmei."


The 19th Century poet, naturalist, essayist, and philosopher Henry David Thoreau (XX-XX) is perhaps the contemporarily best-known (in the US) icon and depictor of this "tiny house" wisdom depiction, with his book Walden. [add full name and publication year: Walden, or Life in the Woods (1851) ?].

Thoreau had read extensively and was lifelong interested in Indian philosophy, religions, and cultures, and it is thought [citation?] he was probably familiar with the Vimalakirti Sutra and subsequent related works in Buddhist and Japanese tradition, though he doesn't specifically reference it in Walden.

Settlement; Utopian, religious, intentional communities, ministry,

The 'Basiliad' or New City - founded by St. Basil in Asian Minor, present-day central Turkey in the 4th Century C.E.. Considered the first 'asylum' or hospital.

Squatting, occupation, hobo culture

Cooperative housing

Bohemianism, gentrification

Self-help / Self-build housing ("housing from the bottom up), incremental building

Harris, Richard (1999). "Slipping through the Cracks: The Origins of Aided Self-help Housing, 1918-53." Housing Studies, Vol. 14, No. 3, 281-309, 1999.

developing economies - "self build" tradition, "housing as a verb" (J.F.C. Turner), cycle of applying back to more-developed countries.

Ward, P., and G. C. Macoloo (1992). "Articulation theory and self-help housing practice in the 1990s." Urban Studies 16 (1): 60-80.


"Explores the proposition that many aspects of self-help housing practices are being undermined by the penetration of capital accumulation processes at the urban periphery of Third World cities. Specifically, the authors investigate the ways in which different modes of housing production may be articulated - economically, politically and ideologically. Drawing upon evidence in two principal locations (Mexico and Kenya), they analyse the methods and costs of land acquisition by low-income groups, and the production and consumption of building materials for self-help construction. The authors conclude by identifying ways to restore a dialogue between those academics interested primarily in critical theory and housing production, and those researchers and practitioners who are more concerned with policy formulation and implementation."

Walter Segal - Segal Self-Build Housing System - Lewisham, London.

State-aided Self-help housing

Harris, Richard (1999). "Slipping through the Cracks: The Origins of Aided Self-help Housing, 1918-53." Housing Studies, Vol. 14, No. 3, 281-309, 1999.

Middle East - Hassan Fathy

UK - Walter Segal self-build method - council housing, Lewisham, LondonUS community/occupation housing 1960s-mobile/temporary vs permanent housing;  emergency response vs permanent rebuilding

J.B. Jackson; Ian Davis "Shelter After Disaster" 1978.

the Principle of Requisite VarietyBhatt, Vikram, et al. "How the Other Half Builds - Vol 3: The Self-Selection Process." Centre for Minimum Cost Housing, McGill University, Research Paper No. 11, March 1990.

Hamdi, Nabeel. 1995. Housing without Houses: Participation, Flexibility, Enablement.  Warwickshire: Practical Action Publishing (formerly Intermediate Technology Publications), The Schumacher Centre, 1995.

Hamdi, Nabeel (2004). Small Change: About the art of practice and the limits of planning in cities. London: Earthscan, 2004.

Kapur, Purnima. "From Ideas to Practice: 'Self-Help' in Housing From Interpretation to Application." M.S. Architecture Studies and M.C.P. thesis, MIT, 1989.  [advisor: Nabeel Hamdi].

Holtzman, Ben.  "When the Homeless Took Over." ["As the homeless and affordable housing crises become a focus on local and national campaigns, we must remember the rich history and critical contributions of homeless organizers."] Shelterforce, October 11, 2019

Roy, Ananya (2003). “Paradigms Of Propertied Citizenship: Transnational Techniques of Analysis,” Urban Affairs Review, vol. 38, no. 4 (2003): 463–91. DOI: PDF:

"Abstract: The American paradigm of propertied citizenship has far-reaching consequences for the propertyless, as in the brutal criminalization of the homeless. Activist groups, such as the anarchist squatter organization Homes Not Jails, have sought to challenge this paradigm through innovative techniques of property takeovers, invocations of American traditions of homesteading, and Third World tactics of self-help and informality. This study trains a transnational lens on both the paradigm and its subversions. Posing Third World questions of the First World, the author seeks to unsettle the normalized hierarchy of development and underdevelopment and explores lessons that can be learned from different modes of shelter struggles."

Intermediate & appropriate technologies - Schumacher

work of Ernst Friedrich Schumacher, whose theoretical framework of “intermediate technologies,” now known as “appropriate technologies,” gives the most concise and explicit approach to this type of project (Schumacher 1973).

Ernst Friedrich Schumacher advocates for developing a design with low capital costs, which uses local or found materials, keeping with grassroots decision making, working collectively, rather than relying upon individual efforts, the allowance for user control, supporting community empowerment and economic self-sufficiency (Schumacher 1973, 167-168).

The concept of intermediate/appropriate technology is, in a sense, to integrate indigenism with present technological/industrial capabilities. It considers the resources of a society and community holistically, for example recognizing levels of skills, education, capital, and social organization, and what kinds of technology and development may be best able to produce equitable, sustainable outcomes.

In this context, techno-social practices such as advanced machinery and grid utilities may widely improve life quality, but they may also support inequity and disempowerment, for example if extractive industries are developed and controlled for the benefit of local or foreign elites.

Of course, part of the point is that appropriate technology practices probably would be advisable in any situation, not just in 'developing' countries.

Ivan Illich - convivial tools

Communes, cooperatives, Community Architecture, Community Development Housing

CDCs CDHO - tradition since 1960s, pedagogical & social-cognitive (Ruskin, etc!) perspectives.

Wates, Nick, and Charles Knevitt (1987). Community Architecture: How People Are Creating Their Own Environment. Penguin UK, 1987.

(Excerpts / Tim's notes:

DeFilippis, James, and Susan Saegert (2012). The Community Development Reader (2nd edition, Routledge 2012).

Frisch, Michael, and Lisa J. Servon (2006). "CDCs and the Changing Context for Urban Community Development: A Review of the Field and the Environment." Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society, Vol. 37, No. 4, Winter 2006.

Immerwahr, Daniel (2018).  Thinking Small: The United States and the Lure of Community Development. Harvard University Press, 2015.

O’Regan, K. M., Quigley, J. M. (2000). Federal Policy and the Rise of Nonprofit Housing Providers.

Journal of Housing Research, 11(2): 297-317.

Ryder, Marianne. "USP528 - Concepts of Community Development" [course syllabus, Portland State University, Winter 2019].

Simon, William H. (2002).  The Community Economic Development Movement: Law, Business, and the New Social Policy. Duke University Press, 2002.  $5.11

Stoecker, R. (1997). "The CDC Model of Urban Redevelopment: A Critique and an Alternative." Journal of Urban Affairs, 19(1): 1-22. PDF:


"This paper questions the viability of an urban redevelopment model that relies on small communiry development corporations (CDCs) and proposes an alternative. Because most CDCs are severely undercapitalized, they can not keep up with accelerating decay. Their existence, and the emphasis placed on their supposed successes, allow elites to blame poor neighborhood CDCs rather than external conditions for redevelopment failure. The model also emphasizes that CDCs be community-based, but because their resource base is controlled from outside the neighborhood there is really very little community control over CDCs. CDCs may even delegitimize more empowerment-focused community organizing attempts by making them appear radical. Consequently, the CDC development process my actually disorganize poor communities by creating internal competition or disrupting social networks. An alternative model of neighborhood redevelopment is proposed which emphasizes community organizing, community-controlled planning, and high-capacity multi-local CDCs held accountable through a strong community organizing process."

Vidal, A. (1992). Rebuilding communities: A national study of urban community development corporations.

Community Housing Development can be recuperative

Stoecker,(1997). "CDC Model.. A Critique"

Architecture and participation - Giancarlo di Carlo, et al.

"Non-Plan" tradition

UK - manifesto in the New Statesman ca.1969.

Cedric Price, Reyner Banham, Peter Hall, & NS editor.

Situationism, Liminal space / "Terrain vague",

"The concept of terrain vague was first theorized by Ignasi de Sola-Morales in the mid 1990s as a contemporary space of project and design that includes the marginal wastelands and vacant lots that are located outside the city’s productive spaces – which Morales describes as oversights in the landscape that are mentally exterior in the physical interior of the city. Around the same time, the artist and architect collective Stalker defined Terrains Vagues in the plural as spaces of confrontation and contamination between the organic and the inorganic, between nature and artifice that constitute the built city’s negative, the interstitial and the marginal, spaces abandoned by economic forces, or in the process of transformation.

