Neighborhoods as Crepes…Add Your Filling!!

As I was driving around the neighborhood just south of downtown Albuquerque this weekend, I kept wondering how come the 50′s deco corner buildings were empty? Why isn’t this neighborhood more alive?

Yeah, all the homes are one story, simple 50′s suburbia, sidewalks, nothing glamorous, but friendly. The corner buildings look like old gas stations, or malt shoppes. Where’s Betty Lou on roller skates??

The image of thin pancakes popped into my mind. Ya  know, when there is too much water in the batter, and the baking powder hasn’t kicked in yet.  Crepes!  Hey I like crepes…ya fill them with stuff, roll em up….sweet or savory.

Crepes

What amenities would you add to your neighborhood to make it tasty!?

But thin neighborhoods are boring. They appear vacant, nobody’s walking to anything. No kids playing in the streets….Don’t these neighborhoods have kids??!… READ MORE >>

SUSTAINABLE URBAN VILLAGE -turning SUVs into SUVS

Sustainable Urban Village is an odd phrase.

Sustainable Urban Village is a mash up of opposites. “Village” is pastoral, dreamy, idealistic, old fashioned, small and intimate. “Urban” conjures up pretty much the opposite-gritty, concrete and asphalt, contemporary, hip, huge and cold. Add “sustainable” to the mix, and it becomes ….an odd phrase. Where would one find such a creature? And what qualities will it embody?

As we contemplate where we’re going as a people and we feel the ground shifting under us as we transform from a car dominated sprawl lifestyle to a pedestrian friendly, ecologically sound, lowered consumptive way of life, I’m suggesting we pick and choose from the best options; incorporating best practices, and lessons learned of what works and what doesn’t, leaving those choices with harsh unintended consequences behind.

vida streetscape

Live, work, play, learn, shop, all within walking. Kids play, while you catchup with a friend!

“What works” for me, rolls into 5 principles; “Mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhoods, with lifelong learning and open space……everywhere.” Another way to put it? Sustainable Urban Villages, and they are found…..everywhere.

It takes a certain number of residential to make commercial be successful.  These economies of scales hold true no mater where we live, in a rural setting, a grayfield, or in the suburbs. We will learn what works, what it takes to be sustainable. As we reinvent our economy, we will pick wisely, and base our investment in the future on the real, lasting values we hold collectively. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to live in balance with our earth.

Redeveloping ourselves sustainable is complicated and requires collaboration. We’re wired to innovate. As we rise to the greatest challenge humanity has ever known,  we will be amazing. Share your vision!

Together, we can bring forward the emerging sustainable economy, a lifestyle that is “Good for people, good for the planet, and good for the polar bears”.

Let’s make sustainable real!… READ MORE >>

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