Map to the Sustainable Gold! Part 3

Continued from Part 2…An Interactive Website and a Brochure are the 1st elements of the map to the Sustainable Urban Village!

The idea of the brochure, is as I come across people who might want to submit their ideas,  I can leave them with some info, the guidelines and a reminder. And something they can pass on to a friend.

Another interact tool I’m conjuring up works off of Zoomify. The idea is the viewer can zoom into a site plan, look around, and click on points of interest (“hot spots” in Zoomify speak), and more info comes up. So it’s like a narrative, a walkthru.  This is very useful.

Al Moore's St Mikes center section

A year or so ago, the City of Santa Fe commissioned seven planners/architects to come up with their ideas on how St Michaels Drive could be remodeled.  My experience, standing looking at each of these site plans was pretty empty.  A couple of days later, one of the architects, Al Moore, gave me a verbal tour through his ideas, and the neighborhood came alive…It was a fabulous place to live…sexy,  contemporary architecture, a fun creative environment.

So here’s my idea…not only would Al provide a written tour with Zoomify, but other viewers could take Al’s layout, and change the names/functions of the buildings.  You could create a whole ‘nother mix of commercial businesses and  services using the same layout. Or you could invite your friends, classmates, or fellow employees to participate, and together another Village mix would be created.  Name em, post em to the  website, and everyone can vote on their favorites!… READ MORE >>

A Match Made in Heaven

Foundation Investing and Your Vision of Sustainable Neighborhoods

Foundations grant 5% of their assets and invest 95%.  As I understand it, the branch of the foundation that invests has very little connection to the branch that makes grants.  In fact, sometimes their actions are running against each other.

The beauty of socially, economically, and ecologically sustainable neighborhoods, is they meet both objectives! The social mission of empowering, resilient, health lifestyles, uplifting,  poverty busting, social justice,  ecologically sound, and local economic development all gets handled in  ”mixed use, mixed income neighborhoods with lifelong learning and open space” .

The investment mission gets handled in creating large opportunities for investing in real, lasting values!

So… submit your ideas, your vision of the sustainable life you want to be living. As the needs aggregate, the existing market demand for sustainable neighborhoods becomes more apparent. Once the construction industry, from builders to banks to investors, finally accepts the go-go days  are gone, they will become more open to this new form of community based in real, lasting values. National foundations will have something to invest in that meets their asset needs. And their funding branch will see their missions move forward.

Your vision of your desired future sustainable lifestyle and billions of foundation $$$ assets ….A match made in heaven!!…

READ MORE >>

Empowering Boys, Winning the Future

Here’s another amazing TED presentation. “We have serious problems with boys, their culture isn’t working in schools”, Ali Carr-Chellman so states.  Her opening summation of the 100 Girls Project statistics are remarkable.

As you may know, I am petitioning the Gods to send us the tools to assist us in re-inventing our world sustainable. Ali speaks on the how boys and their gaming world is forbidden in school.

Imagine this…you get a knock on the door, and the 4th grader who lives down the street, greets you and says he is surveying the neighborhood, and wants your help.  ”It’ll take 15 minutes, and if you participate, it’ll raise money for our school!”  You say yes, and what unfolds amazes you.  You find yourself encouraged and imaging a better tomorrow, a mixed use, deeply affordable lifestyle, where “you can join the car share program and make money, up to $6000 a year!

He opens his laptop to Google Earth, and up pops your neighborhood. ” Our family has been thinking about what to do with grandma, since grandad died last year, and she’s living alone in her big house. Here’s what my Dad suggested.  We want to add a second story to our house, and move upstairs. My Grandma will move in with us and live in the old master suite downstairs.  She loves to bake pies, so we want to open a pie shop!  The living room and kitchen will become Doris’ Pie Shoppe!”  He proceeds to show you a mock up, in Google Earth, with the help of  Sketchup, of the remodeled home, “Doris’s Pie Shoppe” proclaims the hand painted sign across the old front door.

