Map to the Sustainable Gold! Part 3

Continued from Part 2…An Interactive Website and a Brochure are the 1st elements of the map to the Sustainable Urban Village!

The idea of the brochure, is as I come across people who might want to submit their ideas,  I can leave them with some info, the guidelines and a reminder. And something they can pass on to a friend.

Another interact tool I’m conjuring up works off of Zoomify. The idea is the viewer can zoom into a site plan, look around, and click on points of interest (“hot spots” in Zoomify speak), and more info comes up. So it’s like a narrative, a walkthru.  This is very useful.

Al Moore's St Mikes center section

A year or so ago, the City of Santa Fe commissioned seven planners/architects to come up with their ideas on how St Michaels Drive could be remodeled.  My experience, standing looking at each of these site plans was pretty empty.  A couple of days later, one of the architects, Al Moore, gave me a verbal tour through his ideas, and the neighborhood came alive…It was a fabulous place to live…sexy,  contemporary architecture, a fun creative environment.

So here’s my idea…not only would Al provide a written tour with Zoomify, but other viewers could take Al’s layout, and change the names/functions of the buildings.  You could create a whole ‘nother mix of commercial businesses and  services using the same layout. Or you could invite your friends, classmates, or fellow employees to participate, and together another Village mix would be created.  Name em, post em to the  website, and everyone can vote on their favorites!… READ MORE >>

Empowering Boys, Winning the Future

Here’s another amazing TED presentation. “We have serious problems with boys, their culture isn’t working in schools”, Ali Carr-Chellman so states.  Her opening summation of the 100 Girls Project statistics are remarkable.

As you may know, I am petitioning the Gods to send us the tools to assist us in re-inventing our world sustainable. Ali speaks on the how boys and their gaming world is forbidden in school.

Imagine this…you get a knock on the door, and the 4th grader who lives down the street, greets you and says he is surveying the neighborhood, and wants your help.  ”It’ll take 15 minutes, and if you participate, it’ll raise money for our school!”  You say yes, and what unfolds amazes you.  You find yourself encouraged and imaging a better tomorrow, a mixed use, deeply affordable lifestyle, where “you can join the car share program and make money, up to $6000 a year!

He opens his laptop to Google Earth, and up pops your neighborhood. ” Our family has been thinking about what to do with grandma, since grandad died last year, and she’s living alone in her big house. Here’s what my Dad suggested.  We want to add a second story to our house, and move upstairs. My Grandma will move in with us and live in the old master suite downstairs.  She loves to bake pies, so we want to open a pie shop!  The living room and kitchen will become Doris’ Pie Shoppe!”  He proceeds to show you a mock up, in Google Earth, with the help of  Sketchup, of the remodeled home, “Doris’s Pie Shoppe” proclaims the hand painted sign across the old front door.

“OK, so what would you like to do with your home?” he asks you, ready to mock it up on his screen.

This is the curriculum I’m talking about;  Hands on, relevant, involved in the winning the future. Making Sustainable Real!

Here’s Ali’s video.  Enjoy.

READ MORE >>

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 >>

When It Comes to Sustainability, the US is Just Another Developing Nation

 

Sustainable Neighborhood via killer apps

When it comes to Sustainability, the US is just as lost as most other nations.  We have the added challenge of massive amounts of established suburbia, whereas Europe, for example,  has much compact development built before the automobile. I’ve heard it said the Europeans have a lifestyle that is twice as efficient as that of the United States.  They get twice the economic output as we get out of one BTU.

In my quest to come up with the Killer Modeling Tool that gives communities the ability to redevelop themselves sustainable, I came across this article in Ode Magazine about  Bangladeshi entrepreneur Iqbal Quadir. He started a microloan program, the Grameenphone,  that gets  cell phones in the hands of the poorest people in the world.

With the introduction of cell phones, local entrepreneur efforts can flourish. For instance  in the southern Indian state of Kerala, for example, the price of fish fell 4 percent while profits for the fishermen rose 8 percent because improved communication allowed fishermen to meet demand quickly and accurately. According to Leonard Waverman of the London Business School, the introduction of 10 mobile phones for every 100 residents of a developing country leads to a 0.6 percentage point increase in per capita GDP. Jeffrey Sachs, the celebrated development economist, has even called the mobile phone “the single most transformative tool for development.”

Iqbal recently wrote on The Huffington Post that sending 10,000 fewer American soldiers to Afghanistan would save $2.5 billion a year, which could be used to provide $300 microloans to 5 million Afghans and purchase Afghan products like carpets and pottery. “Trade and commerce could bring democracy and harmony from the bottom up,” Quadir wrote…. READ MORE >>

350 ppm-A number we can live with

350 is a pretty dang  good batting average. It’s also the amount of carbon in parts per million that scientists have agreed upon that makes for a sustainable planet. In other words, if we want to avoid a lot of the impending bummers that come with Global Warming, we need to figure out how to get the amount of carbon in the atmosphere back to 350 ppm (carbon sequestration). And we need to then stablize the amount of carbon we release each year to 350 ppm.

I think we are currently at 387 ppm.  not so good for ocean levels rising from melting ice…etc.

I’ve listed 350 ppm as an Indicator.  We need good indicators so we can tell how we’re doing. As we redesign our neighborhoods sustainable, we need a “killer” modeling tool (s) to give us feedback.  ”Are we there yet??”

Every decision comes with a bunch of consequences…If we can keep our carbon spew down to 350, we have a good idea we are getting close to one aspect of ecological sustainability.  I’m so amazed at how complicated our lives have become.

It seemed so easy to just crank out suburbia, go to work, manufacture stuff, go shopping, retire and play golf into the Golden Years.  Alas, those days are gone. With great modeling tools and sound indicators, we can figure out how to live on the planet with billons of our fellow citizens.

We can do this, we can make sustainable real!… READ MORE >>

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