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?… How many people would use a car share, the bus; how much will they save per month?  How much local food can be grown and processed? Where the numbers don’t seem to work, innovation is called for.  The list of info we need is long. Here are some of the elements;

To capture Economic sustainability and create vibrant alive neighborhoods;

  • We need to know the monthly rent/mortgage payment on a wide selection of floor plans, ranging from single room efficiencies and unfinished studios, to double master suite homes and homes with multiple home offices; A selection way beyond suburbia’s choices generated by the needs of empty nesters, singles, and single parent households, etc.
  • We also need to meet the market demand for deep affordability and high ecological efficiency by offering a wide range of shared facilities; guest rooms, a library reading room, laundry, gardening area, a bigger space for gatherings and parties, storage, workout facility, workshops, conversation nooks, coworking facilities, playgrounds, playing fields, parks, water features, local services, etc.
  • Rather than single, stand alone residential units, our above options need to be offered in rowhouse, townhouse, flex use, and mixed use configurations; again to create a more affordable, yet well-designed “product”.
  • Green design options such as increased insulation, upgraded window quality, and passive solar gain are accounted against initial costs reduced size of heating systems, and lowered long term utility bills.
  • Once conservation/economic optimizations are established, the primary renewable energy loads can be calculated and the further saving from neighborhood systems can be ascertained.  In other words, reduce the demand, and generate the needed power locally to reduce transmission line loss and fix energy prices for the rest of our lives!
  • Local food production,  water and  solid waste reduce, reuse and recycle innovations, and creating urban natural habitats all are part of the open space strategies that can be well orchestrated to lower costs to all; residents, landowners, and the City.

As these systems within systems get creatively and synergistically re-imagined, opportunities for new products, processes, and jobs will drive economic development. “Wastes” fr0m one component becomes feedstock of another. All of this complexity can be tracked with the Killer Modeling Tool. The cost of living of proposed scenarios and choices can be tabulated, giving the Charrette participants crucial feedback, so they know when they are economically making sustainable real! To be continued.


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