World Peace this Week, Sustainable Neighborhoods Next Week!

I just watched John Hunter’s TED presentation….So Dang Good!  He has his 4th graders solving World Peace in one week!  I wrote him to see if the game, played on a 3 dimensional 4′x4′ board game, could be adapted to sustainable neighorhoods.  Social, Economic and Ecological sustainability is so complicated, but hey, so is World Peace!

I dream of online and real world tools that give us the ability to redevelop our lifestyle properous, resilient, and sustainable.  Wouldn’t it incredible to give our kids that game/modeling tool!!!! The gap between school and the real world can be so great….how can we so such a disfavor?!! It’s a big job, the greatest challenge mankind has ever faced…we need our kids participation and innovation in making sustainable real!

Here’s John’s video.

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 >>

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 continues

The Quest is on!  Ray at Infracycle recommended taking a look at CommunityViz.  Coincidently, recently I’ve attended a couple of their  CommunityViz’s “Community Matters”  webinars….

On capturing customers for successful commercial-

This article about Hershey Pennsylvania’s attempt to revitalize the town, from the ERSI site, has a good discussion on how to figure customer capture using the Huff gravity Model.

I found a video on how to most accurately collect data-  the Block Point method wins! on ERSI’s site, but lost the link. Having the critical numbers of residential to make the commercial successful is one of the essential  pieces to a walkable lifestyle.

Here’s another interesting piece I’m learning about …APIs  Application Programming Interface.  Different software programs create the tools to encourage others to adapt into them with their own needs, thus spreading the usage of the original software.  So this says to me, I’m looking for software that has APIs that integrate into GIS and Google Earth, or maybe I’m looking for Google Earth APIs???

Hey, whatever it takes to make sustainable real!

I’m thinking of creating another site where this conversation can build…. maybe a more wiki kind of online tool…I don’t have much traffic at this point, but the day will come!!… 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 >>

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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