“OK, so what would you like to do with your home?” he asks you, ready to mock it up on his screen.

This is the curriculum I’m talking about;  Hands on, relevant, involved in the winning the future. Making Sustainable Real!

Here’s Ali’s video.  Enjoy.

READ MORE >>

World Peace this Week, Sustainable Neighborhoods Next Week!

I just watched John Hunter’s TED presentation….So Dang Good!  He has his 4th graders solving World Peace in one week!  I wrote him to see if the game, played on a 3 dimensional 4′x4′ board game, could be adapted to sustainable neighorhoods.  Social, Economic and Ecological sustainability is so complicated, but hey, so is World Peace!

I dream of online and real world tools that give us the ability to redevelop our lifestyle properous, resilient, and sustainable.  Wouldn’t it incredible to give our kids that game/modeling tool!!!! The gap between school and the real world can be so great….how can we so such a disfavor?!! It’s a big job, the greatest challenge mankind has ever faced…we need our kids participation and innovation in making sustainable real!

Here’s John’s video.

Building a Sustainable Neighborhood with Online Planning Tools

If “it takes a village” to create a sustainable lifestyle, and 70% of the “villagers” don’t get systems, how can we reinvent our way of life socially, economically, and ecologically whole? As I understand it, 70% of Americans are “sensors”, a Myer- Briggs typology.  Sensors don’t get systems, so I’m told. Apparently they don’t get cause and effect.
connecting the dots

Wanted; Killer Modeling Tool to Connect the Dots for a Sustainable Future

A year or so ago, I was on the Dell site, and found their “continue personalizing”, building a computer step-by-step process.  It started with choosing your color, and then the website walked you through each choice for each component. The price and specs accumulated as you went.  I got really excited…”Hey this is how neighbors or future residents could design their neighborhoods sustainable!”
This is my dream.  In the not too distant future, you will be able to use an online tool and go through a similar process, and build your neighborhood socially, economically, and ecologically sustainable! 

Imagine all your neighbors going through the same process, and then getting together to compare notes.  If the modeling tool had 3 D capabilities, then things like shadowed areas and massing could be visualized. Once your community “sees” the agreed upon values, and the great options that appeal to the group’s needs, and all the mutual benefits to be had,  neighborhoods will reinvent themselves sustainable.

Even Sensors Can Do It!

By breaking complex systems into pieces, giving information as to the costs of each option, and then aggregating them all together at the end for a grand total, makes it so we know what we’re going to buy and how much it will cost!  What if the info supplied was the social, economic and ecological consequences? What if the complex system was the design of a sustainable lifestyle??!!

I believe we can out compete sprawl development, give the market a better choice.

I call it making sustainable real! 

“Just as a mainframe that used to fill a room evolved into a laptop, so will our way of life.
The embedded resources are vastly reduced, while the quality and performance will be superior”… READ MORE >>

When It Comes to Sustainability, the US is Just Another Developing Nation

 

Sustainable Neighborhood via killer apps

When it comes to Sustainability, the US is just as lost as most other nations.  We have the added challenge of massive amounts of established suburbia, whereas Europe, for example,  has much compact development built before the automobile. I’ve heard it said the Europeans have a lifestyle that is twice as efficient as that of the United States.  They get twice the economic output as we get out of one BTU.

In my quest to come up with the Killer Modeling Tool that gives communities the ability to redevelop themselves sustainable, I came across this article in Ode Magazine about  Bangladeshi entrepreneur Iqbal Quadir. He started a microloan program, the Grameenphone,  that gets  cell phones in the hands of the poorest people in the world.

With the introduction of cell phones, local entrepreneur efforts can flourish. For instance  in the southern Indian state of Kerala, for example, the price of fish fell 4 percent while profits for the fishermen rose 8 percent because improved communication allowed fishermen to meet demand quickly and accurately. According to Leonard Waverman of the London Business School, the introduction of 10 mobile phones for every 100 residents of a developing country leads to a 0.6 percentage point increase in per capita GDP. Jeffrey Sachs, the celebrated development economist, has even called the mobile phone “the single most transformative tool for development.”

