Vibrant, Alive, Affordable + Living Lightly Locally= Sustainable Neighborhoods

5 Planets! How are we, the US of A, going to be a serious leader if our lifestyle requires 5 planets of resources??

How are we going to look our grandchildren in the eye and say with pride “All this is yours!”??

The good news is we are innovative. So, my fellow Americans, let’s roll up our sleeves and seize the opportunity. What else are we gonna do?!

Join us on Tuesday nights, and help design and build the 21st Century sustainable! MeetUp Design Lab for Sustainable Neighborhoods

More good news! Ya ready?  Mixed-use, mixed-income sustainable neighborhood infill developments of 2 or so acres, located in rural, urban, or suburban settings, meet the challenge to deliver sustainable lifestyles that are good for people and our planet!

Here is a drawing of one possibility that is efficient, affordable, and creates a beautiful oasis.

 

Infill Plaza at the Heart for web 1 copy

With approx. 40 residential units of varying sizes on the upper floor, and mixed-use commercial and shared common facilities on the ground floor, we just need 80 or so people who want to move in. Want to have your business here?

Come to the next Designing Sustainable Neighborhoods Workshop

Go to Meet Up Santa Fe and RSVP! and check the box letting us know you’ll be attending. Together, we can make Sustainable Neighborhoods real!

Don’t live in Santa Fe, but want one in your community??!! Let me know!

When competition drives excellence

Elisabet Sahtouris…I don’t know who this lady is, but I’ll bet there’s more pearls of wisdom where this comes from! Kill your enemy or feed your enemy…hmmmm… Tough choice, eh?

Elisabet Sahtouris Interview from StormCloud Media on Vimeo.

Freiberg Germany has a yearly contest as to who’s neighborhood can have the lowest energy consumption. Another example where competition drives excellence. That’s what I’m talking about. Together we can make sustainable real!

Trading real adventures for online games & converting nature into goods, leaves us poorer

Growing the economy… sustainably. Conserving our way into a new economy.

In this video, Charles Eisenstein lays it out.What sounds totally illogical, that less is more, helps me think in new ways.  Values get turned on their head. Time bank anyone?

Charles Eisenstein Interview from StormCloud Media on Vimeo.

Hey, what’s one of your favorite songs to sing? How bout we meet at the common house after 5, play some ping pong, have a beer, and do a couple of karaoke songs??!! See you there!! Together we can make sustainable real!

Economics as if we live in a Sustainable Urban Village

This video brings clarity to the fundamental shift we are involved in…the kind of growth that leaves us living lightly on the planet. Join in! Slip into the nearest phone booth and reappear transformed into the stupendous steward you are. As for the current lack of phone booths, don’t let that small detail get in your way!Together, we can make sustainable real!

Ecologize Growth from StormCloud Media on Vimeo.

What action hero would you like to emerge as? What would be your super powers?  You know I’d be Polar SamREAD MORE >>

Elements of a Sustainable Lifestyle

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein.

Here’s my ideas of the major elements that make up a sustainable lifestyle. Most are not of the thinking that created our existing suburban sprawl society. Changing from car-dominated thinking to pedestrian-centered thinking is required.

Communities that embrace these elements will be indeed different.

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. Such are the values of living sustainability.

Here’s another way I like to say it;

“Mixed-Use, Mixed-Income Neighborhoods, with Life Long Learning and Open Space…Everywhere!”… READ MORE >>

Up on the Roof

♫  When this old world starts getting me down

Up on the Roof in Berkeley

And people are just too much for me to face
I climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift right into space
On the roof, it’s peaceful as can be
And there the world below can’t bother me
Let me tell you now…  ♫

The Drifters sang it, Gerry Goffin and Carole King wrote it, and every time I climb up on a roof (I’ve been a general contractor for 25 years), it’s always the best.  Share your pictures of roof top living!

As we design and build Sustainable Urban Villages, one of the great assets we can share is roof top living.  The additional costs can be significant, so sharing the space as a community is an obvious win-win. … READ MORE >>

Interest Free Banking and better schools!

Watch this video!  along with an amazing shift in my thinking around banking, I love the moderator’s accent!

