Building a Sustainable Neighborhood with Online Planning Tools

If “it takes a village” to create a sustainable lifestyle, and 70% of the “villagers” don’t get systems, how can we reinvent our way of life socially, economically, and ecologically whole? As I understand it, 70% of Americans are “sensors”, a Myer- Briggs typology.  Sensors don’t get systems, so I’m told. Apparently they don’t get cause and effect.
connecting the dots

Wanted; Killer Modeling Tool to Connect the Dots for a Sustainable Future

A year or so ago, I was on the Dell site, and found their “continue personalizing”, building a computer step-by-step process.  It started with choosing your color, and then the website walked you through each choice for each component. The price and specs accumulated as you went.  I got really excited…”Hey this is how neighbors or future residents could design their neighborhoods sustainable!”
This is my dream.  In the not too distant future, you will be able to use an online tool and go through a similar process, and build your neighborhood socially, economically, and ecologically sustainable! 

Imagine all your neighbors going through the same process, and then getting together to compare notes.  If the modeling tool had 3 D capabilities, then things like shadowed areas and massing could be visualized. Once your community “sees” the agreed upon values, and the great options that appeal to the group’s needs, and all the mutual benefits to be had,  neighborhoods will reinvent themselves sustainable.

Even Sensors Can Do It!

By breaking complex systems into pieces, giving information as to the costs of each option, and then aggregating them all together at the end for a grand total, makes it so we know what we’re going to buy and how much it will cost!  What if the info supplied was the social, economic and ecological consequences? What if the complex system was the design of a sustainable lifestyle??!!

I believe we can out compete sprawl development, give the market a better choice.

I call it making sustainable real! 

“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”… READ MORE >>

Share the Vision of Your Thriving, Sustainable Future

If the current state of affairs is the best we can do, we are in trouble! With all the Impending Bummers, we got problems Houston.  What the world needs now, is a vision of where to go! We got the hell part down, now, where is heaven??? Share your vision of daily life in your future thriving, sustainable neighborhood !

vida streetscape

A Sustainable Neighborhood Streetscape

Just in case you want some ideas to jog your vision, here are some of the Goals and Guiding Principles… READ MORE >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

Life Long Learning+Innovation= Reinventing Ourselves Sustainable

To me, waiting our car-dependent, sprawl suburbia economy to rebound is like waiting for the Easter Bunny to show up. Wisely renovating,  retrofitting,  redeveloping our neighborhoods and communities is the base of our future prosperous economy.

two chocolate bunnies

Easter Bunny Waiting for the Suburbia Economy to Recover

In other words, we are going to be studying  and applying what works for the rest of our lives.  Learning isn’t just for kids any more, learning is a way of life.

I’m reading Creating Learning Communities-Models, Resources, and New Ways of Thinking About Teaching and Learning, edited by Ron Miller.

24 years (as of 2000) of innovation has created a learning atmosphere that is “systemic or comprehensive” rather than piecemeal change, “transformational learning outcomes,” “real world linkages” for learning through experience, “learning experiences…that are child-centered, life-centered and brain-based,” Personal Learning Plans,” “elevating the position of teacher to ‘facilitators of learning,” “students viewed as powerful resources and participant in decision making, vigorously involved parents,” partnerships with other entities in the community, CLCs as “headquarters for learning for the community” and programs based on needs that are “family centered and family supportive.”… READ MORE >>

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