"Everything we do must be approached with sustainability as a goal. I hope to become a leader in helping to meet this goal—in a meaningful, measurable way—in the projects PPL has under development. The intangible benefits of sustainability are of real value, part of a vision for a hopeful future. And the measurable benefits can have a direct impact on the daily lives of people with low incomes—the clients PPL serves. As evidence we have only to look at the promise of lower utility bills that green design can provide."
While Rose Fellow Abbie Loosen was involved with a variety of projects during her tenure with Project for Pride in Living (PPL), she believes her work with the Hawthorne Eco-Village had the greatest impact. A multiphase neighborhood redevelopment located in an area of Minneapolis hit hard by foreclosures and home abandonment, the project began with the rehabilitation of about half a dozen single-family houses within a four-block area. It also included the redesign of the four-block site using sustainable strategies and the construction of 40-to-50 new, affordable rental units.
Abbie was also involved with several other projects during her fellowship. She organized green charrettes for the Touchstone Supportive Housing project, which provides housing, a wellness center, and mental health offices for people with severe and chronic mental illness in south Minneapolis. She also has spent time reviewing and reporting on Innovations Beyond the Facade forums of architects who work in affordable housing design.
Abbie has continued her work with PPL, post-fellowship, as project manager. Through her fellowship, Abbie has come to the realization that, "design alone isn't enough. It has to be about service and design. Design is a powerful tool to solve problems at all scales from detailing to neighborhood planning and it shouldn't be available to only those who can afford to pay for it. I've been so thankful to work with such a huge variety of communities at PPL."
Abbie has a Master of Architecture from the University of Minnesota and has already achieved LEED accreditation, training that will serve her well given the project’s green focus. As she explains, “The Eco-Village name came from the Hawthorne neighborhood itself, which has galvanized around the idea of sustainability rather than simply looking to development-as-usual to revitalize the neighborhood. It is the residents’ hope that the redevelopment of this four-block area will spark change throughout northern Minneapolis.”
Hawthorne Eco Village
Multiphase neighborhood redevelopment
Rehabilitation of about half a dozen single-family houses within a four-block area. Redesign of the four-block site using sustainable strategies and the construction of 40-to-50 new, affordable rental units.