"This book Terrain Vague: Interstices at the Edge of the Pale – edited by the architect Manuela Mariani and the professor of English Patrick Barron - seeks to expand on Sola-Morales ideas and to present the terrain vague through a taxonomy of urban empty spaces presented by the authors in the introduction – derelict lands, brownfields, voids, loose spaces, heterotopias, dead zones, urban wilds, counter-sites. The book aims to collectively refine this notion as a central concept of urban planning and design, architecture, landscape architecture, film studies, cultural geography, literature, photography, and cultural studies, looking at possible positive alternatives to the negative images projected into them."

Barron, Patrick, and Manuela Mariani, eds (2014). Terrain Vague: Interstices at the Edge of the Pale. New York: Routledge, 2014.

Brighenti, Andrea Mubi, ed. (2013). Urban Interstices: The Aesthetics and the Politics of the In-between. Ashgate Publishing, 2013. ISBN.

Don Mitchell excerpts.

David Harvey - Spaces of Hope (2000) excerpts.

Rediscovering informal, interim, tactical urbanism

Tactical urbanism - City Repair Project

City Repair Project (2006). The City Repair Project’s Placemaking Guidebook. ["Collectively authored and edited"]. 1st edition, 2003; 2nd edition, 2006. License:  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5.

"When they approached the Portland Office of Transportation (PDOT) about the project, PDOT rejected the idea, ironically telling some of the neighbors, “That’s public space—you can’t use it!” "Later, some individuals from within PDOT approached the residents and told them that the only way to get the City to even consider such an untried idea was to force their hand. The neighbors refined the design and decided to create the “Intersection Repair” without City approval. In September 1996, they arranged for a legal block party street closure on all four radiating streets of the intersection of SE 9th and Sherrett, and they installed the first phase of “Share-It Square.”

"Share-It Square began as a colorful painted circle, connecting the four corners of the intersection. The intention was to mark the crossroads as shared space. With an eye towards the intersection becoming a permanent public square in the future, they included prototypes of such things as an information kiosk and community watering hole (tea serving station) to represent characteristics of traditional public squares.

"Immediately, PDOT sent notification to remove the installation, and threatened to fine the folks involved. The neighborhood group then engaged PDOT and City Council members in dialogue about the project, and set out to prove its value by surveying the neighborhood and observing behavior at the intersection. The resulting survey showed that the vast majority of respondents perceived increases in neighborhood communication and safety and decreases in crime, both important benchmarks for the City of Portland."

"The neighbors made a presentation to City Council, presenting their survey findings as well as a plan for the management and development of Share-It Square. It wasn’t until City officials realized that the project was meeting a host of City livability goals without spending any tax dollars that the project fi nally won City backing. The Council began issuing a series of City ordinances that granted permits to the project, and set out guidelines for similar undertakings to be installed throughout Portland."

From: Burman (2017), "Liminal Dwelling: Support for Street Residents, a Place of Re-integration and Transition." MArch thesis, Dalhousie University:

"The In-Between.

Every city has spaces that can be considered “terrain vague”, which may be defi ned as derelict areas, wastelands or transgressive zones, that are neither slums nor open spaces but instead, are spaces that look empty and appear to have no current use. They may have once been spaces used for industry that are no longer supported by the post-industrial city. They are outside of the city’s formal circuits and structures, and need to fi nd a new use, but in the meantime, sit vacant, waiting for a new use to emerge (Doron 2010, 247). Instead of being viewed as blocked, inactive thresholds, these spaces should be seen as spaces in which to experiment, that is, spaces that may create opportunity for new forms of social interaction and relationships (Mariani and Barron 2014, 57).

    "Space is not a container to be filled with, or to be emptied of, a specific content, space is rather a network of relations activated, rearranged, and made meaningful by human actions (Mariani and Barron 2014, 49)."

Hailey, Charlie (2003). "Camp(site): architectures of duration and place." Ph.D dissertation, University of Florida, 2003.

Food-cart culture and form

Food-carts as key paradigm-changer and new unit of urban form, discussed by Palleroni & Cruz on OPB Think Out Loud [Blanchard 2012]).

Blanchard, Dave. [2012]. "Designing for Homelessness." [interview with Linly Bynam, Teddy Cruz, & Sergio Palleroni]. OPB Think Out Loud, October 3rd 2012.


Tiny House Movement

Tent encampment as site of political agency

10.x Sparks, Tony. "Citizens without property" (2016): "the tent encampment as a site of creative political agency and experimentation."

In design, planning, pedagogical fields

Hazelnut Grove

Village Coalition

interview/feature: Vahid Brown, Village Coalition, Hazelnut Grove

others in OR & elsewhere

Portland State, Center for Public Interest Design

Connecting global practices of informal, community-based, participatory development

Rethinking Shelter project/exhibit, 2012

Teddy Cruz interview

from interview with Teddy Cruz, 2012 Visiting Professor at CPID, on OPB Think Out Loud [Blanchard 2012]:

"I've been interested in documenting many of the, what I call stealth activities that happen in many neighborhoods of immigrants who come and maybe plug an economy into a garage, or maybe build a granny flat that is illegal, just to support an extended family... much of this incredible social and economic entrepreneurship sometimes is not really included in the zoning regulation, and in a sense I've been trying to amplify how this activity in the hands of immigrants comes to retrofit the monoculture and mono-use parcels of many of these older neighborhoods could be the DNA to in fact rethink land use and ultimately housing models.

"So I think that what we are talking about maybe in Portland in the context of these projects and these initiatives is pretty much the same. It may not be immigrants per se, but it's really about the entrepreneurship also of youth, and how their activity can begin to inspire the reorganization of housing models, and here is then when architects come in, maybe not as designers of buildings only, but maybe as designers of interface systems that can begin to enable to very different idea of housing altogather. By that I mean whether it is governance or development or academia, we tend to think of housing only as units of housing, instead of maybe imagining housing as an incubator of economy, or maybe as a catalyst for a kind of cultural and social relations.

"In a sense I've been in trouble with my own field of architecture, because I've been critical of architects who only focus on buildings, Instead I think we really need to begin to understand the broader set of relations. In other words, the future of the city at this moment of crisis depends less on buildings, and more on the reconfiguration of social and economic relations. I think there is a huge potential that Outside In, the agencies that are so progressive, in cities equally progressive as Portland, can begin to lead the way in reimagining what we mean by housing."

Blanchard, Dave. [2012]. "Designing for Homelessness." [interview with Linly Bynam, Teddy Cruz, & Sergio Palleroni]. OPB Think Out Loud, October 3rd 2012.


Turner, Jody (2013). "Collaborative Design Tackles Homelessness" ["A group designing innovative support systems in Portland, Ore., is identifying better ways of living for the homeless and for communities at large]. Stanford Social Innovation Review, Jan. 15, 2013. [on Rethinking Shelter project].

Feldman, Roberta M, and Sergio Palleroni, David Perkes, Bryan Bell. "Wisdom From the Field: Public Interest Architecture in Practice." 2013.

Ferry, Todd, and Sergio Palleroni. "Research + action: the first two years of the Center for Public Interest Design." in Wortham-Galvin, B.D., editor, Sustainable Solutions: Let Knowledge Serve the City, 2016.

Village Coalition & POD Initiative

Village Coalition meeting at Rebuilding Center, 2019
Village Coalition meeting at Rebuilding Center, 2019

Cross-sector coalition and design, to convene deep community response

POD Initative

  • description.
  • Tim's photo album on POD Initiative: [1].
  • Interview/feature: Sergio Palleroni
  • interview/feature: Todd Ferry
  • Project descriptions

Plywood POD Initiative

  • description
  • Project descriptions

MADWORKSHOP Homeless Studio, LA

This project closely coincided with POD Initiative and was quite similar in many ways. Comparisons may be instructive, for example how MADWORKSHOP unlike POD Initiative did not explicitly have a pre-specified building code they were building to, or site either actual or hypothetical for program. While POD Initiative did not actually (at least yet) build site or structures for the contemplated users/program (Hazelnut Grove village), the built structures did get used at other sites - Kenton Women's Village, Clackamas County Veteran's Village, and possible others to come. Some already built or to-be-built POD units may be used at the new site in St Johns area to which Hazelnut Grove village plans to relocate -- name to be decided as of late Nov 2019.

Borges, Sofia, and R. Scott Mitchell (2018). Give Me Shelter: Architecture Takes on the Homeless Crisis. ORO Editions, February 1, 2018)

"Give Me Shelter documents the work of the MADWORKSHOP Homeless Studio at the USC School of Architecture and their solutions for tackling the Los Angeles homeless crisis through design, compassion, and humanity. The book features exclusive content from leaders in the field including Michael Maltzan, Ted Hayes, Betty Chinn, Gregory Kloehn, Skid Row Housing Trust, and many more. Paired with a forward by Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Give Me Shelter provides an in-depth look at how design can bridge the gap in services to get people off the streets and into housing sooner."

