Share Your Favorite Best Practices and Possibilities for Sustainable Futures!

Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico were at the epicenter of solar design in the 70’s and 80’s. I believe we can be on the cutting edge once again and lead the emerging sustainable economy. By bringing together our pioneering genius and deep caring, along with emerging technologies, we can collaborative  integrate systems and innovations and then build neighborhoods based in real-lasting values.

Join in! I’ve set the intention for this website to be a supportive tool as we learn to live sustainable on the planet, and you’re invited to help make it real!

Choose a “sector” to talk about and share your favorite best practices and ideas.  Then invite your friends and peers to contribute their favorites and carry on the conversations.

As the conversations build, the site can evolve into a forum/wiki where we can give and find support as we reinvent community. By collaborating, we can create great places to live, revitalize the construction industry, add a demonstration Sustainable Neighborhood showcase to our eco-tourism offerings, and bring forward futures that are “good for people, good for the planet, and good for the polar bears!”

So what are the awesome ideas you’ve run across, the opportunities that will transform the planet, your favorite inspirations? Together we can make sustainable neighborhoods real!

The Green Fire Times May 2012 The Center for Innovation and Sustainability

Last September I got to be the guest associate editor of Green Fire Times. The entire issue was dedicated to envisioning the creation of “Sustainable Urban Villages” in our area – vibrant, alive, quality-filled, deeply affordable, mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhoods that live lightly on the planet. The challenge remains: How do we actually create sustainable “triple bottom line” alternatives to suburban sprawl – thriving, resilient communities that are good for people, the planet and the polar bears?

If done right, a smart infill demonstration Sustainable Urban Village (SUV) showcase in Santa Fe would generate local economic development, expand ecotourism and help transform the planet. In today’s hyperlinked world, solving problems anywhere solves problems everywhere. So Santa Fe, let’s get it done!


The Puzzle of 1000 Pieces

Santa Fe and northern New Mexico has a lot of talented innovators, creative thinkers and pioneers. As the accompanying illustration shows, there are many pieces (see blue sectors) that need to be integrated to achieve sustainability. How can we put the puzzle together so that we create win-win-win solutions? I contend we need 1) an accessible, supportive, collaborative environment for innovation; and 2) smart 3D modeling tools.

Center for Innovation and Sustainability


September’s Green Fire Times: Envisioning a Sustainable Urban Village

Sustainability is a Puzzle of 1000 Pieces. As we rearrange the pieces to design a Sustainable Urban Village (SUV), Green Fire Times asked the paradigm shifting questions…

“What would make a SUV such a great place, you’d move in?!   What are the best practices emerging in your field, and how can we rearrange these puzzle pieces for maximum affordability and beauty?”

As you’re contemplating your puzzle pieces and gathering your thoughts, click on and read some that were shared by your fellow New Mexicans in the September issue of the Green Fire Times posted here.

Share your thoughts on the issues raised. Share your ideas on sustainability in Santa Fe and region. Continue the discussion!

Pass the word to your friends. Together we can make sustainable real!

Envisioning a Sustainable Urban Village: A Puzzle of 1000 Pieces by Brian Skeele

Sustainability is a Puzzle of 1000 Pieces.  As we rearrange the pieces to design a Sustainable Urban Village (SUV),  Green Fire Times quest associate editor Brian Skeele (yours truly) got to ask the paradigm shifting questions…What would make a SUV such a great place, you’d move in?!   What are the best practices emerging in your field,and how can we rearrange these puzzle pieces for maximum affordability and beauty?… READ MORE >>

Tales of a Time Traveler: How This Future CameTo Be by John Goekler

John Goekler hopped aboard the time machine and reported back from his future life in a Sustainable Urban Village  READ MORE >>

A “Think and Do Tank” to Fan the Embers of the Emerging Sustainable Economy by Brian Skeele

The times call for an atmosphere that is conducive to economic innovation. How can we work together to create a thriving local/regional, resilient, innovative, sustainable economy?

Several months ago, a group of us met in Santa Fe to brainstorm a “Think and Do Tank,” an interdisciplinary, affordable, innovation/fabrication lab to support turning creative, social, economic and ecological ideas into real jobs. This will require tinkering, rapid prototyping, testing and bringing to market sustainable, beneficial tools, processes and products…. READ MORE >>

Gussing of the Southwest: Rising to the Challenge and Reaping the Benefits by Brian Skeele

Santa Fe could be the sustainability ecotourist destination, the “Gussing of the Southwest”!  “Gussing will no longer pay $8 million a year for imported fossil fuels” proclaimed the mayor of this Austrian town of 4000. Since the declaration, the town has gone to homegrown green fuels and heating, and 50 companies have relocated there. 1000 jobs have been created. READ MORE >>

Eco-Park Comes to Santa Fe feat. Alfonz Viszolay by Seth Roffman

Alfonz Viszolay and Lenny Koval are bringing innovation to local energy production, and more.Their Eko-Val Energy Park is an algae oil farm, a dairy farm, vegetable truck farm, a power station,  and a classroom all synergistically looped together! READ MORE >>

Imagining a Sustainable Urban Village by Stephanie Hiller

Our world is changing radically, yet we struggle to stay the same. We face multiple threats to our continuance: dwindling supplies of oil, gas, and various metals; diminishing access to pure drinking water; strange weather and rising temperatures; spreading pollution and the ever present threat of nuclear war.

How can we respond to these overwhelming challenges, and survive? Avoidance will not produce the answers we seek; neither, apparently, will our government. We need to begin to have this conversation,… READ MORE >>

What Does a Healthy Community in a Sustainable Urban Village Look Like? by Kathleen Benecke

A person with a healthy lifestyle should pay lower healthcare premiums, just like a non-smoker does. Kathleen Benecke reports this is just one of the cost-savings ideas that came out of a care providers brainstorming. READ MORE >>