Iqbal recently wrote on The Huffington Post that sending 10,000 fewer American soldiers to Afghanistan would save $2.5 billion a year, which could be used to provide $300 microloans to 5 million Afghans and purchase Afghan products like carpets and pottery. “Trade and commerce could bring democracy and harmony from the bottom up,” Quadir wrote…. READ MORE >>

Climate Carbon Wedges

Now maybe you’re saying to yourself, “Why is he talking about those things that bullies do where they pull someone’s underwear way up?”, ya know “wedgies”.  Nope, but you’re close! I could take an hour to explain it, but these guys are on it.

Carbon wedge graph

The climate carbon wedge concept was introduced by two Princeton professors, Rob Socolow and Stephen Pacala. These wedges describe a portfolio of energy technologies and choices about how we live, that when taken together form wedges against increasing carbon emissions. This is perhaps better explained by looking at the diagram above… READ MORE >>

WANTED: Killer Modeling Tool to Sell Sustainable Urban Villages! Part 3

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — New construction of U.S. housing units plunged in February, erasing a sharp gain in January and coming close to an all-time-low level. March 16,2011

Bed ZED

Bed ZED is different. We're not in Suburbia anymore, Todo!

If we want to revitalize the US Economy, we have to do things differently.

If we work with the 1/3 of the Boomers, and 88% of the Millennials that want to move into vibrant, alive, pedestrian friendly walkable neighborhoods, we can resurrect the construction industry and send us on a path to a prosperous, positive future! What is required is using a whole systems approach and designing for an exponentially more efficient way of life… READ MORE >>

Quest for the Killer Modeling Tool continues

The Quest is on!  Ray at Infracycle recommended taking a look at CommunityViz.  Coincidently, recently I’ve attended a couple of their  CommunityViz’s “Community Matters”  webinars….

On capturing customers for successful commercial-

This article about Hershey Pennsylvania’s attempt to revitalize the town, from the ERSI site, has a good discussion on how to figure customer capture using the Huff gravity Model.

I found a video on how to most accurately collect data-  the Block Point method wins! on ERSI’s site, but lost the link. Having the critical numbers of residential to make the commercial successful is one of the essential  pieces to a walkable lifestyle.

Here’s another interesting piece I’m learning about …APIs  Application Programming Interface.  Different software programs create the tools to encourage others to adapt into them with their own needs, thus spreading the usage of the original software.  So this says to me, I’m looking for software that has APIs that integrate into GIS and Google Earth, or maybe I’m looking for Google Earth APIs???

Hey, whatever it takes to make sustainable real!

I’m thinking of creating another site where this conversation can build…. maybe a more wiki kind of online tool…I don’t have much traffic at this point, but the day will come!!… READ MORE >>

Quest for the Killer Modeling Tool

For the last decade, I’ve been focusing on the “functions” side of the smart modeling tool that will help neighbors in retrofitting their community sustainable, all the while hoping the world will have developed a video game or software that can be adapted to suite my needs.  As Edwin Land, inventor of the Polaroid camera put it, “Envision how you want it to work, and then remove the barriers”.

Last night, as I was brainstorming with one of my partners who knows the video game world, I had a slow dawning awareness. Creating the Killer Modeling Tool may not be so easy.  Evony’s “platform” isn’t set up to import a real world neighborhood.  So I’m cruizing the internet, looking for a tool that is ready to go off the shelf.

I looked the Sims, and SimCity.  As “games with no objective” I’m fascinated these are the most popular video games of all times, but how easy can they import Google Earth??

On a tip from friends, I heard about Intracycle.  Now Infracycle crunches numbers to establish the “financial sustainability” of a project; life cycle costs, community services cost, etc., certainly an essential component to the Killer Modeling Tool! Maybe Ray E will have some ideas…

On the quest to make sustainable real!… READ MORE >>

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