Your NameKelly Sommerfeld
TRP Cohort AssignmentAmericas with In-Person Intensive in Santa Fe, Fall-Winter 2023
Study Cohort Members

Sienna McMahon, Kaylee Cole, Kelly Sommerfeld, Poyom Riles, Alex Herbig

Working Title of The Project (which we will use to refer to it throughout the series)

Seattle ADU Resource Fairs

Project Location

Seattle, Washington- the traditional land of the Duwamish People

Nature of The Project (e.g. building, new community, economic development, etc.)

In the face of Seattle’s ongoing housing crisis, these ADU resource fairs were intended to nurture the development of more affordable housing options, strengthen an ecosystem of stakeholders, strengthen YIMBY culture, spark communal and intergenerational living opportunities, encourage shared resources, diminish urban sprawl, and amplify the virtues of living in deeper proximity and connection to each other. These events intentionally parallelled the passing of the City’s zoning reform to allow up to two ADUs on every single family zoned lot, which at the time was one of the most progressive zoning laws passed in the US related to restrictive single family zones. Community members could access an ecosystem of lenders, builders, architects, prefab home representatives, policy makers, various City department representatives, co-ownership facilitators, and more. Through the organizing process itself, and during the event stakeholders connected with each other and to the possibility to develop more affordable housing options in low density neighborhoods. There were also panels of experts speaking on a variety of related issues such as zoning regulations, barriers, opportunities, design and construction process, project costs, lending opportunities, etc.

Why do you think this project is appropriate for the course assignment?

Among the team members, there is shared interest and curiosity around what the potential for a community/ stakeholder engagement process or initiative could be using a regenerative development approach. Issues of affordable housing, isolation, and environmental footprint feel relevant now as Seattle is on the cusp of passing another policy reform to completely remove single family zoning and upzone to allow for the “missing middle”. It feels like there is room to deepen into the potential for some kind of co-created community/ stakeholder participatory process around the building of culture towards new and ancient ways of living in deeper harmony to place and each other, of disrupting cycles of isolation and individualism, of co-shaping the built environment to support the regeneration of our living systems. The potential for "field building/ generating" and bringing into creation something that is more cultural in nature feels alive for us. We feel it's interesting specifically because it's not a physical/ built project. Since it's not a physical project, it might speak to the question about whether this is bringing something into being, rather than just solving a problem. We are curious about the potential evolution of this event series beyond a few regular events.

Date CreatedFebruary 22, 2024