Last October, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Alli Rico from the City of San José, California’s Housing Department’s podcast, Dwellings. It’s a fun interview. Please listen on Apple or Spotify.
I am pleased I nailed a few key points: I spoke to the extreme liability of building up in doomed areas like South Florida and Arizona; to the human and planetary impacts of commodified housing; and to the dire need to move away from sprawling, suburban housing as the default form of real estate development.
And because five months is an eternity in terms of startup idea development, I rambled a bit and–to my mind–omitted a lot. A lot of what was omitted concerned how Change Order Group was going to tackle the challenges I outlined. I omitted parts because I had so much to say and because a lot of ideas weren’t yet developed. We’ve come a ways on that front.
While I did a good job of describing the hellscapes that make up the vast majority North American real estate, I wish I spoke more about development done correctly: human scaled, car-free, affordable, socially-vibrant, wonderful real estate where people live and work–where they can connect with each other and the earth.
A favorite example of this aspirational real estate is the baugruppen model from Germany and Austria, and friend/colleague Mike Eliason rightfully called out how I didn’t mention it in my interview. As a corrective, please check out Mike’s 2017 Ignite talk, which is high on the Braveheart scale for getting people pumped to design and build a society that works for everyone.
What Mike shows, and what the group is out to prove, is that solutions exist. Developing affordable, resilient, climate-friendly, economically/culturally diverse real estate is not only possible, it’s being done right now. We want to show people how. Drop us a line if you’re on board with investing in and developing a world that works.