(11) Permanent villages & housing

(note: 'permanent' can mean either that the project has a permanent site, or that it is considered "permanent housing" and so residents can stay there indefinitely. Both may be somewhat ambiguous, e.g. villages may have leases / community agreements to occupy their sites, and there may be varying expectations or likelihoods of how long such agreements may continue.

Site duration: in some cases a village may be established with a very firm expectation of limited duration, e.g. 2 years; in others, it might be a "development site" where the village is an interim use until a later permanent development occurs, but this could be delayed due to financing or economic downturn etc. At the other extreme are sites like Dignity Village which operate with a renewable lease from the city, but this has been going since 2001 and there is perceived high likelihood of it continuing indefinitely.

Residency duration: villages typically fall into one of three categories, which reflect legal norms, HUD policies, and operating agreements that villages may have with their jurisdictions:

  • temporary shelter - perhaps up to 30 days, which defines "short-term" e.g. hotel residency in many jurisdictions.
  • "transitional housing" - no greater than 2 years, as defined by US Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • permanent housing - no limit on residency.

Nonetheless, residency limits may not be strictly enforced, and there may be provisions such that resident managers/staff may stay longer term. At Dignity Village, Portland, it's reported that some residents have stayed 10+ years -- which could be considered a success or a failing, depending on point of view.

Dome Village, LA

Dignity Village, Portland

[need to research in DV materials for discussions/plans for permanent and multiple villages].

Community First! Village, Austin

Cass Community Social Services - Tiny Homes Detroit

Veterans' Villages - Canada, Wisconsin

Sand Point Cottage Community - LIHI, Seattle

A really important new permanent-housing village project in Seattle: Sand Point Cottage Community, from a major & long-time force in this movement, Low Income Housing Institute, on land leased from the city Office of Housing. Aiming to open in the Spring of this year, 22-25 studio and 1-bdrms, size around 384sf reported.

Like SquareOne Village's Emerald Village, this is a crucial move where an organization that has done shelter/transitional housing, uses its learnings and extends to permanent housing.

A second dimension whereby this is a watershed event is that this village is using public land, long-term leased (for EV by comparison, SquareOne bought the land). This points to huge opportunities because cities, counties, & public bodies across the US have large amounts of vacant or underutilized land, and there is a broad movement to facilitate use of this for non-market housing that more people can afford.

When public bodies consider using public land for housing, including in Seattle, there is often pressure to give or sell the property to conventional affordable-housing developers. These typically create housing for households up to 60% of media family income (MFI), rarely for the poorest whom village projects tend to serve.

I have been for years advocating for long-term leasing rather than sale/conveyance of these pubilc lands, so they remain under better public control and could more feasibly evolve to different housing approaches. Also, advocating for public-land use for villages, which has current momentum e.g. in California for temporary/shelter forms, but not so much for permanent alternative housing which I think is the crucial need and opportunity.

This project is "22-25 studio and one-bedroom cottages of affordable workforce housing for families and individuals employed at low wages. The cottages will have living and sleeping areas, lofts, kitchens and bathrooms. The community will include a common building, community garden, outdoor recreation space and walking paths."

"The vacant property is owned by the city of Seattle at 6343 NE 65th Street. It is zoned Low-rise 3 and is within the residentially zoned portion of Magnuson Park. LIHI will master lease the land from the Seattle Office of Housing. The cottages will be built modularly off-site by students in pre-apprenticeship and vocational training programs, and assembled on-site by a general contractor."

Pu’uhonua, Oahu

Emerald Village, Eugene & Cottage Village, Cottage Grove

13.x common patterns/learnings: low-cost, community building; build for/with residents; can use public or available land. Rethinking cost structure, ownership, collectivity, amenity bundle / priorities of housing values.

Emerald Village, Eugene

Cottage Village, Cottage Grove

(12) Innovation pilots - govt, foundation, & developer-funded

Meyer Trust - Cost Efficiencies program.

New congregate housing

LISAH - Low Income Single Adult Housing - Transition Projects, Inc

Harbarger, Molly, and Elliot Njus (2019). "Portland banking on low-rent SRO hotels to ease housing problems." The Oregonian, April 27, 2019.

LISAH - Low-Income Single Adult Housing - Transition Projects project with 36 SRO units, also 35 studio apartments in a separate building.

"Lean" manufacturing": REACH CDC - SE PDX project

SquareOne Villages - Cottage Grove Village

Meyer Trust - Million Month Challenge program

Program of Meyer Memorial Trust.

See main article: Million Month Challenge

proposals Fall 2018

awardee projects - updates from Sept 2019

Rob Justus - Home First low-cost affordable housing

LA Homelessness Innovation Challenge projects

Boston Office of Housing Innovation

Guerrilla Development - Jolene's First Cousin project

See main article: Jolene's First Cousin.

Co-op/condo villages - Orange Splot, etc

See also main article: Cluster housing.

Cully Grove

Sabin Green

Mason Street Townhomes

(13) Later & future village forms

Village cluster housing, coops, baugruppen, pocket n'hoods

villages as cluster housing / pocket neighborhoods - enabled by state law HB2001 and Portland RIP program?

City of Milwaukie study

[add here my article on this in Village Collaborative group -tim.].

a path to larger co-operative building approaches, eg Baugruppe.

Created [mostly] by community capital, vs financial capital.

14 September 2019 post by Tim McCormick to American Tiny House Association, Oregon Chapter group on Facebook:

To me it seems like a big, big potential opportunity for siting tiny houses, especially in Oregon, California, and Seattle, is in movable (and perhaps foundation-anchorable / deanchorable) tiny houses being accepted and facilitated in local accessory dwellings (ADU) ordinances, i.e. as backyard cottages. Also, in cluster-housing developments enabled on former single-family lots by new Oregon law (#HB2001), Portland law (pending RIP Residential Infill Program), and just-passed California ADU law.

The new Oregon Reach Code offers some help there by:

a) recognizing the use of standards applying to both vehicle and on-foundation cases, and making it easier to do both, e.g. with similar RV-type utility hookups; and

b) bringing movable tiny-house *into state building code*, which I think will make quite a difference in local governments approving this use for ADUs and other contexts.

What might take this even further?

Based partly on the Reach Code, I and friends in Portland have been developing for last year a proposal "New Starter Homes" for the city to pilot a wide-scale, affordable ADU program. It would help (and perhaps manage & pay for) low-income homeowners to put simple post foundations and utility hookups on their parcel, then help match them with low-income residents who'd bring, build or be offered use of a tiny house to put on the site. Tiny-house resident would pay pad rent & towards utilities, perhaps subsidized by city or funder.

Portland has 110,000 single-family lots which could take an ADU, according to Commissioner Eudaly's analysis. Currently there are ADUs on less than 2% of lots. If we could interest or incent just a few more % of homeowners to accept that simple and buryable post foundation being put in, and agree to 1-2 year lease hosting a tiny house, we could have 1000s of sitings in Portland.

Proposal: New Starter Homes:

Google Doc:


Comments & questions invited!


1) Oregon #HB2001, requires cottage clusters be allowed at least somewhere in all single-family residential zones above 25,000 population. See

2) Portland's proposed Residential Infill Program would enable fourplex developments on a large portion of residential lots citywide. RIP:

3) Also, in an August 26, 2019 memo, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) noted that as part of a new "Anti-displacement Action Plan" added to RIP, it is discussing an idea to allow sixplexes if at least 3 units are affordable at 60% Median Family Income. It's apparently inspired by a similar new law in Austin, "Affordability Unlocked."

4) Oregon's Building Codes Division last year passed a Tiny House Code which allows < 400 square foot homes, both mobile and on foundation, to be permitted in building code. It was recognized by Portland Bureau of Development Services, which assigned an official to develop implementation materials and help developers in Portland:

5). City of Milwaukie released in June an impressive report "Milwaukie Cottage Cluster Analysis Final Report (done with Orange Splot of Portland and Opticos), that analyzed various hypothetical cluster developments. It showed that even if developed on a conventional for-profit model, they could bring costs of some units way down to 30-60% of Area Mean Income, far lower than existing or new single-family housing in the area.

6. For a discussion of cottage clusters generally and how Portland might use them, see: Michael Andersen, "Cottage clusters: Portland’s chance to build community in a new way." Portland For Everyone, Nov. 2, 2017.

in Portland Residential Infill Project (RIP)

RIP is reducing the review procedure required for "planned developments" (PDs) which would include cluster housing, in most residential zones (R7, R5, R2.5).

