The Great Recession of 2007-2009 triggered the Depression that we appear to be exiting this summer. And it was triggered by the collapse of the Great Turn of the Century Suburban Housing Bubble.
In coming out of the recent Depression, one driver of residential property values, the Cul de Sac, seems to be in conflict with a new driver: walkability. In October 2013, the Realtor(R) Magazine Online, of the National Association of Realtors, wrote, in Neighborhoods: More Walkable, More Desirable that:
Neighborhoods that boast greater walkability tend to have higher resale values in both residential and commercial properties, finds a recent study published in Real Estate Economics. In fact, a 2009 report by CEOs for Cities found that just a one-point increase in a city’s walk score could potentially increase homes’ values by $700 to $3,000.
The core concept — connecting people with where they want to work, play and own a home by creating attractive neighborhood environments that make maximum use of existing transit infrastructure — fits many post-recession households’ needs, regardless of age. Older owners of suburban homes are downsizing into townhouses and condo units close to or in the central city, often in locations near transit lines. Younger buyers, fed up with long commutes to work, want to move to places where they can jump onto mass transit and get off the road.
Many of these buyers also have an eye on economics. For example, Bill Locke, a federal contracts consultant in northern Virginia, said that although owning a LEED-certified townhome near a Metro transit stop “is a really big deal” for himself and his wife, he sees the unit they recently purchased in the Old Town Commons development in Alexandria, Va., as a long-term investment that will grow in value “because it makes so much more sense” than competing, traditional subdivisions farther out from the city.
So, what does this mean for the sustainable transport and for the future of the deadly American Suburban Cul de Sac? Let's have a chat about it, below the fold. Read below the fold...
As I keep saying, though my photography is probably too poor to show the beauty of it all, I'm ecstatic with how my front garden came out. The zones (green lines) organize the space really well, and the cycle of wildflowers provides endless pleasure. Well, not endless. They're annuals. But you know what I mean.
That said, let me destroy the pleasure of the present by getting my head into the future by pointing out that there are two problems/opportunities. The first one is minor. I've labeled it "Bad lambert" because it's a dead spot that I've never figured out what to plant in. Now I think there's a reason for that: Nothing is meant to be planted there. If this year weren't so tight, I would have put in a water feature, so maybe I'll do that next year. Not only will it be pretty, it will attract more pollinators, and especially birds.
The second is more major, and it's labelled "Tall weed." How tall? As tall as a filbert tree. Read below the fold...
Netroots Nation will be in Arizona in 2015, but Kos will not be in attendance and Daily Kos will not be supporting the conference. I would love to know how this happened. When I agree with Markos Moulitsos, you know it is serious.
I would love to know the back story on this one. I predict the conference will be a bust. Who wants to go to Arizona? No Latino will feel safe at such a conference and as for the rest of us, why would we go? Read below the fold...
I wanted to protect my peppers (green, but, more importantly, hot) from deer,* because last year deer came and nibbled the flowers. Johnny's sells floating row covers for 50 bucks, and I tried a small-scale version of the same technology a couple of years ago, and didn't like it. The idea is to stick metal hoops into the ground, which have non-woven fabric attached to them, so you end up with something shaped like a quonset hut covering your rows. Row covers are a season extender because they capture heat and moisture; good when germinating, good toward frost. They also protect against bugs (if rigorously sealed along the bottom) and, for me, critters. (Though I suppose a bear would rip one apart, if it had a mind to and the smell of vegetables was delicious enough.)
But I didn't like the official row covers. First, the hoops weren't tall enough, so the peppers ended up "banging their heads on the ceiling." Second, I don't like metal in the garden, except for tools. Stuff near plants should be able to rot, I feel. (I know this isn't entirely rational.) Third, the whole process of installing the accordion-like, pre-assembled row covers was just irritating. I have beds, not rows, and putting a row cover over half a bed... It felt to me like I was having an industrial process applied to my garden, Procrustes-style. Fourth, the row covers aren't good for anything else.
So here is my alternative:
PPRUNE (Professional Pilots Rumor Network) is the goto site for aircraft disasters informations. Although it's been mostly down for the last two days -- and no wonder -- it's up now, presumably because it's late in the evening and traffic is low, so I thought I'd post a few of the more interesting comments (446, at present), starting with the newest and working back. Of course, I don't know any of the players, so all I can do is go with what seems plausible, insightful, fresh, or fact-based. Highlights from yesterday and today: Read below the fold...
The first squash flowers (July 18), from flats, after the horrible and disheartening episode of the lethal sea food compost that killed all my seeds. They have a lot of catching up to do!
Another tragic result of the many conflicts going on in the world. It should be obvious that nobody yet knows exactly what happened. And yet we have Clinton (Hillary) already spouting her rhetoric as though she has something to say.
In 2001 Ukraine shot down a Russian airliner with 70+ people aboard and vehemently denied any involvement. This was later proved false and they admitted they made a mistake during military exercises.
This is a time to stop, listen, and investigate the facts of what happened.
Read below the fold...