This episode is intended to promote and develop the Change Order Group’s perspectives, knowledge base, and service capabilities. We are actively seeking municipalities, developers, investors, and other organizations serious about finding solutions to the real estate market’s–and society’s–biggest environmental, economic, social, and technical challenges. Our services include: master planning for new and existing developments and municipalities; climate and social equity-focused site development and asset repositioning; research projects. We are also interested in aligned content sponsors and distributions partners.
The episode was initially going to be a conversation between group-members Greg, Darrick, and me, all of whom grew up in the vast sprawl surrounding Chicago, and, not coincidentally, all grew up to become outspoken champions of dense and diverse urban living. Non-Illinois native Mike Eliason was also there to share his pertinent experience, which includes living, working, and practicing architecture in both the U.S. and Germany.
The group mostly focused on what to do about North America’s current sprawling, car-dependent, increasingly-commodified, oversized-single-family-housing-dominated real estate market–one that shows little sign of changing despite social and climate imperatives to do so. We discuss the myriad political, financial, and social barriers to change and began discussing strategies for delivering the technical solutions to affect real change.
One of COG’s first principals is avoiding “selling” people on anything. It’s the reason why I’m shifting some focus to content: most American Capital Market developers and investors–beneficiaries of short-sighted real-estate financialization–still need to sold on why they should care about long-term asset stability instead of short-sale ROI/NOI extraction; why they should use their real estate to promote social equity instead of increase social division; why they should prepare for impending extreme climate events and migrations instead of ignore them; why they should mitigate existing climate drivers like high-embodied and operating energy buildings that depend on cars to be accessed instead of building more of them (please stop!); or seemingly being willing to discuss anything that might affect short-term profits.
Rather than sell anything, my aim with the podcast, the first of many I hope, is to educate and expose audiences to both the perils of maintaining the status quo and the opportunities available if just one city or developer decides to do something different. The world can’t afford to build any more soulless, freshly-entitled, single-family-rental subdivisions; any more strip malls; any more ugly, low-quality, as-of-right, outer-loop, five-over-two rental multifamilies. The world needs new solutions. The world needs to change the order of how it does things. That’s what we do–guided by the most robust data, research, and reason-backed solutions.
We were only able to briefly touch on the systemic problems that affect today’s broken real estate market and the proven solutions we’d propose to start moving things in a different direction–but all great efforts begin with short, thoughtful conversations. I hope that’s what we have here.
If you’re a serious city, developer, investor, or organization ready to do what’s needed to protect planet, people, and property, drop us a line via our contact page.