Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Challenges and Solutions

Hello all,

Urban Sustainability Project recently held our first public meeting at green spaces. Turn out was small but the discussion was lively and encouraging. If you visited the website then you are probably aware that one of the initiatives that we are trying to get off the ground is to open up a discourse in chattanooga about sustainability. This is one among many venues for that discourse to take place. Our next face to face meeting will be on April 9th at green spaces @ 5:30 pm. We will begin to present what we have begun to compile as our sustainable design criteria. We are currently looking for ways to synthesize that design criteria into a sustainability index that one could use to interpret their homes potential sustainability quotient. One of the things that we find most interesting and challenging about the project is trying to anticipate what people might potentially find challenging about living in a sustainable way and coming up with creative ways to facilitate the transition from living in a conventional home to a sustainable home. For instance, there is invariably in my conversations with home owners a point at which when we are discussing a new project they will ask, "how much maintenance will this take?" The answer I give is rarely the one they want to hear. If you rely on edible landscaping and egetable gardens to help offset your carbon foot print, that garden requires maintenance, how many of you truthfully believe that you can or will give a garden the maintenance it needs if that is part of what is required of you to live sustainably? Are there other examples of things that someone might find challenging about living sustainably? Are there solutions that you might suggest?

Monday, March 9, 2009


The Urban Sustainability Project (USP) would like to welcome you to our blog. We hope that this blog will become one of the venues in which a fruitful discourse about sustainable home building in Chattanooga will take place. We are about to embark upon the task of designing the most sustainable home possible that we can build as affordably as possible. One of the things that we are currently compiling is a "wish list" of features and mechanical systems that we would like to see in a truly sustainable home. This wish list will serve as part of the basic criteria from which will begin to design this model home. We would appreciate as much help as possible in putting this list together and we hope to hear from everyone soon. We have a web-site forthcoming and will be checking this blog and posting to it regularly so our hope is that this can serve as an opportunity for everyone in Chattanooga to have their voice represented in the collaborative effort to re-design the American home. Thanks for checking us out, let's get this think kickin'!