Tassafaronga Village in Oakland, California was named one of this year’s COTE Top 10 green projects. Built five years, it revitalised a once dangerous stretch of East Oakland and today stands as a model for affordable green housing.
Tassafaronga Village is a 3.2-hectare neighbourhood built on a former contaminated brownfield site in East Oakland. Completed in 2010, the project successfully replaced what was once a crime-ridden neighbourhood with a range of affordable housing options: a 60-unit apartment building, 77 rental townhouses clustered in 13 buildings spread out across the neighbourhood, and 20 supportive apartments with their own onsite medical clinic.
All the buildings at Tassafaronga Village are Platinum-LEED certified. The housing units are situated to receive maximum natural daylight and ventilation, but feature innovative shading techniques to protect against the heat and sun. The neighbourhood even has its own 180-kilowatt photovoltaic system to offset electric loads while each apartment building is topped with solar thermal collectors for hot water needs, according to an article on MMN.com.
One of the greatest successes of Tassafaronga Village is its use of ample green public space, which was designed to encourage community engagement and a pedestrian lifestyle, writes MMN.com. One of the public parks even features an urban farm tended to by local elementary school children.
Established 19 years ago, the American Institute of Architects and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) single out the top ten examples of sustainable architecture and ecological design projects.