Portland, City of. Bureau of Planning & Sustainability. "Residential Infill Project: Recommended Draft, August 2019." Volume 1: Staff Report and Map Amendments

"7. Continue to allow different building forms and site arrangements through a planned development review. Affects R7, R5 and R2.5 zoned properties.

"Land use review procedures, in order from least to greatest level of process, include Type I and Ix, Type II and IIx, Type III and Type IV. Most PDs currently go through a Type III procedure, which is decided by a Hearings Officer and, if appealed, by City Council. By comparison, a Type IIx land use review, which applies to smaller land divisions, is less expensive, requires less time to process and is a staff decision that can be appealed to the Hearings Officer. Both procedure types utilize the same approval criteria and provide opportunities for appeals at both the City and State level. The recommended threshold for PDs is changed so that proposals for up to 20 units are processed as a Type IIx case, the same maximum number of units that can be reviewed through a Type IIx standard R2.5 subdivision (10 lots with two units each)."

Planned development. See Chapter 33.270

2 November 2019 post by Tim McCormick to American Tiny House Association, Oregon Chapter group on Facebook:

reposting to this group a long reply to a suggestion that tiny houses aren't appropriate in cities, because too low density, from PDX YIMBY group.

Original post was sharing an article about Sacramento's Mayor, also chairperson of California Statewide Commission on Homelessness, calling for large statewide expansion of tiny-home approaches. ( Doug Klotz in PDX YIMBY group commented: "While tiny homes might fill in on suburban lots, for urban areas, especially near transit, they do not provide the necessary density. Only multistory does that." My extended reply below:

"Yes, I hope nobody considers tiny houses the answer to all housing needs/contexts or all homelessness issues. On the other hand, I also hope nobody considers our present set of approaches to be without major gaps and flaws, and large opportunities for change. Particularly, in my opinion, if you look at it from the bottom up -- i.e., what the most needy need, and what we could do with comparatively simple and decentralized approaches.

On density: yes, if you have a larger lot, zoned for multistory, and you have access to a lot of capital and good future rent revenues, then you can get more units with a large apartment building. However, most times and places in US cities are not like that, not even in most of inner Portland or with statewide HB2001 upzoning or citywide R.I.P. infill program. Most area of most US cities is 4-8000 square-foot lots with low-density residential, with prohibition of or strong opposition to large/high buildings. Available, financeable sites for large apartment buildings are scarce and costly, and will typically be built as market-rate, usually rental housing for the high end of market -- possibly with inclusionary housing units -- or sometimes as dedicated-affordable buildings, also costly per unit to build.

As a back-of-envelope exercise, we could take a typical Portland residential lot, of 50 x 100 feet, and consider development options. Assuming no on-site parking, and a 10' access way up the middle, it's plausible to create eight 20'x25' sub-lots, each of which could site most of the house models used at Emerald Village (see attached image). One unit might be a common building with shared kitchen, meeting/social space, etc.

I'm looking for examples of contemporary apartment buildings built in such a case, e.g. in Portland, and I'd say it's at least uncommon to put more than eight units on a site like this, though it can be done with small apartments, and has been done in other eras.

Aside from number of homes, an approach like dense, cluster, small housing has different characteristics and possibilities. First, it can require far less capital. Emerald Village, Eugene, for comparison (not that dense, but to compare model) is 22 mostly custom homes, total development cost including land $55k/home, which was financed by SquareOne Villages non-profit with small-scale grants and funds. (compared to $300-800k per affordable housing unit, typical range from Oregon to San Francisco).

This approach is also much more conducive to piecemeal and incremental development, both across a site and for an individual home which could be separately financed/finished/expanded over time -- this facilitates individual financing and building and owning. Which, incidentally, is characteristic of dwelling in many times and places, that gave people good opportunities to become owners and meet their needs -- including earlier eras in the US -- which is why I call a project proposal I'm working on for low-cost cottages, New Starter Homes.

Much lower capital requirements means many more parties can potentially develop, with different models such as limited-equity community land trust (e.g. SquareOne Villages), groups of people developing for their joint need (like Baugruppe model common in Germany, or any org/agency looking to create low-cost ownership housing.

Finally, I think small detached units have unusual potentials that we don't often think about. They can be pre-fabbed, so potentially built off-site more efficiently in all seasons, with much less construction disruption to area. They can be redeployable, so financed separately and more easily, and could move between interim-use, cluster-housing, or accessory-dwelling unit contexts. They can be built with very ecological materials, and have very low embedded and operating energy requirements. (home size is the #1 factor in building lifecycle energy use, along with driving less far to get to it). Also they can be more likely than large buildings to remain inhabitable after natural disasters like earthquakes, and can be relatively easily operated off grid; both of which sooner or later will be crucial when the Cascadia Fault earthquake hits Oregon.

When the Big One hits, I for one want to be living small, and cooperatively with neighbors."

Refugee, emergency, climate-change, & eco-villages?

anticipating a long-term increase in disaster and climate-change related disruption in US and globally.

Help provide models and learning for the US and globally.

Bridging emergency/immediate response with long-term adaptation and resettlement. (a long-running thorny problem, at least since the previous age of mass dislocation, during/after WWII).

Note that the Pacific Northwest already receives a large in-migration from US (especially to Portland, Seattle, & Oregon coast), and is predicted to increasingly do so from climate-change effects upon other parts of the US that likely will make SW & SE of US increasingly uninhabitable or agriculturally viable.

Oregon could experience large refugee / resettler influxes from California due to earthquake or wildfire impacts.

Oregon could also at any time be hit by "the Big One" offshore Cascadia Fault earthquake which will destroy coastal areas and devastate much of the infrastructure of western Oregon. Up to 100,000s of Oregon could be displaced, have uninhabitable homes, be without utility water, sewage, gas, electricity for months to years.

Backyard cottages for low-income & homeless

Block Project, Seattle

LISAH - Low Income Single Adult Housing - from Transition Projects and Meyer Trust in Portland.

Multnomah County pilot.

Los Angeles pilot.

Dinh, Tran and Brewster, David and Fullerton, Anna and Huckaby, Greg and Parks, Mamie and Rankin, Sara and Ruan, Nantiya and Zwiebel, Elie (2018). "Yes, In My Backyard: Building ADUs to Address Homelessness. University of Denver Sturm College of Law Homeless Advocacy Policy Project, May 3, 2018. or

Redeployable tiny homes for village / ADU crossover use

see: New Starter Homes / PAD Initiative project document.  [McCormick 2019]

Precedent of San Francisco's 1906 "Earthquake Cottages".

O'Connor, Charles James, et al (1913). San Francisco Relief Survey; the organization and methods of relief used after the earthquake and fire of April 18, 1906.  New York: Survey Associates, 1913..

the Parking Dwelling Permit

see article Parking Dwelling Permit.

Bottom-up regulation of land use

see also article Hyperlocalism.

Myers, John. "Fixing Urban Planning with Ostrom: Strategies for existing cities to adopt polycentric, bottom-up regulation of land use." Prepared for delivery at the Workshop on the Ostrom Workshop (WOW6) conference, Indiana University Bloomington, June 19–21, 2019. Working draft dated 31st May 2019.

Integrating bottom-up/autonomous development with govt support

e.g. combine universal rent assistance with permissive building/dwelling laws

Colin Ward. Talking Houses (1975).

  "Dweller control" in public housing.  

from Karakusevic & Batchelor [2017]: Social Housing: Definitions and Design Exemplars:

"In the 21st century, the definition of [social housing] exists in multiple forms. Across Europe there are many distinct methods for delivering housing and in many of the countries featured in this book the term 'social' is rarely used at all. In the UK it is commonly (mis)understood as simply 'council housing', in France it is 'housing at moderate rent' (habitation a loyer modere), in Denmark it is 'common housing', in Germany 'housing promotion', while in Austria it is 'people's housing'. Uniting all of these, however, is the idea that there are and can be alternatives to a purely market-orientated system of provision and it is here, amidst the variety of alternative forms both new and old, that this book places itself. Within our definition of 'social housing' we present here public projects led by local authorities, philanthropic schemes led by charities and co-operative or collective schemes led by residents and the people who will live in them.

    Across Europe some form of strategic public oversight of housing supply has been maintained through a variety of means that includes direct building, subsidies, planning and rent control." "This book's alternative narrative embraces those who want to create the homes they need by their own volition as groups and collectives. This is not contradictory to a social housing ethos, but rather a rediscovery of a grassroots form of social organization, which when blended with the support and advocacy of a local authority or a housing association can be part of a positive mix in provision."

CDCs (Community Development Corporations) and CHDOs (Community Housing Development organizations):

emergence in 1960s.

Housing vouchers and income support.

