Architect, Author: Pocket Neighborhoods
2019 Speaker

Whidbey Island, Washington

Ross Chapin is an architect, neighborhood planner and author based near Seattle, Washington. He is a passionate advocate for sensibly sized homes and sociably scaled neighborhoods that nourish the individual, support healthy household relationships and foster a meaningful sense of community.

Since 1997 Chapin has partnered in building seven “pocket neighborhoods” and designed dozens of socially oriented communities for developers across North America, many of which have received international media coverage, professional peer review and national design awards.

Chapin’s work and ideas have been featured in more than 40 books and in publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, AARP Bulletin, Forbes, Planning magazine, Architectural Record and Builder magazine. His own book, Pocket Neighborhoods: Creating Small Scale Community in a Large Scale World, has been widely read, shifting the thinking of developers, policymakers, architects, homebuyers and community advocates.

In his home community, Chapin helped formulate the cottage housing development zoning ordinance, the first of its kind to be implemented in the U.S. This ordinance has become a model for innovative housing codes, opening the way for small-scale communities within existing neighborhoods and new developments. Projects by Chapin’s firm are often used to illustrate city zoning ordinances and state and federal housing policy papers.

In his personal life, Chapin regularly takes part in contact improvisation, qigong, Sufi whirling, seasonal ceremony and ritual, hiking, and open-water swimming in Puget Sound.