Designs and Project Update (It's been awhile)

It has been a bit since there was a new post in the blog. This past fall saw a finalization of the schematic design and approvals by Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals (both cases would deserve their own blog post). After the new year a design unveiling event was held at Urban Community School. If you haven’t had the chance to see the designs or didn’t come to the event check them out here now and email us with any feedback! Construction will begin in the next week so keep you eyes peeled at 58th and Pear!

Tiny House – Elevations 1

Tiny House – Elevations 2

Tiny House – Floorplans

Tiny House – Site Plan

The Cleveland EcoVillage: Steps Toward a More Sustainable City

Environmentally friendly is not usually the first description that comes to mind when
one thinks of Cleveland, Ohio. However, the newly developed EcoVillage in
Cleveland’s Detroit Shoreway is slowly working to change this perception.
Originally conceived in 1998 and developed over the last 15 years, the EcoVillage is an
environmentally conscious neighborhood located in Detroit Shoreway with a focus on
sustainability, transit oriented development, and a sense community. The EcoVillage
was created as a response to ongoing urban sprawl and environmental degradation
within the city, with a goal to replace consumption and waste with preservation and

Since its conception, the EcoVillage has developed into a residential community of
many energy efficient market-rate and affordable homes. Through the work of Detroit
Shoreway Community Development Organization (DSCDO), the EcoVillage is now home
to several developments, including EcoVillage Townhomes, Bridge Square Townhomes,
The Green Cottage, Greenbuilt Homes, EcoVation Homes, and of course the Citizens
Tiny House Experiment.

In line with the goal of creating a pedestrian friendly, transit oriented community, the
EcoVillage has made efforts to locate housing, amenities, and green spaces within
walking distance to new or existing public transit stations and routes. The EcoVillage
residents are residents are within walking distance of the Rapid Transit Station and the
Zone Recreation Center, offering easy access to downtown Cleveland and recreational
spaces. Not only does this emphasis on access to transportation simplify life for
residents, it is also better for the environment. Using public transportation instead of
driving individually leads to less carbon emissions, creating cleaner air and a better

Inclusion of green spaces throughout the EcoVillage also contributes to this goal of an
environmentally friendly and community-oriented neighborhood. Green spaces, or
areas of land on which development is indefinitely set aside, provide locations for
community events, gardens, and nature. Even more, these areas provide habitats for
plants and animals, and help capture storm water. The EcoVillage has also utilized
these spaces for various activities that foster community interdependence, including
native plant workshops, gardening seminars, community planting days, and local food

In the future, DSCDO and partners will continue to implement projects in the
EcoVillage neighborhood to continue to meet their four initiatives of green building
and housing, transportation infrastructure, green space and local food, and community
involvement. Through the completion of these initiatives, EcoVillage will continue to
be an asset to the flourishing community of the Detroit Shoreway, while
simultaneously promoting green living in the Cleveland area.

Why Tiny House?

We live in a world where more is sometimes conceived to be better. We supersize our
food, maximize our possessions, and find ourselves constantly connected through an
endless stream of social media. However, as we continually dive deeper into this
societal desire for more, a countercurrent of minimalism has simultaneously begun to
emerge, perhaps as a response to the overwhelming flux of unnecessary clutter. The
Tiny House movement is perhaps the most poignant reflection of this revolution
towards living more simply and efficiently.

The Tiny House movement, a social movement in which people downsize their homes
into trailer-like dwellings ranging anywhere from 80-800 square feet, is gaining tread
across the nation. However, the thought of packing up one’s belongings and moving
into a home that resembles a child’s playhouse has many people asking the question:
Why Tiny House?

The benefits of this extreme downsizing have drawn thousands of people to the Tiny
House movement. For many, living in a smaller home is simply more affordable. As
many people struggle to pay off the cost of a standard home, tiny homes offer a
significantly lower initial cost, despite the fact that they often cost more per square
foot than a traditional home. Additionally, living in a tiny home cuts the cost of
electricity bills, and makes paying off a mortgage drastically easier for owners.
The Tiny House movement also holds a special appeal for the environmentally
conscious. Because they require less land and use fewer resources, tiny houses provide
a more sustainable housing alternative to a standard American home. For many of the
same reasons that these houses are cheaper, such as using less energy to heat or cool
them, they are also friendlier to the environment.

Even more, these miniature dwellings are prospective options for different
demographics and social groups. Several communities have experimented with
creating a trailer park community of miniature houses as one way to provide shelter
for the homeless. Tiny houses may also be used as an alternative to nursing homes for
aging seniors who are looking to downsize.

Though the reduced costs, social and environmental benefits of tiny houses certainly
hold an appeal, the tiny house movement is rooted in a desire for simplicity.
Surrounded by countless belongings and homes with empty rooms, many Americans
have found themselves asking the question, ”Do I own the space, or does the space
own me?'” In a response to the overwhelming materialism of American culture, the
Tiny House movement offers a simple solution: less stuff leaves more room for living.