Spohn, Richard B. (1972). "The Owner-Builder: Legislative Analysis and Recommendation." In [Turner & Fichtel, eds, Freedom to Build, 1972].

Harms, Hans H. "User and Community Involvement in Housing and Its Effect on Professionalism." In [Turner & Fichtel, eds, Freedom to Build, 1972].  

"Problems of insufficiency and inadequacy are immanent in the present housing supply structure, which is oriented toward the supply side and the construction of units according to procedures set by industry and government, and which subsidized industry, professional 'facilitating beneficiaries,' and the rich in order to provide housing for the poor...Direct subsidies to users in combination with a network of decentralized services could increase the autonomy of low-income families without setting up complicated mechanisms to regulate the lives of the poor or the process by which housing for the poor is created."

Discusses 1968 Tent City in Boston.

"The failures of the market- and state-based housing provision and the relative success of community-based home and neighborhood building (especially the so-called third world and supposedly developing countries) highlight the complementarities of these three essentially different 'sectors.'"

- John F. C. Turner, Foreward to Nabeel Hamdi, Housing Without Houses, 1995.

Houseless political representation and organizations

see main article: Houseless political representation and organizations.

Right to Build and the "Citizen Sector": digital, distributed, mass self-build housing

digital, distributed, mass self-build housing

Alastair Parvin - WikiHouse, Citizen Sector.

Parvin, Alastair, and David Saxby, Cristina Cerulli, Tatjana Schneider (2011). "A Right to Build: The next mass-housebuilding industry." Architecture 00 and University of Sheffield School of Architecture, 2011.

Parvin, Alastair, and Andy Reeve. "Scaling the Citizen Sector." Medium, Oct 5, 2016.

Parvin, Alastair, and Andy Reeve. "Affordable Land." 2018.

Constructing a legal right to housing

[see "Constructing a legal right to housing" section in main artice Right to housing]. 

Envisioning decentralized, federated society - e.g. David Harvey

see Spaces of Hope.

(14) Problem/objection patterns

We should provide enough funding, not lower housing standards

This isn't and distracts from the real solution, housing

temporary' housing or shelter is now widely deprecated as a homelessness response, in US & European official/mainstream positions. It is said to divert from the real solution, permanent housing, and it doesn't end homelessness.  [shelter and temporary housing are now defined to be states of homelessness].

Culhane, Dennis P. & Stephen Metraux. "Rearranging the Deck Chairs or Reallocating the Lifeboats? Homelessness Assistance and Its Alternatives." Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol 74, Issue 1, 2008, pp111-121.  [full text].

Herring, Chris. "The New Logics of Homeless Seclusion:Homeless Encampments in America's West Coast Cities." City & Community 13.4 (2014): 285-309. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.

Herring, Chris (2015). "Tent City, America." Places Journal, December, 2015.


Tiny houses / villages are too low-density for cities

'Self build' & lower standards facilitate exploitation, inequality, defunding. Cf Delgado, Richard (1997).

e.g. Giancarlo De Carlo's critique of CIAM and "Existunzminimum" / Basic housing concepts, in "Architecture's Public's," as serving interests of inequality and exploitation.

We shouldn't endorse the idea that low- or very-low-income housing can be created without public subsidy -- this undermines the ongoing urgent effort to increase public funding.

If acceptable housing standards (e.g. dwelling space, facilities) are lowered in cases or one area, it allows or creates pressure for them to be lowered more widely, and this will lower living standards for many.

Ward, Peter (1999). Colonias and Public Policy in Texas and Mexico: Urbanization by Stealth. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1999).

["describes how a two-tier system of housing regulations was gradually codified by the state in Mexico, leading to the legitimization of sub-optimal informal housing for the poor."].

Different housing for the poor makes it stigmatized & segregated

Stigma on or deliberate demarcation (positive or negative) on social housing.

US case of restricted and differentiated style/materials, vs e.g. WPA, Vienna, UK examples of positive socialist and civic symbolism.

Homeless and low-income people shouldn't be expected to take less/different or 'substandard' housing vs other people.

Lower cost/standard housing may be more costly in long run

Lower building costs help developers, but don't lower price

housing diversity - letting dwellers choose/adapt housing that matches their value priorities. issues with government funding restrictions / mandates.

This questions leads into larger and complex topic of how housing development costs and prices are related.

See Development costs for more on that.

OLD DRAFT: these sections/materials to be moved into new outline

Oregon land use reform

Portland Downtown Plan 1972 

Portland City Planning Commission (1972). "Planning Guidelines - Portland Downtown Plan." 

"The [Citizens Advisory] committee has learned that traditionally a complex set of factors, including transportation, circulation, zoning, and taxation, have determined land use when logically these factors ought to support prior land use decisions. The Downtown Plan is an opportunity for the citizens of Portland to say: Let's first decide how we want to use our Downtown and then determine what tools are necessary to achieve our land use decisions. For example, our goals call for increasing the number of low-income and middle-income housing units Downtown. The traditional land use determinants would probably bar implementation of this goal. Thus, if the citizens of Portland approve this goal, then alternative implementing methods need to be developed." (p.2)

"[Section:] Housing & Downtown Neighborhoods. 
General Goal: to give high priority to increasing the number of residential accommodations in the Downtown area for a mix of age and income groups.."
   "Encourage the fullest use of public and private programs to ensure that future Downtown housing accommodates a mix of low, moderate, and high-income people."
   "Recognize the differing needs and problems of the various groups who will be housed, including those groups who naturally gravitate to the city core. Provide housing and services commensurate with their physical and social needs. These groups include the single retired, the elderly, itinerant workers, 'down outers,' students, the handicapped, as well as middle and upper income groups." (p.3). 

State-level planning

Andersen, Michael. [2019] "Re-legalizing Fourplexes is the Unfinished Business of Tom McCall"  ["For decades, Oregon has used state law to battle economic segregation. Fair-housing experts say HB 2001 is the next step"]., January 23, 2019. 

Abbott, Carl (1994). "Metropolitan Portland: Reputation and Reality." Built Environment, Vol. 20, No. 1, (1994), pp. 52-64 PDF: 

Abbott, Carl and Deborah Howe. "The Politics of Land-Use Law in Oregon: Senate Bill 100, Twenty Years After." Oregon Historical Quarterly, Vol. 94, No. 1 (Spring, 1993), pp. 4-35. PDF: 

Gifford, Laura Jane. "Planning for a Productive Paradise: Tom McCall and the Conservationist Tale of Oregon Land-Use Policy." Oregon Historical Quarterly , Vol. 115, No. 4 (Winter 2014), pp. 470-501. Stable URL: PDF:


Quixote Village, Olympia 

Camp Quixote, site image from Quixote Communities
Camp Quixote, Feb 7 2007, photo by Sandy Mayes

early days, 2007- as Camp Quixote, originally  in downtown Olympia, Washington. 

Kavick, Ray. "First week at Camp Quixote."  Works In Progress (Thurston County Rainbow Coalition), March 2007.

"My name is Ray Kavick, anarchist and member of the Olympia Poor People's Union (PPU). This is a short reflection on the first week of an encampment we set up in Downtown Olympia on Thursday, February 1. We called the encampment Camp Quixote..."

"During the planning meetings, it was assumed by nearly everybody that we would be at the site for an hour at most. When the first five tents went up and an hour had passed, none of us were completely sure what to do. But that soon passed, the group got together and we decided to go ahead and put as many tents and as many people on the site as quickly as possible.."

"By nightfall, the group was operating smoothly and the unity we had talked about and hoped for in the meetings was materializing. Once the fear of the police had subsided, we all threw ourselves headlong into the undertaking and the sense of excitement among the group gave us all a small, constant buzz. We were no longer doing something "illegal," we were doing what we needed to do. If something needed to be taken care of, people got up and did it. Whenever someone needed something, we gave it to them, or tried to. At the end of that day, the hope I had for the encampment multiplied exponentially.

"The next day, in our local newspaper, we were on the cover. The Olympian was telling everyone that we set up the camp to "protest" the new laws. While all of us despised the laws, we did not do this to "protest" anything. We did this to create what we needed: housing and a sense of community. But it was easier for the Olympian to label us as "protesters," something they are still doing...' "Now we're at a new spot in West Olympia, being graciously put up by the Unitarian Universalist Church. They are not dogmatic and are truly good people. While the camp is no longer Downtown where more people can get to it, we still have a safe place to go. The community and the bonds that grew out of that first week are still alive and strong. The City and their hired thugs cannot destroy the trust we all now have for each other, and that trust is the most important thing to come out of the whole endeavor. Without it, we would not be able to continue. The new camp is up and we'll be up to more mischief later. But I can't tell you any more than that. Just keep your eyes peeled."

