Gettin’ Paid: Placemaking and the Importance of Compensation

Over a decade ago Andres Duany of DPZ taught me that, more times than not, NIMBY opposition stems from a sense that proposed development is not of equal or greater value to what would be lost.

Tony Nelessen, the inventor of the Visual Preference Survey, confirmed this lesson a few years later when he came to my town and conducted one.  Continue Reading

Original Greensta: Steve Mouzon Gets Medieval on Sustainability


The Original Green is all about architecture and urbanism. But it’s also about reflection, living, inspiration, and delight. We can achieve sustainable living only when we “want to” or “love to” instead of feeling that we “have to” or “ought to” balance the needs of our society, economy and environment.

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Dancing with Urban Agriculture

My lovely wife of eight years enjoys really bad television. For better or worse, last night she tricked me into watching a segment of ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ Coyly, she asked me to name the movies in which the dancing ‘star’ had ‘starred’.

Having no idea and starting my way back upstairs, I heard her mimicking quietly, “Bueller… Bueller…?

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Today’s “Eco-Warriors”: Giving Them Something Worth Fighting For

This week I’d like to share a few thoughts on infill and sustainability that coalesced while preparing this week for another Pecha Kucha presentation on Retrofitting Suburbia.

I’ll begin with a little background. My daughter came home from her International Baccalaureate Elementary School with a new sticker in her daily planner proclaiming her an “Eco-Warrior!” Continue Reading

Original Greensta: Steve Mouzon Gets Medieval on Sustainability

The Original Green is all about architecture and urbanism. But it’s also about reflection, living, inspiration, and delight. We can achieve sustainable living only when we “want to” or “love to” instead of feeling that we “have to” or “ought to” balance the needs of our society, economy and environment. Miami architect Steve Mouzon’s new book looks carefully at the building blocks of community, and what needs to shift to making living on earth a long-term proposition. Instead of repeating the cases others have made to quantify the drivers of sustainable living, Steve suggests honoring the Original Green of how we lived in the pre-petroleum era, while leveraging the technological and urban advances of the last 100 years. Continue Reading

Call for Cool Plans

New Urban Guild plans Southern Living plan book

Miami-based architect and author Steve Mouzon, founder of the The New Urban Guild, has made the deal he and the Guild have been working toward for years. Southern Living magazine, arguably the most influential shelter mag in the southeastern US, is going to publish Guild collections of TND-worthy homes. And Mouzon is inviting all comers to submit designs.

Read all about it here

“We’re looking for a wide range of house plan sizes, from cottages to mansions,” says Mouzon. “And we’re also looking for many types of plans, including side yard houses, courtyard houses, carriage houses, townhouses, mews units, live/work units, and Katrina Cottages. There’s only one type we don’t need — ordinary houses — as in ordinary suburban houses with garages in front, facing the street. There are enough of those plans out there already.”

PrintPlans will be selected by a jury of Guild members. “It’s a tough jury, so only a fraction of plans submitted are likely to be selected,” says Mouzon. “But that’s what it takes to make sure this is the best collection of traditional neighborhood homes ever assembled.”

Go here for plan submission requirements. And if you want to see Mouzon’s narration of two of his own designs, Katrina Cottages constructed for Cottage Square in Ocean Springs, MS, check out this: