Seattle: Trade Offs, Upsides, Downsides, and Work Arounds

  I just spent a long weekend exploring Seattle, Washington where I interviewed people about why they live where they do. It’s one thing to ask a city planner, economic development official, or transportation engineer about what people want in theory, but I prefer to ask ordinary people directly about the choices they’ve actually made. … Continue reading Seattle: Trade Offs, Upsides, Downsides, and Work Arounds

The Passive House Movement: Super Insulation and Radically lower Energy Bills

I recently interviewed Alex Melamed and Andrew Kline of Green Generation Building in Yellow Springs, Ohio Here for an upcoming video story. They design and build highly insulated homes that meet the Passive House standard. A Passive House uses innovative construction techniques to keep itself warm in winter and cool in summer with almost no fuel. The initial cost … Continue reading The Passive House Movement: Super Insulation and Radically lower Energy Bills

Emergency Preparation – Wherever You Live

Whether it’s an industrial accident that releases toxic chemicals into the water supply as happened in West Virginia in recent memory, or a Katrina or Hurricane Sandy type event, or the jolt of an earthquake in California, people very often find themselves without electricity, running water, natural gas, and many other supplies and services for a … Continue reading Emergency Preparation – Wherever You Live

What Are You Willing to Compromise for Location?

I recently encountered an article on Apartment Therapy entitled, “What Are You Willing to Compromise for Location?” Here The article went on to list the many common indignities people endure in order to live in a fabulous city: multiple room mates, crazy high rents, satanic landlords, cramped windowless apartments and so on. The photo depicted my neighborhood … Continue reading What Are You Willing to Compromise for Location?