Richards, Rob.  "A Tale of Tent Cities: A Camp Quixote Retrospective.", Oct 25, 2013. 


Butigan, Ken. "Olympia’s homeless win struggle for permanent housing." ["With the opening of Quixote Village, an innovative compound of 30 small cottages and a community center in Olympia, Wash., the six-year struggle of the homeless has finally paid off"]. Waging Nonviolence, January 3, 2014

"In 2007 members of the homeless community in Olympia, Wash., erected a tent city in a downtown parking lot to protest the lack of services and support. Predictably, the city government responded with arrests and shutting down the encampment. That was supposed to be the end of it. Camp Quixote, though, did not disappear. Instead it embarked on a challenging, circuitous journey that at times must have seemed like some 21st century version of the mad misadventures of its visionary namesake, Don Quixote. Now, against all odds, this six-year pilgrimage has paid off, and Camp Quixote has become Quixote Village: an innovative compound of 30 small cottages and a community center. On December 24, the campers moved in — homeless no more.

"Nonviolent action is often dismissed as quixotic: utopian, dreamy, pursuing unreachable goals. But this example underscores how idealism is crucial to making real and practical change, though not always in the way one first imagines. The nonviolent resistance that the homeless women and men of Olympia organized did not change city officials’ minds, but it prompted allies in the community to come forward. A local church offered space for the encampment, and public support grew. The city was persuaded to pass an ordinance to allow the camp to exist, though with the stipulation that it would have to move every three months. Other churches stepped up, and over the past six years the encampment moved over 20 times.

"The vision of the Quixote campers from the beginning was to establish permanent housing, and within a few years the group worked with local allies to establish Panza — a nonprofit organization (named in honor of Don Quixote’s more sensible sidekick, Sancho Panza), whose mission would be to build Quixote Village. Even after land was acquired and a city permit was granted — and necessary funds were raised — business interests in the area went to court to try to stop the project. "The court finally ruled in the village’s favor, the 30 houses were built and furnished, and now they are occupied and humming with life.

"Panza, the village landlord, is leasing the 2.17-acre site from the local county at $1 per year for 41 years. Village residents pay one-third of their income toward rent. Each cottage measures 150 square feet and includes a front porch, garden space and typical utilities. Two were designed to accommodate disabled residents. The community center has a kitchen, laundry facilities, showers, mailboxes and a common area. Bus service is nearby, and the local bus system has donated an eight-passenger van.

"Architects met with members of Camp Quixote during the design process, who insisted that the project build freestanding cottages. This input reflects the self-governing nature of the village, where residents “elect offers and decide who lives there based on strict criteria.”"


Lubenau, Anne-Marie. "Site Visit: A Tiny House Village in Olympia Offers a New Model for Housing the Homeless." ["Quixote Village is a self-managed community that provides permanent, supportive housing for homeless adults"]. Metropolis Magazine, April 20, 2015.

"The concept for Quixote Village emerged from a group of homeless adults that formed a self-governing tent community in a parking lot in downtown Olympia in 2007 in reaction to a new city ordinance forbidding the blocking of doorways and storefronts. After the City of Olympia threatened to remove the camp, a local church offered to host the community on its grounds. The city passed another ordinance regulating “temporary camps” and requiring the presence of onsite, 24/7 “hosts,” and the removal of the camp after three months. Over time, seven faith communities in Olympia and the adjoining cities of Tumwater and Lacey stepped forward to organize volunteers and host what became known as “Camp Quixote,” as it moved more than 20 times over seven years."

"Washington-based Community Frameworks served as the nonprofit affordable housing developer, helping Panza with a feasibility study and development plan, fundraising, design and construction, and property management. Financing for the $2.6 million development was provided by Washington State Housing Trust, HUD Community Development Block Grants from Washington State, the City of Olympia, Thurston County, and individual and private contributions including donated professional services.

"Like the original camp, Quixote Village is self-governed, with Panza serving as the legal landlord responsible for admitting and evicting residents. An executive committee convenes weekly resident council meetings to address community concerns and advise Panza on new applications. Each resident is expected to pay one third of his or her monthly income as rent, participate in regular council meetings, and share responsibilities for cleaning and maintaining common areas and a shared vegetable garden and berry patch."

  Tortorello, Michael. "Small World, Big Idea." The New York Times, Feb. 19, 2014.

"The old Camp Quixote ceased to exist on Dec. 24, Mr. Johnson said. And it was high time for their homeless community to redefine itself. No one who lives in Quixote Village is homeless."


Housing solutionism, and the best versus the good. 

see main article: Housing solutionism and best versus the good 


"Housing For All, the Minimum Dwelling, and the problem of standards."


Teige, The Minimum Dwelling (English version)
Teige, The Minimum Dwelling (English version)

the 'Existenzminimum' tradition: 

Teige, The Minimum Dwelling (1932). 
CIAM II Congress, 1929. 

Brysch, Sara. "Reinterpreting Existenzminimum in Contemporary Affordable Housing Solutions." Urban Planning. Vol 4, No 3 (2019).

Korbi, Marson, and Andrea Migotto. "Between Rationalization and Political Project: The Existenzminimum from Klein and Teige to Today." Urban Planning. Vol 4, No 3 (2019).

Mumford, Eric. "CIAM and Its Outcomes." 

Porotto, Alessandro, and Chiara Monterumisi. "New Perspectives on the II CIAM onwards: How Does Housing Build Cities?"

"Just enough" - minimalism, ecology, & justice in housing

book Just Enough by Azby Brown - Edo Japan as a social/technological apex in sustainable communities. 

Minimum Cost Housing Group (McGill University School of Architecture). "Publications."

Homelessness and disaster: comparing and combining responses

"Housing in the twentieth century has been one continuing emergency." 
- Charles Abrams, "The Future of Housing." 1946. 

In the long run, we're all homeless

Natural vs unnatural disasters: why is homelessness different? 

comparing & combining responses to homelessness, catastrophe. 


from comment in Village Collaborative group by Tim about post on SOS "Stewardship Villages", San Francisco: 

"This presentation from Saint Francis Homeless Challenge highlights the large current and potential overlaps between homelessness response, 'emergency' or 'disaster' response, and climate-change adaptation -- e.g. off-grid and decarbonized energy sources. It's fruitful to compare ways these two situation types thought of and responded to, or might be, and I'm exploring this in an essay draft, "Homelessness and disaster: comparing and combining responses," for #VillageBuildings web/book project. What do you think, why with homelessness do we not help everyone equally and best we can, as with 'natural' disasters? 

This is a perennial question posed with homelessness. Perhaps the different response is because 'disaster' is seen as a well-defined and specific, rather than many-causal and ongoing, affliction; affecting people equally and regardless of their actions?

What do you think, why with homelessness do we not help everyone equally and as best we can

Saint Francis' choice of label for their model, "S.O.S." (Safe Organized Spaces) signals 'emergency' -- also, saving souls -- and in the presentation below they focus on solar power supply "which could provide off-grid energy for our proposed 180 Jones, Tenderloin prototype village and for future sites, as well as for disaster relief situations and as a mobile charging station for the unhoused."

But disaster effects actually often are many-causal, ongoing, and avoidable: for example, all kinds of societal decisions create disaster vulnerability, especially for the marginalized, such as steering them into relatively unsafe housing, in flood plains or landslide zones;  not building or maintaining levees, not investing in early-warning systems, sirens, emergency response systems, emergency transport capability, first aid supplies, and shelters.  

Conversely, for the more privileged, society has long permitted and even subsidized housing in disaster-prone areas such as near shore on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, canyon and hill areas in California urban edges.  They are subsidized by explicit or implicit insurance (e.g. Federal flood insurance, and expectation that costly emergency response and rebuilding will recurringly be undertaken by government).  These are cases where the 'disasters' are somewhat predictable, in that wildfires and storms/hurricanes are known to reoccur, yet people keep building and rebuilding in places where they probably wouldn't if they were fully bearing the disaster risk. 

