In the most simplistic statistical reading—higher GDP per capita means higher tax revenue means better funded schools means better education—there seems to be some legitimacy to the story’s thesis. I don’t think real life is so simple, however. Unqualified as I am to provide an in-depth critique of the significance of GDP or the relative educational histories of Caribbean nations, I won’t attempt to here. Besides, those things aren’t what interest me. Without questioning the intelligence, honesty, or diligence of the author, I was struck by what I perceived to be a fine example of stuck-in-system thinking.
Posted in Climate Change, Culture, Josh Grigsby, Rants, Response Pieces, Sustainability, thinking, Uncategorized, urban design, urban planning, What if?
Tagged barbados, caribbean, coffee, complexity, dilbert, economics, education, formulas, GDP, GDP per capita, gross domestic product, iphone, jamaica, KCRW, master plans, metrics, narrow thinking, npr, one size fits all, quality of life, Sustainability, tax revenue
Nourishable Places grow a significant portion of their food within a few miles of where it is eaten, and could grow more in a long emergency. Today, the ingredients of an average meal in the US travel over 1,300 miles to get to your table, and that number is growing every day. The data for meals in the EU is probably fairly similar. Currently, very few places in the United States are Nourishable Places, but as the industrializations of China and India continue, resulting in a billion new cars competing for gas over the next several years, the cost of food transportation will become much more significant.
Posted in Climate Change, Culture, human scale, land use, Livability, Placemaking, Science, Sustainability, Uncategorized, urban design, urban planning, What if?
Tagged bio-intensive, development, farmland, food, food transportation, local food, long emergency, nourishable places, original green, real estate value, steve mouzon, Sustainability, urban agriculture, urban farming
A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. Continue reading
There are a number of encouraging examples of cities trying to slowly evolve themselves into a vision of urban sustainability. Implementing bike infrastructure, upgrading the ecology of alternative transit, increasing recycling and addressing the state of our energy production systems are all noteworthy efforts being tackled by numerous cities around the world. But despite the show of goodwill, there are other examples that force one to wonder if we are simply taking two steps back for each that we take forward. The city of Dubai, rising in defiance to the surrounding environment of coastal deserts in the United Arab Emirates, stands as the hallmark of a digressing trend taking us farther away from the goals of a new cultural reality. As a poster child of modern ingenuity driven by the perpetual desire of humanity for unbounded excess, the city of Dubai casts a long shadow over our path to a greener future.
Posted in architecture, Culture, Placemaking, Sustainability, urban design, urban planning
Tagged Burj Khalifa, Dubai, green building, Intercon, progressivetimes.wordpress, Sustainability, unsustainable
Like all architects and designers I share a common curiosity about the innards of products, which often leads me to dissecting and disassembling them. I recently found sketches I had made of houses and their sections while visiting parts of India characterized by extreme climates. I revisited those sketches, this time looking through a lens of sustainability and environmental sensitivity.
Posted in Culture, History, Livability, Sustainability, vernacular architecture
Tagged Bhuj, environmental sensitivity, houses for extreme climates, India, indigenous culture, Kerala, Ladakh, Rajat Shail, Sustainability, sustainable minds, vernacular architecture