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Check Out California’s New Farm-to-Table City

Check Out California’s New Farm-to-Table City
Arts & Culture

The Cannery integrates urban and suburban living on basis of energy efficiency, and is reviving the small town feel in a new-age way

Charlie Stephens
  • 11 september 2015

On August 15, The Cannery opened its doors to the city of Davis, becoming California’s first “Farm-to-Table new home community.” Located just five minutes from downtown, The Cannery is a city within itself, boasting 547 energy-efficient homes, a 7.4 acre working farm, a mixed-use town center, and 4.7 acres of neighborhood parks.

Mixed-use developments are sprouting up everywhere, but being next to UC Davis and at the heart of the state’s agriculture industry suggests The Cannery will offer an interesting, innovative urban dynamic.

The farm, managed by the Center for Land-Based Learning, will grow fresh produce to be sold in the Market Hall. The Cannery’s onsite agricultural well and integrated food system is meant to serve both as an example of sustainable farming and as a training ground for budding farmers.

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In terms of housing, the neighborhood is based off an agrihood model, one which integrates urban amenities with suburban living options. So rather than cater to one breed of urbanite, renters and buyers can choose from university flats, town homes, detached single family homes, and multi-generational residencies, all of which will be prepared for solar energy and equipped with electric vehicle charging stations.

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So far The Cannery is drawing attention. On its opening weekend the community garnered more than 5,000 people to tour the different homes, many of them coming from the Bay Area and greater Sacramento regions.

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A key reason why might be its walkability—a feature many young people and families look for in a new place to live. Residents are within a 10-minute walk or five-minute bike ride from everything in The Cannery. A Town Center sits at one end of the neighborhood; it’s here where retail stores, offices, and creative entrepreneurial space offer up products and services for the town.

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Green space will also be essential for making The Cannery a sustainable place to live. Shown to have health benefits for urban residents, parks are integrated throughout the neighborhood. In fact, one third of The Cannery is dedicated to open space, and every home is within 300 feet of some. Ideal, topic, or whatever you may call it, The Cannery is reviving the small town feel, in a new-age way.

And more futuristic plans are in store for California. Just two hours south of Davis, plans have just been approved for yet another eco-friendly community: a Cupertino mixed-use project with a 30 acre sky park.

The shopping, working, and living center would be the world’s largest of its kind. As the leader of this project quotes, the plan “is not driven by economics… it’s something that’s more of a public amenity.”

The Cannery seems to present the same situation. There is an opportunity for public innovation, and there is a demand to live amongst these mixed-use developments. A model like this won’t be ideal for every society, but these California green developments may be the first steps towards a healthier, and more sustainable urban and suburban future.

The Cannery

 

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