We are beginning work on the design of a new “Net Positive” Community in northern Minnesota to be called Deepwater. A private property owner has the uncommon opportunity of holding the mineral rights on an expansive acreage of reclaimed open pit mines and some surrounding woodland, in the Iron Range of Northern Minnesota. He and a management team have commissioned us to envision (Master Plan) a sustainable community, for commercial, institutional and residential uses. This effort involves collaborating with four jurisdictional levels of the public realm (city, county, state and federal).
Garth Rockcastle, graduate students, and other faculty, along with staff at MSR Design (http://msrdesign.com/) are advancing innovative research on the history, culture and environmental conditions of the area, as well as advancing creative design and planning concepts rooted in the most effective paradigms to create regenerative communities. Primarily utilizing principles advanced by the International Living Future Institute’s Living Community Challenge (http://living-future.org/lcc), the master plan phase will be completed in June 2015. The first tangible implemented projects will include a 2 MW solar array and an organic waste recycling facility scheduled for implementation in 2015.