May 6, 2015

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.

Comeback Communities

(RECAP: June 18-19, NeighborWorks America is hosting a gathering of individuals from across the nation – nonprofit professionals, businesspeople, government officials, philanthropists and resident leaders – to hold a national conversation about what works and what doesn't to re-build and sustain healthy communities.)

Citizen Surveys: Part 2 – Why Is the Survey Needed? / How Much to Spend? / Putting a Team in Place

(RECAP: In Part 1, Tom Miller provided an overview of how citizen surveys can be of value to planners and commissioners. In this installment—and the next two—he covers his nine “rules” for completing a citizen survey.)

Why Designers Should Care About the Mechanics of Mixing

(RECAP: Plenty of urban spaces suppress interaction and empathy between people by seeming unsafe, uncomfortable, just plain too crowded … or not crowded enough. But if we really understood the mechanics of mixing, could we design for it?)

‘Scarcity mindset’: A new way of thinking about clients

(RECAP: When we hear about low-income families who take out mortgages they can’t afford, agree to predatory interest rates on payday advances or are chronically late on their rent, a common response is to “educate them!” But more education is not necessarily the answer.)

The House of The Future Will Be Solid-State

(RECAP: Just as transistors evolved out of tubes, so can a solid-state house evolve out of a current house. This is the pathway towards the future. The ideal solid-state house shall have no separate moving parts, and shall be endlessly customizable out of factory parts. And the solid-state house shall shrink.)

Step Inside The 10 Best Green Buildings of 2015

(RECAP: A few solar panels don't impress anyone anymore. So the 2015 edition of the AIA's Committee on the Environment Top Ten Awards includes buildings that all go much farther than usual. Here are this year's winners.)

Opinions on Housing

The views and opinions expressed in Opinions on Housing are solely those of the original authors, and do not necessarily represent those of VHDA, our stakeholders or any/all contributors to this blog.

Immigration Is a Community Development Issue

(RECAP: Community development groups located anywhere are likely to have at least some immigrants within their constituencies, and in some cases might be seeing the demographics of their neighborhoods shifting significantly. This can bring new challenges that can take a community-based organization by surprise if they have not thought of immigration as relevant to their work.)

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