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 >>

Inner and Outer Support to Make Sustainable Real!

As we work together to build, test and deploy rapid social, economic, and ecological prototype scenarios for sustainability, we can kick the ball farther down the road sooner, if we build in support.

My experience is the creative process pushes my buttons. My expectations of perfection cripples me.  How can I ask for help if my ideas are “halfbaked”?… READ MORE >>

If it ain’t FUN, it ain’t sustainable!

I think that says it all!  “If it ain’t Fun, it ain’t sustainable!”

I can get overwhelmed by the immensity of it all; the Impending Bummers, the complexity of all these systems within  systems, trying to figure out how we are gonna learn to collaborate on such large scales, when we’re so busy it’s hard to get three people together at any one time.

As a visionary wannabe facilitator of sustainable neighborhoods, who’s  been going for “What else can we do beside suburbia?” for 30 + years, I’ve learned some useful tools along the way. A major learning is working with the inspiration within. At times I call it “Letting go, and letting God”.  Now I know we have deep convictions about separating church and state, and I don’t want to use language that might create separation between us, so please just consider this concept, and substitute the words that work for you…. 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 >>

Health and Healing- Inner work in a supportive environment!

the light body

Physical, emotional, mental, spiritual levels of health

Whoa, this is a huge component to a sustainable lifestyle.  In many ways, health is  an indicator of  sustainability. There’s inner health, coming to grips with emotional, mental, and spiritual issues. And of course, there are the elements of physical  and outer health.

A newborn’s health begins in the womb. Diet and food quality, toxicity in the environment, stress in our lives, how loving our environment, and what kinds of options we have available as we age and transition from this plane are just a few of the profound components that come into play…. 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 >>

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

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 >>

FOUND? Killer Modeling Tool

I happen to talk to one of my partners about my latest blog on the Killer Modeling Tool, and he directed me to “Write this down. EVONY”. So I did, and later last night I went to the web site, remembering the advice he’d given me,   “Don’t let the way they built the game distract you from the platform.  We can get it built however you want it”

Well, here’s my questions…

Can I go to Google Earth and put my own neighborhood into the  playing field?

Can I add stories to existing buildings?

Can I reshape blocks, creating a new cross street in a long block?

Could a stand alone be turned into a row house of three homes, for instance?

 

Wow, I’m running out of hurdles.  Other configurations seem doable.

We can plug in numbers for the number of residents it takes to support a corner grocer, for instance.

Stephen Mouzon was saying the other day, that the usual numbers quoted are 1000-1500 residents, but there is a neighborhood of 350 that is really committed to  shopping at the local store, hang out, and it is thriving apparently. I think it is Waters, near Montgomery Alabama.

1/4 mile radius is the typically quoted “how far Americans will walk to a service, with the exception of 1/2 mile to a transit stop.  I bet those numbers change when gas goes to $4.50/gallon!

Stephen said something else I found awesome.  Five years ago he moved to Miami, into the second most walkable neighborhood in America (South Miami Beach), and has lost 60 pounds.  He showed a map of all his haunts, the work out place, the bookstore, etc.  The map of his world…  that’s what I want this Killer Modeling Tool to be able to do! Download your neighborhood, and see what it takes to make a sustainable lifestyle REAL!

For more of Stephen’s years of experience, go to OriginalGreen…  READ MORE >>

WANTED: Killer Modeling Tool to Sell Sustainable Urban Villages! Part 2

Continuing the walk thru of my take on the Killer Modeling Tool

As the amount of input from the Charrette (design) process builds, the needs and desires of the future residents, landowners, finance people, city planners, designers, the school district,  neighbors, etc, are collected.  People are starting to get excited. The question is “How can we tell how close we are to achieving a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable  lifestyle? ” or in other words “Where’s the Killer Modeling Tool??!!”

We can convert the demand and jump-start the emerging sustainable economy, if we can make all the numbers and qualities of life real (or at least a reasonable facsimile). Future residents will be assured of the quality and cost of moving in.  The development/lending community will be reassured of the strength of the demand.  The City will see the increased tax revenue vs the costs of infrastructure, etc.

How much residential does it take to make the commercial successful?… READ MORE >>

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