Aquilino, Marie, ed. Beyond Shelter: Architecture and Human Dignity. (New York, NY: Metropolis Books, 2011).
ISBN 9781935202479[1].
   Part 1. Architecture after disaster : 
Learning from Aceh / Andrea Fitrianto --
Beyond shelter in the Solomon Islands / Andrea Nield --
News from the Teardrop Island / Sandra D'Urzo --
From transitional to permanent shelter: invaluable partnerships in Peru / International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies --
   Part 2. What should governments do? : 
When people are involved / Thiruppugazh Venkatachalam --
Citizen architects in India / Rupal and Rajendra Desai --
What about out cities?: Rebuilding Muzaffarabad / Maggie Stephenson, Sheikh Ahsan Ahmed, and Zahid Amin --
   Part 3. Urban risk and recovery : 
Below the sill plate: New Orleans East struggles to recover / Deborah Gans with James Dart --
Slumlifting: an informal toolbox for a new architecture / Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpner --
Sustainable communities: avoiding disaster in the informal city / Arlene Lusterio --
Camouflaging disaster: 60 linear miles of local transborder urban conflict / Teddy Cruz --
Cultural heritage and disaster mitigation: a new alliance / Rohit Jigyasu --
   Part 4. Environmental resilience : 
Green recovery / Anita van Breda and Brittany Smith --
The home as the world: Tamil Nadu / Jennifer E. Duyne Barenstein --
Design as mitigation in the Himalayas / Francesca Galeazzi --
On beauty, architecture, and crisis: the Salem Centre for Cardiac Surgery in Sudan / Raul Pantaleo --
   Part 5. Teaching as strategic action : 
Cultivation resilience: the BaSiC Initiative / Sergio Palleroni --
Studio 804 in Greensburg, Kansas / Don Rockhill and Jenny Kivett --
Sustainable knowledge and internet technology / Mehran Gharaati, Kimon Onuma, and Guy Fimmers --
   Part 6. Is prevention possible? : 
More to lose: the paradox of vulnerability / John Norton and Guillaume Chantry --
Building peace across African frontiers / Robin Cross and Naomi Handa Williams --
Haiti 2010: reports from the field / Marie J. Aquilino --
Afterword : 
Open letter to architects, engineers, and urbanists / Patrick Coulombel.

Architecture for Humanity, Cameron Sinclair, & Kate Stohr. Design Like You Give a Damn: Architectural Responses to Humanitarian Crisis. 2006.

Cuny, Frederick C. (1983). Disasters and Development. 1983. Full text:

Davis, Ian (1978). Shelter After Disaster


Appendix A: A Pattern Language For Housing Affordability

See main article: A Pattern Language for Housing Affordability


Appendix B: Revillaging the Book

with this book project itself, we aim to explore and embody patterns of "village building" as the book studies. Building in and for community as applied to media creation and publishing: participatory, cooperative, incremental, equity-building, network-building, development

Living book: developed incrementally, openly, and ongoingly 

by writing & disseminating articles, gathering feedback, soliciting suggestions for approaches/projects to include, and most usable ways to present.

  STRATEGY: to extent possible, keep developing the project in public wiki, in relatively self-contained sub-topic articles. This means: a) it's never really yet-unpublished, it's just a gradually or steadily improving state.  b) open for others to contribute, ask questions, give feedback;  c) sub-topic articles may be useful for other purposes too, as soon as they're created.  d) a 'book' will be just a certain gathering-point from this material, but overall it can continue developing. 

The book-in-progress is a web-hosted living version, on a stable and sustainable and securely-archived (i.e. automatic to Internet Archive) platform, which can collaboratively evolve to include new projects, concepts, research, bibliography.  This living version is noted and linked to from every copy of the book, whether print, ebook, etc.  The living book platform allows open comment and suggestions, and shows current in-process state, and possibly periodic new release versions. (as with software). 

Ward Cunningham - ideas from Wiki & Federated Wiki

much inspiration from Portlander, inventor of the wiki, Ward Cunningham, who implemented and ran the first wiki ever on a server in Multnomah Village, Portland, nearby where this book has mostly been written.

Cunningham, Ward. "Writing with Strangers." (undated; accessed April 2, 2020).

Cunningham. Ward. Keynote speech at Write the Docs conference, May 19, 2015.

patterns model:  I think of as a sort of "modularization of experience".

Kosslyn, Neil. "A modern wiki for a modern internet: the Smallest Federated Wiki on The GovLab’s Demos for Democracy." GovLab Blog, August 15, 2014.

Community Book concept 

Cooperative Product Development paper, 2016

Cooperative funding/development and value sharing

For this "community book" project, we are evolving an experimental 'village' development model, for multiple motivations: 

  1. as a way to solicit funding and other contributions, given lack of traditional means to do so; 
  2. to try to fairly and effectively incent, credit, and reward those contributions to the project; and 
  3. to make the project prefigurative or analogous to the built environment forms we are writing about or wish to see. 

This builds on earlier work discussed in "Cooperative Product Development" (notes / paper draft) by Tim McCormick, January 2016, and concept of a DCO (Distributed Cooperative Organization) in blockchain world. 

How this could work: 
1) Keep track of any project contributions made, which can be financial, in-kind work, or anything considered of value to the project.  

2) At some stage, we establish a "Release 1.0" funding/contribution Goal of, say, $50,000 in financial or in-kind contributions. This is chosen as an amount expected to be sufficient to reach a defined completion milestone, i.e. first publication.

3) At this point, all prior and subsequent contributors are offered' equity stakes' i.e. shares, based on the contribution's proportion of the total goal. Any offer/grant of equity would be publicly and immutably recorded (e.g. with some blockchain mechanism, but this may not really be necessary). 

4) All contributors are credited in the book & platform, and automatically receive a share of any any future (post-publication) net profits, in proportion to equity stake. 

A more sophisticated version of this approach would allow for project equity to be traded or sold under certain conditions, as in a housing cooperative. Project contributors who receive equity stake for work, can potentially have a way to exchange that for (fiat) money, rather than being paid only from future revenue share. 

Also, tradeable/convertible equity stakes or tokens might enable other reward mechanisms. For example, tokens may be issued with a planned or demand-driven value increase over time, which may be used to incent early contributions. (e.g., an hour or work or dollar of donation may earn more equity stake near start of project timeline than later on. This may provide more incentive to early contribution, and balance the greater risk/uncertainty of earlier-stage contribution). 

[note that In either of the cases above, of equity having resale value or not, the mechanism in theory could be viewed by the US government as a 'security' subject to securities regulations. Compliance would probably be untenable, so the project would need to be designed to avoid risk of this classification. That isn't likely, and the interest here is probably not so much in anyone making notable money, but in exploring a new model for cooperative projects that share credit, resources, and rewards, in order to be more effective and fair].

Open / cooperative licensing 

Planned licensing is Creative Commons - Attribution, Non-Commercial (CC-BY-NC). This means, other people and organizations can use and create derivative works, except in commercial contexts, for which they would have to request licensing.  We might also add Share-Alike (SA) clause, which means any derived works are automatically relicensed under the same terms. 

STRATEGY:  establish at start a policy of allowing content sharing, by default and potentially automatically (except perhaps special permission images, etc) from Village Buildings to the other partners, e.g. to HousingWiki and a Village Collaborative wiki. 

STRATEGY:  set plan for, at later phase, a) converting to more unrestricted open licensing, e.g. CC-BY-SA;  b) migrating articles/materials into other places such as A Pattern Language For Growing Regions (APLFGR - Michael Mehaffy & Ward Cunningham wiki), and Wikipedia -- both of which are CC-BY-SA licensed.  

Key book contents such as project discussions and analyses of patterns may be adapted into Wikipedia, and/or other open online resources, for maximum dissemination and impact. 

Cross-referenced to e.g. Wikipedia, HousingWiki, etc to build completeness as a reference resource. 

--> building towards a broad, growing, public repository of public-interest housing/building materials. 

Defensibility vs community - in authoring

On the defensibility of a project, variously defined:

  • is it worthwhile?
  • is it defensible against being copied, stolen, appropriated?
  • is is defensible by having good sources and research?
  • is it defensible by being difficult for others to verify/assess, e.g. based on hard-to-access, unavailable, or uncited materials or procedures?
  • how does the book/project act upon the distribution of power in society?

Camus (paraphrased by Howard Zinn): "It is the job of the thinking person not to be on the side of the executioners."

Integration with A Pattern Language for Growing Regions 

Michael Mehaffy, a student and collaborator of Christopher Alexander, and director of the Portland-based Sustasis Foundation, has been developing a new book to extend A Pattern Language, called A Pattern Language for Growing Regions. It is planned for publication on late 2019, with a public draft now open for comments, and extensible online repository. 

