Designing place-based ecologies.
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Better Living Together (BLT)

Decatur, GA

Better Living Together (BLT) is a nonprofit group that formed out of the love from their children. There is a looming crisis in housing for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Most live at home, often with aging family caregivers. The little housing that does exist typically segregates individuals with I/DD, isolating them from the larger community. BLT is looking to build an intentional community of that would include individuals with I/DD, seniors, and a mix of other “neuro-typical” (NT) residents. The community would create a safe and supportive environment, bringing together a diverse group of people who desire to foster supportive relationships. This would reduce loneliness and provide a sense of belonging for all residents. The group is motivated by the question of “What happens to my child after I die?” and the community is motivated by the question, “How do we preserve one’s memories past death through community?”

The project began as a project for the Flourishing Communities Design Collaborative at Georgia Tech looking at the former United Methodist Children’s Home in Decatur. The narrative of a former orphanage turned intentional community is a compelling one, and has now being moved forward in conjunction with Village Habitat Design and Dwell, Design Build. The planning and development model being pursued is co-housing, utilizing cottage court design to encourage purposeful interaction between neighbors. Workshops with adults with I/DD have been held to gather more information about where they would ideally like to live and what the whole family’s aspirations are for the future.

Services: urban design, architectural programming, design, advocacy, outreach

Collaborators: Flourishing Communities Design Collaborative

Better Living Together (BLT)

Decatur, GA

Better Living Together (BLT) is a nonprofit group that formed out of the love from their children. There is a looming crisis in housing for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).  Most live at home, often with aging family caregivers.  The little housing that does exist typically segregates individuals with I/DD, isolating them from the larger community.  BLT is looking to build an intentional community of that would include individuals with I/DD, seniors, and a mix of other “neuro-typical” (NT) residents. The community would create a safe and supportive environment, bringing together a diverse group of people who desire to foster supportive relationships.  This would reduce loneliness and provide a sense of belonging for all residents. The group is motivated by the question of “What happens to my child after I die?” and the community is motivated by the question, “How do we preserve one’s memories past death through community?”

The project began as a project for the Flourishing Communities Design Collaborative at Georgia Tech looking at the former United Methodist Children’s Home in Decatur. The narrative of a former orphanage turned intentional community is a compelling one, and has now being moved forward in conjunction with Village Habitat Design and Dwell, Design Build. The planning and development model being pursued is co-housing, utilizing cottage court design to encourage purposeful interaction between neighbors. Workshops with adults with I/DD have been held to gather more information about where they would ideally like to live and what the whole family’s aspirations are for the future.

Services: urban design, community engagement

Collaborators: Flourishing Communities Design Collaborative