A Sustainable Way of Life Becomes the Curriculum! Part 6

Imagine. An elementary school and the surrounding neighborhoods joining  together to become  a sustainable community with the school at its heart -Part 6

Locally Created Services and Products – the Sustainable Economy Emerges

As homes and business were renovated into multiple-storied, zero emission buildings, more space was created for residences, services and commercial usages. A network of used clothing stores trades across town with other recycle stores. The clothing fashion center teaches sewing and clothing design and runs a brisk business featuring student consignments.bicycle repair shop

Bicycle sales and repair, a computer lab, a graphics design shop and café, a library and bookstore, a woodshop/metal shop and an eBay store have all opened with help from the Business Incubator Loan Fund. Entrepreneurs of all ages are encouraged with micro-loans, business skills training programs and affordable facilities, to create products and services that evolve into locally created jobs.

Mentors and apprentices share their love for teaching and learning. With the abundance of affordable housing, young adults can stay in their community and the long traditions of Santa Fe’s cultures are sustained…. READ MORE >>

Renovate Your House, Transform the Neighborhood

Washing machines sit idle most of the time

Looking at the challenge of how to build our futures resilient and sustainable, my sense is the insulation in the burbs across America is woefully shy. Heating systems are not so efficient, heating ducts leak, appliances are not so energy efficient, and windows are not so good, to say the least.  These aren’t really economic problems until we hit global peak oil production.  Then the pain of rising prices, utility bills, and commuting will become increasingly excruciating,  is my guess.

What service would you like to provide to the neighborhood? Originally, the “dress” on House #1 was meant to conceal a gambling casino.

The cost of renovating a suburban home to a highly efficient passive (zero or low emissions) house is cost preventative in many situations.  My sense is most suburbanites will only be able to make these upgrades if they can bundle the costs as they add a second, third, four stories to their homes. To make this scenario work, the first floor will become mostly commercial, home occupation, and the floors above will contain rentals, offices or residential, maybe  multigenerational families with multiple contributions to the mortgage. The densities in the neighborhood have to be high enough to make the commercial successful.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the numbers for this “2-4 story smart density infill/renovation to passive home standards” will only work if these free standing suburban homes are joined to create row houses.  My guess is the cost challenge of upgrading from an R 13 or R19 wall to a R 40? is too great a hurdle. By creating row houses, I’m thinking the amount of exterior walls is greatly reduced. Good sound insulation is essential, but much less expensive than getting to R 40 (or whatever a passive/zero emissions house design requires).

To add to the complexity,… READ MORE >>

Turning Banks and Business on Their Heads

Social Business. Whereas a charity dollar has one life, a social business dollar returns again and again, spreading the benefit of the social good. The poorest of the poor are lifting themselves up through entrepreneurism backed by a knowing of the unrealized human capacity that lies in each of us, all 6+ billion!

Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus has created dynamic, successful businesses serving large populations that banks have thought were lost causes.

Watch this video. It shattered some of my preconceived ideas of the poor, and gives great heart to my dreams of sustainable neighborhoods spreading across the planet.

As we learn to work together, community collaborations with win-win-win solutions will transform our lives. Our institutions will transform, our neighborhoods will transform. We will make choices that are “good for people, good for the planet, and good for the polar bears!”

Together, we can make sustainable real!.. READ MORE >>

Creative, Affordable Healthcare

What’s a sustainable lifestyle without affordable healthcare??? Just as we’re called upon to re-innovate our neighborhoods sustainable, so are we challenged to bring creativity to healthcare.

1st we create a healthy lifestyle! With a mixed use, mixed income community, we get a pedestrian centered way of life, where we walk to many of our daily tasks. The shorter commute and more affordable lifestyle makes for less stress. More exercise, less stress, means less need for healthcare over one’s lifespan. Just the act of living is preventative medicine!!!

Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his innovation in creating micro-credit programs for poor women and now he’s bringing innovation in healthcare to impoverished women as well.

His program, Grameen Healthcare is designed for low-cost, affordable health services for all of Bangladesh, especially the lowest income women and children, and sustain these services thru social business. Whereas the program is 90% self supportive,  Yunus believes it will become completely self supportive!

“We are excited to support the Grameen Nurse Institute, a breakthrough social business model that could transform the health care industry by positioning girls as not just the beneficiaries of services, but the agents of future change,” said Lisa MacCallum, Managing Director of the Nike Foundation. “In our work so far at the Nike Foundation, we have learned that if you start with a girl, everyone else benefits: boys, women, men also. That’s the power of the girl effect.”

READ MORE >>

Curriculum – Because life is for learning!

I should have been a woodshop teacher, (BA in Industrial Arts) but went into construction instead.

Much to my amazement, I keep being drawn to learning, my own ongoing growth and the Santa Fe School District’s trials and tribulations. Quite a few years ago, I came across the idea that schools could be centers of communities; in fact they used to be, all across America. The light bulbs went off…What if schools were reconfigured and became the hearts of “Mixed use, mixed income neighborhoods, with lifelong learning, and open space”??!!

vida streetscape

Live, work, play, learn, shop, all within walking

If they were conveniently located, and multiple stories for commercial shops and teacher’s housing were added for smarter density, teachers could walk to READ MORE >>

Entrepreneurship-Innovation from here on out

http://www.train-them-well.com/page42.htm

Collaboration!

Our times call for rapid prototyping social, economical, and ecological strategies so the emerging sustainable economy can….emerge! Many of the jobs being created from evolving technologies, don’t even exist yet. We are inventing the future as we travel forward.

Half of the hottest futurist jobs don’t even exist yet, according to Daniel Burrus, author of Technotrends and CEO of Burrus Research Associates. “We’re in the early stages of shifting gears into the e-society,” he says. “Virtually every part of an enterprise will be e-enabled, which includes connectivity, content, commerce, communication, collaboration, and community.”… READ MORE >>

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