"56 new patterns will address new challenges, including rapid urbanization, declining public space, urban sustainability, new technology, economic tools and strategies, geometric patterns, and more.  This draft version will be finalized later in 2019, along with an on-line repository of these and other new patterns, based on Ward Cunningham's new federated wiki.  Ward was the inventor of Wiki, and a pioneer of "pattern languages of programming" -- for which he developed the first wiki.  His new "federated wiki" has exciting new capabilities which we hope to exploit in the new repository.  Ward is a board member of Sustasis Foundation and Sustasis Press.  "Our goal is to exploit the powerful successes of wikis, pattern languages of programming, and other outgrowths of pattern languages, returning again to the challenges of cities, buildings, and public spaces. We are collaborating with many former students and colleagues of Christopher Alexander, as well as others who have used pattern languages effectively in other domains.  We are also working with people in many countries around the world. We want to make a tool that allows people in any part of the world to use, edit, add, revise and develop their own pattern languages for their own projects, contributing at the same time to a growing resource of patterns for others to share. "

We've been discussing with Michael and have suggested, could there be a section, supplement, or supplemental volume to #APLFGR for housing affordability patterns? Mehaffy talks about wikis and pattern-languages as tools for "consensus development." In that vein, I've been thinking with this book concept about how to show varied patterns - from public housing to 'abundant' market housing - as all being possible sources of or factors in affordability. As integrable, instead of conflicting, ideas/approaches.


Hybrid print/electronic publishing

Book is available in print for sale; epub/mobi ebooks for sale in e-commerce channels e.g. Amazon; epub/mobi/PDF/HTML donate-what-you-wish on our and partner sites (Village Collaborative, HousingWiki, etc). 


Visual / information design 

Graphically innovative, bold design emphasizing 

a) "pattern language" approach of mapping very wide range of approaches, and analyzing how different projects may embody multiple patterns to various degrees. 
b) Holistic / "overview" angle: e.g. provide estimates for how much housing and what affordability impact each approach might conceivably enable. 

Relation to other books / web resources

Tent City Urbanism book (2014): consider this project as a complement to this book. Perhaps possible to use same "Village Collaborative" imprint? 
-> avoid redundant material.
-> consider what are natural follow-on questions and topics, gaps, from 2014 book; and what could make new book as valuable, and complementary. 
    -> present results of pilots / hypotheses from 2014 book. 
    -> new conceptual extensions.  

SquareOne Villages' Toolbox resource, portions of which such as house plans require a $10/mo donor membership. 

CPID publications / publicity

Meyer Memorial Trust materials. 

Village Coalition site. 

Help build knowledge/organizing network between organizations

e.g. with Village Collaborative, Village Coalition (Portland), Low-Income Housing Institute (Seattle). 

Book as network: see also: "From Monograph to Multigraph: the Distributed Book" [McCormick 2013]. 

See also Ward Cunningham's work on Federated Wiki, use on A Pattern Language for Growing Regions (Mehaffy et al).  

Potential network participants: 

  • Village Collaborative
  • Tiny House networks, advocates -- American Tiny House Association, Tinyhouse Expedition (Alexis & Christian), etc. 
  • PSU Center for Public Interest Design
  • Meyer Trust
  • A Pattern Language for Growing Regions

Potential grant sponsors or collaborators:

  • SquareOne Villages 
  • Portland State University, Center for Public Interest Design 
  • Portland State University, Homelessness Research and Action Collaborative
  • City Repair Project
  • Sustasis Foundation, Portland
  • Architecture firms that have done POD Initiative, Plywood POD Initiative, or Emerald Village / Cottage Village designs and prototypes. 


Name ideas

  • Revillaging the World1: new models for affordable housing from Oregon
    1this expression is used and I think was possibly coined by Mark Lakeman of Communitecture / Village Repair Project, Portland. Discuss use with him "Revillaging the city" was apparently used by Dan Yashinsky as far back as 2011. 
  • Village Buildings: new affordable housing models from Oregon
  • The Oregon Housing Experiment
  • The Portland Experiment 
  • A Pattern Language for Affordable Housing: New Models from Oregon

(the last three titles allude to works of Christopher Alexander et al: The Oregon Experiment (1975), which "describes an experimental approach to campus community planning at the University of Oregon, in Eugene, Oregon which resulted in a theory of architecture and planning described in the group's later published and better-known volumes A Pattern Language (1977) and The Timeless Way of Building (1979)."
   "A pattern language is a method of describing good design practices or patterns of useful organization within a field of expertise. The term was coined by architect Christopher Alexander and popularized by his 1977 book A Pattern Language." (Wikipedia). 


Appendix C: book proposal template

In case we consider proposing this project to a publisher, and useful to consider in any case, here are questions from: "Guidelines for Submitting a Proposal to Island Press"

1. General Overview: Introduce your subject and argument. Explain why your book is needed; what does it offer readersthat is new? Describe your overall approach and structure. 

2. Table of Contents: List allchapters, along with any front matter (introductions/prefaces, etc.) and back matter (appendices/charts/references/sources lists/index, etc.). Annotate each chapter briefly.

3. Audience: Define your intended audience and explain why the book will appeal to them. Include well-defined groups of readers (e.g.,members of particular professions or academic fields). List the relevant associations that are most important for the audience for your book and identify those in which you are active. If your book is primarily intended for students, please describe the courses that should adopt it. 

4. Author Information: Give a brief rundown of your occupation. Summarize your areas of expertise and explain why you are qualified to write the book. In addition, please submit a CV or resume.

5. Marketing Platform: Describe your professional activities and writing experience (with a focus on books, articles, blogs). Have you been interviewed by the media on a topic related to your book or do you have other experience with media outreach? What is the size of your network (contacts who could helpwith the promotion of the book)? If you give lectures or workshops, include a summary of your activities for the past year. If you have a well-developed social media network, please explain. 

6. Competing/Comparable Titles: List any previously published titles that are similar to your book in topic, approach, or writing style (please specify which). What about your proposed book is different, timely, and important in comparison to existing print or online information on the topic? For course-adoption books, what is the primary benefit to an instructor in using your text rather than competing titles? 

7. Production Considerations: Estimate when you plan to complete your manuscript. Estimate the manuscript’s word count and the number of photographs and other illustrations (maps, diagrams, graphs, etc.) that you plan to include. Please include sample images.

8. Course Materials: If your book is intended primarily for course use, please describe any ancillary material you would be willing to share (PowerPoint slides, sample syllabi, study questions, charts, graphs, pictures, videos). 

9. Writing Samples: If you have already drafted book chapters, or have writing samples that are germane to your proposed subject, please include them with the proposal.

10. Submission: If you are submitting files larger than 2MB(high-resolution art samples for example), please send them via a file-sharing service such as Box, Dropbox, or WeTransfer.

11. Is there any other information that would be helpful to us as we consider your project?





see main article: Village Buildings bibliography


Thanks for feedback from and conversations with:

Michael Andersen, Sightline Institute.

Elise Aymer, Critical Diversity Solutions - Toronto / Berkeley.

Sue Gemmell, Portland.

Andrew Heben - SquareOne Villages, Eugene.

Chris Herring, UC Berkeley PhD candidate, Harvard University post-doctoral fellow at the Inequality in America Initiative (2020-), joining UCLA Sociology Department as an Assistant Professor.

Sarah Iannarone. Portland community leader & 2020 mayoral candidate. 

Mark Lakeman, Communitecture / City Repair Project, Portland

Margarette Leite, PSU Center for Public Interest Design

Michael Mehaffy - Sustasis Foundation, Portland.

John McCormick, AIA, AICP (Emeritus) - Portland.

Julia Mollner, Carleton Hart Architecture & PSU Center for Public Interest Design

Michael Parkhurst, Meyer Memorial Trust. 

Alastair Parvin, Open Systems Lab, & WikiHouse, London.

Kol Peterson -, etc, Portland.

Sherri Shultz, Springfield/Eugene MicroDwellers.

Eli Spevak, Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission.

Wayne Stewart, civil engineer (retired), former chair of Portland Design Commission.  



some reflections on "hobo scholar" processes, disaffiliation, writing from the local global south, etc.

The possible values of not being much indebted or obligated to anyone regarding a project.

Where your treasure is, there shall your heart lie. Storing up riches in heaven, etc.

Authors/editor bio notes

Tim McCormick - project organizer - see

To Do

- review Tent City Urbanism, and references section. 
- research Print on Demand options - ask Andrew, Steven 
- villagebuildings twitter.
- VB logo?
- VB domain registration
- VB site 


Potential research visits

Jolene's First Cousin project, Portland

Kenton Women's Village new site. 

Seattle - LIHI, current villages, BLOCK Project, prefab ADU developers - revisit

Eugene & Cottage Grove - update on SquareOne Villages projects - revisit

Tiny House Villages in north Bay / Sonoma?  (Darin Dinsmore)

Oakland - Community Cabin sites, Safe Parking sites - revisit


  • any tiny-house-on-wheels ADUs
  • Tulare internment camp site (fairgrounds)

Los Angeles -

  • Skid Row
  • old and new bungalow courts

Las Vegas - Llamalopolis / Airstream Park. (2016 article with lots of photographs). 

Vancouver, B.C. - Temporary Modular Housing projects. 


Things to read next: 

(see also updated list in Tim's Workflowy)