A Rock Star in the Pantheon of Sustainability

In the 60’s “CLAPTON IS GOD” graffiti started showing up around London.  I’m sure if you’re wandering around Chicago, you will find graffiti paying homage “DAVIS IS GOD”.  But you asked yourself, “What the heck does that mean?” and dismissed it “Kids on drugs”.  Well, here’s the story.

See this kind, grandmotherly lady smiling at you? She is the Mick Jagger/Keith Richards in the world of sustainability!  Check out A Trojan Horse of Love.  It’s right up there with “Stairway to Heaven”, or “Satisfaction” for all-time greats.



Talk about rock stars- Susan Davis is in the Pantheon!

  • A deal is a good deal when it’s good for all concerned.
  • Tell the truth.
  • Generosity comes back ten-fold to the bottom line.
  • Socially responsible companies are more productive and profitable than others.
  • Water doesn’t rise any higher than its source.
  • Treasure teamwork; share the wealth.
  • The best call a company can get is a call of complaint because it helps it to improve, so when you get a complaint call, start by saying “thank you!”.
  • Love the discipline of the numbers.
  • Never make decisions out of fear
  • Trust the universe.
Image courtesy of A Trojan Horse of Love  … READ MORE >>

Interest Free Banking and better schools!

Watch this video!  along with an amazing shift in my thinking around banking, I love the moderator’s accent!

I was talking with a friend yesterday, a newly retired school teacher, and I asked her how she would improve schools. “Hire more teachers” she replied.

I agree. I’ve had several teachers tell me they don’t even have time to pee during the day. How can we bring creativity and innovation into the classroom, if teachers don’t have time to contemplate and investigate best practices??… READ MORE >>

Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates still falling

New Mexico Business Weekly
Date: Thursday, June 2, 2011, 1:21pm MDT

Why wait for

Why wait for the burbs to come back??!! Go Sustainable Urban Village!


IMHO the housing construction industry isn’t coming back, until we invent deeply sustainable lifestyles in “Mixed use, mixed income neighborhoods, with convenient lifelong learning and open space”…and that is going to require community collaborations on many levels; identifying and designing to the market demand, integrated systems (water, energy, food, transportation, shared amenities, etc).

this was my response to the following news item.

New Mexico Business Weekly Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates still falling
New Mexico Business Weekly Long-term mortgages rates moved lower for the seventh consecutive week this week, amid continuing weak economic and housing data.

A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.55 percent in the week ending June 2, down from 4.6 percent last week. A 15-year fix fell to 3.74 percent, down from 3.78 percent.

A one-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.13 percent, up from 3.11 percent last week. In New Mexico, a 15-year fixed rate is 3.75 percent, while a 30-year fixed-rate is 4.5 percent, according to MortgageLoan.com.

“Fixed rate mortgage rates followed Treasury yields lower this week amid financial market concerns that the current lull in the economy is continuing,” said Freddie Mac (OTC BB: FMCC) Chief Economist Frank Nothaft.

The housing market is showing new strain, with the S&P/Case-Shiller housing price report this week saying prices in the nation’s 20 largest cities last quarter were down an average 5.1 percent, the biggest yearly decline since the third quarter of 2009.

Jeff Clabaugh of the Washington Business Journal, an affiliated publication, compiled this report.

New Mexico Business Weekly

Image courtesy of LA Times

A Sustainable Way of Life Becomes the Curriculum! Part 1

Together, we can transform our way of life sustainable! By sharing our visions and ideas of our desired future, we can “build it on paper”.  That’s how real estate development works.  The proposal gets created, the numbers are crunched, the financing lines up, and building permits are issued.  It all starts with the vision!

Puzzle pieces coming together around a shared vision

Puzzle pieces coming together around a shared vision

The prospects for sustainable “mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhoods” has never been brighter. Suburban sprawl has run its course. Gasoline prices are facing a new era of worldwide Post Peak Oil production. Those of us who have a vision and want to move in are in the driving seat of the emerging sustainable economy; the construction industry is all ears!

Be bold, Dream Big, envision with all your heart. In that way, we will have a “big enough why” to be as creative and innovative as necessary to make sustainable neighborhoods real!

Here’s my vision of a sustainable, quality filled neighborhood that lives lightly on the planet.

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

The entire community is experiencing a wide range of benefits since neighborhood residents, the city, local service providers, nearby businesses, parents, students, teachers and the school’s administration decided to work together to create mutually beneficial facilities. Benefits include job creation, an increase in city revenues, a pedestrian friendly lifestyle, safe streets for children to play, a huge jump in test scores, a much lowered dropout rate, a big increase in workforce housing and a less consumptive, more affordable lifestyle that allows Santa Feans to live lighter on the planet…. 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 >>

Cap & Trade-smoke and mirrors?

I’ve read a couple of articles about cap and trade, and the authors seem to think it’s bogus.  Way too complicated. A boondoggle to make the same clever people who brought us the foreclosure bummer even richer.

Here’s Anne Leonard’s take on it.

The idea I like is to tax carbon, and lift taxes on income.  In this way, folks will be encouraged to take their savings and invest in renewable energy.  I cannot believe how happy newspaper stories report on increase fossil fuel production, or the good news about nuclear energy…What planet are these people living on???… READ MORE >>


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!…

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 >>

WANTED: Killer Modeling Tool to Sell Sustainable Urban Villages! Part 1

1/3 of the Boomers want to move in.  88% of the Millennials want to move in. The problem is, Sustainable Urban Villages don’t exist!

Village scene

Building Your Neighborhood Sustainable

Well they do, between my ears and in my heart, but we need a great modeling tool so all the future residents, landowners, finance people, city planners, designers, the school district, and neighbors can see what there are signing up for/signing off on. Then the resuscitation of the construction industry can begin in earnest, the emerging sustainable economy can…emerge!

As this is the ultimate sales tool, we are building the neighborhood on paper, so the future residents can say, “Yes, if you build that, I’ll move in!”. And of course, the numbers have to work for everyone involved. Let me give you a walk thru of “the Killer Modeling Tool” as I conceive it…. READ MORE >>

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