This section describes the myriad programs, areas, and functions of the Center for Permaculture and Appropriate Technology.

Food Forest

Focus area: Food

Table 2 shows two example flora and fauna guilds in the food forest. One is optimized to cleanse waste water and the other to produce fruit.

Table 2 – Food Forest Guilds

(f)ruit guild, (w)et meadow guild


Cattails, w

Shrub willow, w

Blue flag iris, w

Cherry dogwood, w

Groundnut, w

Highbush cranberry, f

Marsh woundwort, w

Persimmon, w

Cherlone (turtleheads), w

Spicebush, w

Chufa, w

Chickens, f

Bees, f

Daylilies, f

Asparagus, f

Horseradish, f

Garlic, f

Hazelnut, f

Strawberries, f


Ginger, f


A Demonstration Center will feature a permanent exhibition about Living Buildings, the development of this site, and temporary exhibitions that represent sustainable works. Temporary and mobile exhibits will be scattered around the site.

Farmers Market

Focus area: Food

The new pedestrian pathways that crisscross the site open to a wide plaza north of the east building and between the east building and dome to host a farmers market for food grown on-site, at urban gardens, and brought in by farmers, bakers, and craftspeople.

Coworking and Business Incubator

Companies and individuals can apply to locate their businesses in the office spaces. A small coworking space is offered to individuals and small groups who need a collaborative space to work. CPAT will be a small business incubator assisting companies and partnerships that work with permaculture and appropriate technology. CPAT allows businesses with complementary missions.


CPAT is designed to be an educational site, offering work study programs to train the next generation of urban residents. CPAT will provide dormitory-style housing for many guests to live on site. The residents comprise instructors who are here to lead classes and students who seek certifications, internships, or job training.



Focus area: Transportation

A Divvy bicycle sharing station will stand on the site, as well as the bike learning workshop – an extension of West Town Bikes – available to tenants and neighbors. New protected bike lanes are built on Ogden Avenue and Jackson Boulevard.


Visitors will be able to tour the site, and can also become volunteers, students, educators, and workers. CPAT will be integrated with after school programs for the several nearby elementary and high schools, and also be a member of WWOOF, an organization that facilitates international travel, learning, and working on organic farms. In accordance with AASHE standards and Social Learning principles, the dorm will exist as a Living, Learning Laboratory running community workshops and research projects designed for the immediate community and experimentation with sustainable lifestyle education. Dorm residents will benefit from reduced housing costs in exchange for working on the farm, conducting research and teaching workshops.

Further reading

Problems & Solutions: FoodWaterTransportationEnergy

Divisions – Physical Features

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