Porchscapes, Fayetteville, Ark.

The 43 units of four types cluster around communal spaces in a density greater than that of the surrounding areas. The communal spaces serve double duty: encouraging interaction while acting as an extensive water-management system.

Runoff from this and the neighboring site is managed by filtering the water through layers of gravel, soil, and filter fabric, returning clean water to the ground and dispersing the water over the acreage.

The complex is designed to encourage social interaction. Every unit has a porch that's intended to draw residents out of doors, and features such as athletic fields and community gardens promise to foster a spirit of engagement that many planned communities lack.

The public areas include the North Shared Street Plaza.

Mews Court: One of the public areas that serve as sub-watersheds and incorporate bioswales and other landscaping that contributes to the stormwater-management system.

The South Shared Street Plaza. It was not only the planning of the plazas that garnered praise; the buildings themselves intrigued the jury. "It seems to me that Habitat for Humanity has evolved into something more interesting than it used to be," Lars Lerup said. "These buildings seem more innovative than those normally associated with the program. There is so little innovation in suburbia that this is quite exciting."

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