Our vision is to create a model for cities to become more self-reliant and to transition away from their dependence on fossil fuels. The hope is to pioneer a new approach to building a collaborative and resilient downtown using the principles of permaculture to differentiate how we derive our livelihood, food supply, transportation, energy, shelter, culture, and sense of community.
Permaculture is a design system that aims to use ecological systems to provide for humans needs. With this whole systems design in mind, we hope to implement some permacuture initiatives into our community to grow into a more sustainable town.
Alternative Transportation Programs (Car reduced development)
We strive to introduce a multi-modal system of transportation into downtown Franklin that is comprised of cycling, walking, and public transit. Our goals are to:
Enhance public transportation
Set up Zipcar or equivalent
Set up electric assist work bikes
Establish a rideshare program
Create a Transportation Center (potential reuse of R&D Paving site)
Create walkable neighborhood enhancements using Complete street design
Zero Waste Initiatives
The City of Franklin has made progress towards attaining a more sustainable system to reduce the amount of waste that is generated. Mandatory single stream recycling for residential and municipal buildings was implemented in April 2010. Trash and recycling are easily handled by the City, however, all food waste currently end up in our landfills.
Food waste is currently a challenge throughout the United States, and the City of Franklin is no different. It is estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency that 15% of total annual waste in this country is food. Based on this estimate, in 2014, Franklin would have thrown away more than 300,000 pounds of food, not taking into account multi-family units or restaurants not serviced by the City.
The idea of “produce no waste” from the Permaculture Principles should be fully realized in the downtown and the whole of Franklin in order to limit the items sent to the incinerator, and to create an atmosphere of reduction and reuse, rather than disposal and desire for new things. The regulations regarding commercial composting of food waste has recently changed in New Hampshire, providing us the perfect opportunity to start a zero waste initiative to include composting in the City’s our waste management plan.
Renewable Energy Initiatives
We hope to transition the City of Franklin away from fossil fuels by sourcing our energy from renewable sources. We aim to evaluate potential for detached renewable energy microgrid using hydropower, solar, combined heat and power (CHP) and other alternative means. Two options for hydropower private purchase agreements are Eagle Creek Renewable Energy and Franklin Falls Hydroelectric
7 after 6
The vision of this initiative is to implement seven activities after 6 PM (the concept of “7 after 6”), such as art classes and live music, seven art installations, including upcycled art, night gardens, projection mapping, and seven pop-up businesses, in which storefronts would be occupied for a reduced price. The number seven offers variety and allows people to enjoy at least one attraction every day of the week. Pop-up businesses have the potential to spur economic activity within Franklin by attracting more commerce. This concept aims to transform the City into an exciting destination for residents and visitors alike, and intends to take advantage of the economic, social, and recreational potential Franklin has to offer. “7 after 6” activities would attract both residents and visitors, and would appeal to a younger demographic that is not currently a strong component of downtown Franklin. As there are not many nightlife options that are available, “7 after 6” wouldnot only appeal to youth but to anyone who wishes to spend time in a more vibrant atmosphere.