An Oregon 501(c)3 Public Benefit Corporation

Reg. no. 462867-95


Sustasis in the news:

               "The future of design is Agile" - New article at Metropolis mag, excerpt from our forthcoming book "Design for a Living Planet"

               Our interview with Scientific American about "planning and pseudo-science," with our ESRG colleague Stephen Marshall

               Our post in Atlantic Cities on "why cities can be so much greener than other places"

               Story about our work on the role of urban form in climate change, and hopeful solutions, in NRDC blog by Kaid Benfield

               Article about our (and others') rebuilding work in New Orleans, and issues of evolution and adaptation, in The Atlantic

               Wiki inventor and board member Ward Cunningham interviews Michael Mehaffy about new pattern language approaches

New Reports and Resources


CALL FOR PAPERS: The next "Future of Places" conference on "Streets as Public Spaces" (with UN-Habitat, Project for Public Spaces and Ax:son Johnson Foundation)

NEW LEARNING MODULES: Five new on-line course modules in sustainable urban development,  created with the Council for European Urbanism and used by universities in Europe and the US!

NEW WEBINAR:  Introducing "Federated Wiki," a new generation of wiki that supports scenario- modeling tools at the neighborhood scale

SUSTASIS PRESS: Our first book available now on and elsewhere (click to view)

REPORT: "The unbearable costs of sprawl:" the link between the mortgage meltdown, the global financial crisis, and unsustainable land use 

REPORT:  Evaluation of new tall building projects in Paris by Council for European Urbanism (affiliate)

REPORT:  "Public Interest Review by Alternative Design" (PIRAD) for the Con-way District of NW Portland

REPORT:  Portland, Oregon study of steps needed to achieve sustainable development of centers and corridors


REPORT:  "The urban dimensions of climate change:" Why cities will be more important than we think


WHITE PAPER: "Climate Change and Growth:  The Choices Before Us," prepared for California's Office of Planning Research



Developing and applying neighborhood-scale tools for the complex challenges of the future




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 seek 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, and regulatory tools and incentives that make it easier to do good development. 


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 or


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.  We also have a partnership with A.W.I.S.H. Foundation, an umbrella incubator for start-ups like ours, that allows another path for 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

We are grateful for your support, however modest!


We 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 are grateful for the contunued institutional affiliation with A World Institute to Serve Humanity, a global incubator NGO and collaborator/supporter of the Sustasis Foundation.  For more information please see    For links to our pages on the A.W.I.S.H. website, see


We welcome your interest in this work and any questions you might have about it.


Sustasis Foundation

742 SW Vista Ave., #42

Portland, OR 97205


Email: michael dot mehaffy at the gmail domain. 

Thank you!