Faith's House in Civano

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Although I never specifically identify where Faith’s house is, I always pictured it as being in the Civano neighborhood of Tucson. This is a green community dedicated to, as Simmons Buntin calls it, unsprawl. There’s a full history of the community at that link you can read to find out about it.

Committed to sustainable living and a sense of community, private land space is limited. Instead, homes are built backing onto community areas with vegetation and walking paths.

Typically southwestern in style, most have flat roofs, and many have colorful doors, windows, and furniture. Lavender and red and yellow are common colors. The flat roofs make it easy to mount solar panels, both for hot water and for electricity.

You won’t see lawns in Civano. Instead, native or desert-adapted plants are the rule. Water is precious when you live in the desert and lawns are a terrible waste of this resource. The silver column in this picture of the neighborhood school is a catch basin for rain water, which is used to water the plants.

I’m not sure how much of a success the Civano concept is. I do know that one of the frustrations of the community is that they have never been able to get a bus route to run nearby. People who live in Civano don’t want to drive their cars everywhere, encouraging walking and public transportation instead. There’s a small business section near the community center that has very little parking. While admirable in theory, I’m not convinced this has been good for the businesses housed there. It limits the clientele when there are parking problems.

Still, I like the quirkiness of Civano, the dream of a more earth-friendly way of life. And I like the idea of Faith living there.

Photo Credits:
Civano School: photo credit: Design for Health via photopin cc
Civano Houses: photo credit: Design for Health via photopin cc
Other photos taken by myself.

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