I was talking with a friend yesterday, a newly retired school teacher, and I asked her how she would improve schools. “Hire more teachers” she replied.

I agree. I’ve had several teachers tell me they don’t even have time to pee during the day. How can we bring creativity and innovation into the classroom, if teachers don’t have time to contemplate and investigate best practices??… READ MORE >>

Smart growth for an economy built in real, lasting values

Today’s local newspaper, the Santa Fe New Mexican, talks about a big cut to the new nuclear facility at Los Alamos. The US Senate’s new budget cuts the funding in half. What irritates me about Los Alamos National Laboratory is its focus on bombs and nuclear industry. I can’t believe we need more of either. I hear this “oh but we need the jobs… what about the economy?”

Hey, these are disruptive times…a job for the sake of a job isn’t enough. Jobs created from building a bomb making facility on top of a earthquake fault is not a justification of stupid.

I’m a general contractor. The jobs have gone away. The construction industry is comatose, on life support. Is this justification for building more suburban sprawl?? Hell no.

It’s time to get smarter. Find the unmet market demand, and build Sustainable Urban Villages!

Stupid jobs, that ultimately take out species, cause cancer, or put too much at risk further down the line, are not good options… I know, we will sell anything to anybody, if it’s good for the economy. Those days are over….tobacco, asbestos, DDT, plutonium, and sprawl just aren’t viable options!

It’s a new day! Get smart! Together we can make sustainable real!…

Image courtesy of FundlyREAD MORE >>

Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates still falling

New Mexico Business Weekly
Date: Thursday, June 2, 2011, 1:21pm MDT

Why wait for

Why wait for the burbs to come back??!! Go Sustainable Urban Village!

 

IMHO the housing construction industry isn’t coming back, until we invent deeply sustainable lifestyles in “Mixed use, mixed income neighborhoods, with convenient lifelong learning and open space”…and that is going to require community collaborations on many levels; identifying and designing to the market demand, integrated systems (water, energy, food, transportation, shared amenities, etc).

this was my response to the following news item.

New Mexico Business Weekly Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates still falling
New Mexico Business Weekly Long-term mortgages rates moved lower for the seventh consecutive week this week, amid continuing weak economic and housing data.

A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.55 percent in the week ending June 2, down from 4.6 percent last week. A 15-year fix fell to 3.74 percent, down from 3.78 percent.

A one-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.13 percent, up from 3.11 percent last week. In New Mexico, a 15-year fixed rate is 3.75 percent, while a 30-year fixed-rate is 4.5 percent, according to MortgageLoan.com.

“Fixed rate mortgage rates followed Treasury yields lower this week amid financial market concerns that the current lull in the economy is continuing,” said Freddie Mac (OTC BB: FMCC) Chief Economist Frank Nothaft.

The housing market is showing new strain, with the S&P/Case-Shiller housing price report this week saying prices in the nation’s 20 largest cities last quarter were down an average 5.1 percent, the biggest yearly decline since the third quarter of 2009.

Jeff Clabaugh of the Washington Business Journal, an affiliated publication, compiled this report.

New Mexico Business Weekly

Image courtesy of LA TimesREAD MORE >>

Building Sustainability via Transition US

Transition US is picking up momentum. Here’s a short video to give you an intro.

The second video is a panel sharing how Cascadia Northwest is moving forward. Reno Transition contributes at. 9.45 min- 16.15 min. Lessons Learned-Not an Umbrella organization, but a crazy quilt…building networks. Envisioning Reno-each group that invites it’s people, get 5 minutes to explain what they do.

Portland reports out. Solar Salem.org is installing solar panels at $5.50 a watt @ 30.15min. Seattle reports out-Cathy,a policy wonk, city planner at 32.10. She sees a camel-in-the-tent strategy.

Bridge silos by supporting existing situations. In the beginning, held an outreach “Playing Well with Others”. To cover liability, partner up with groups with insurance policies@ 52.15 min.

Education is a big piece…people don’t know… Food is always good. Start with a community picnic.

As one of the speakers shared, “No one knows how to do this”. For me that’s good news, as I can block myself by thinking I should already know. It’s ok not to know!!! Alright then….take a step! Together we can make sustainable real!

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