MICHAEL AND JUDY CORBETT: Back to the Garden: A Suburban Dream

MICHAEL AND JUDY CORBETT

As developer Michael Corbett strolls around the gardens of Village Homes, his pioneering experiment in ecological living in Davis, Calif., life looks pretty good. Solar panels help keep the houses warm, shared backyards bring neighbors together, and natural drainage irrigates fruit trees. Corbett reaches up to a branch, plucks off a persimmon, and bites into it. "Just right," he proclaims with a smile. Village Homes is one of the world's best examples of sustainable development--it doesn't degrade the environment that future generations will inherit. But only a quarter-century ago, the ideas behind the project were considered so radical that it almost...

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