What can New Urbanism contribute to environmental movement? The environmental movement has an extraordinary bias toward high-tech solutions. It sounds neutral: Double-glazing. Yes, yes! Solar-this, wind-that — whatever, but high-tech! High-tech! High-tech! High-tech! And then they say it is only 8 percent more (to build green). It is not 8 percent more. I have done it. It is 30 and 40 percent more because of the implementation of high-tech solutions.
“The old way of doing things — the original green — is about thick curtains; it is about pot-bellied stoves; it is opening houses; it is about dealing with floods by actually not having insulation. The old way: When the water went out, you brought in new carpet and everything dried out. Once you do insulation, you can’t deal with hurricanes anymore, so you have to raise the houses enormously. When you raise the houses, they cost more. Well, we can’t afford it.
Anyone looking forward in the next 50 years of having no insulation in Florida? Seriously, this is the vision of prosperity for South Florida.
On the real estate bubble: “Yes, it is going away. But do you know what it revealed? The underlying revelation, which is permanent, is that we’re broke. The real estate collapse revealed how much we owe — for pensions, for infrastructure repairs, for retirement, the medical. Wherever I go, the first question I ask is, ‘How broke are you?’ The least-broke city I have ever worked with is Salt Lake City. They have no money at all, but they are not in debt.
“So we cannot come up with solutions that cost money. And that is where the New Urbanism can contribute. We can go back to the original green. That is the next agenda. Light, low-tech environmentalism.”
Duany will ensure his firm commands a premium fee from the broke governments’ so he can comfortably plan the sustainable projects as a result of Seven50.
Let’s fix too much government with more government, all aboard the crazy train
A second agenda: “‘Pink Codes’ that reduce red tape by bypassing the ‘ballers.’ The bureaucrats are the ballers. The ballers are in the way. How do we bypass them, specifically to let the young people operate?
“Just sheer efficiency.”