An Oregon 501(c)3 Public Benefit Corporation
Reg. no. 462867-95
About Us Our Work 2009 Work 2010 Work 2011 Work 2012 Work 2013 Work Donate/Get Involved
About the Sustasis Foundation
The Foundation’s name, Sustasis, is a Greek word that means “to stand together" as in a collaboration. The Foundation is a small catalytic organization that seeks to convene other collaborators in strategic ways, and thereby leverage its small resources for maximum effect. We develop and share tools to promote vibrant, livable neighborhoods, while at the same time addressing the critical issues of resource depletion and climate change. We focus on capacity-building tools at the neighborhood scale, including codes, pattern languages, peer-to-peer design tools, and regulatory tools and incentives that make it easier to do good development.
We were formed in 2007 to take forward recovery planning work in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Working as part of the Unified New Orleans Plan team, we recognized that "top-down" planning and aid from government entities would not be sufficient. In addition, new "bottom-up" approaches were also badly needed -- including peer-to-peer and "capacity-building" tools at the neighborhood scale. Following the suggestion of Andy Kopplin, Executive Director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, we incorporated as a non-profit "public benefit" corporation to take forward this work. (A description of our New Orleans work is available at http://www.tectics.com/nrcs.htm.) Since then we have continued our work on a related set of topics within a range of projects in the US and internationally.
Our foundation’s work can be divided into three categories:
Project consulting, research and publication activities: We work on a number of project collaborations, including neighborhood-scale development projects and peer-reviewed research. We focus on the topics of sustainable urban development, climate change, and social and ecological resilience. Executive director Michael Mehaffy serves as advisor to a number of research projects and NGOs, and sits on the boards of three international urban research journals. He works with the Council for European Urbanism, the Portland Metro regional government, the Portland+Oregon Sustainability Institute, and other partners and allies with similar missions.
Michael has also played a strategic role in the recovery planning of New Orleans, where he developed proposals for resilience and capacity-building. A notable example is a proposal for "Neighborhood Resource Recovery Centers" that is now part of the Unified New Orleans Plan, which has now been adopted as the City's permanent master plan.
ESRG – The Environmental Structure Research Group: The ESRG is a consortium or "research coordination network" that we facilitate, convening over 30 leading researchers from around the world, including Christopher Alexander, Nikos Salingaros, Wiki inventor Ward Cunningham, and a number of other "thought leaders," researchers, academics and practitioners. For more information see www.aboutus.org/ESRG or www.tectics.com/ESRG.htm.
The ESRG has held a number of symposia (at University College London, the University of Oregon, New Orleans and elsewhere) and published a number of papers on sustainable development and best practice in design, in Journal of Urbanism, Urban Design International and other leading professional journals.
INTBAU – USA:
Sustasis Foundation is the legal entity that hosts the USA chapter of
INTBAU, the International Network for Traditional Building,
Architecture and Urbanism. INTBAU is a UK charity dedicated to
the study, protection and regeneration of resilient local neighborhoods
and buildings around the world. It is a patronage of the Prince
of Wales, and sister charity of The Prince’s Foundation for Building
Community, where Sustasis executive director Michael Mehaffy served as
the first Director of Education. Through the 501(c)3 status of
Sustasis, we can take fully tax-deductible donations in the US.
INTBAU USA held its start-up conference in New Orleans in 2007, where many members are still involved in rebuilding work with our many allies there. Our board includes leading representatives of the University of Miami, the University of Notre Dame, the Institute for Classical Architecture and Arts, the Building Process Alliance, the New Urban Guild, and others.
For more information abotu INTBAU and the USA chapter, see http://www.traditional-building.com/Previous-Issues-12/OctoberFeature12.html
We are grateful for your support, however modest!
continue to use direct and in-kind support from our partners (including airfare,
accommodations and the like) and funding from
private activities such as fees for professional consulting. We are grateful
for all of this support and we will pursue these and additional sources for
modest but increasing growth in activities for 2013 and beyond.
We welcome your interest in this work, and we welcome your contact!
742 SW Vista Ave., #42
Portland, OR 97205
Email: michael dot mehaffy at the gmail domain.