Designing with Nature for Wellbeing
Pints With Planners is a great podcast published by the Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association, aimed at demystifying urban planning. I recently listened to this loosely-structured forum that is geared to make you feel like you’re sitting in a pub having a great conversation with Steve Nygren and the hosts. Steve is the founder and CEO of Serenbe, a wellness community created as a model to demonstrate that preserving 70% of greenspace interlaced with agriculture, housing, and retail is not only economically viable, but the future of community wellbeing. This episode focused on Steve’s experience in the founding of Serenbe, and how he has become a thought leader in meaningful and innovative community design in the spirit of Ebenezer Howard and Ian McHarg. Steve’s passion shines through this wide-ranging conversation recorded in the summer of 2018 in Denver.”
The process of evapotranspiration is quite a phenomenon. Tree roots pull water from the ground, and evaporate it from their leaves during photosynthesis – they use energy from sunlight to produce glucose from carbon dioxide and water. During the process, oxygen is formed, (air purification is another benefit provided by trees, but we’re focusing on stormwater here).
On-site food production, creative food & beverage events
I enjoy watching Master Chef. Gordon Ramsey likes to talk about taking ordinary ingredients and “elevating” them to a “Master Chef worthy dish” that could be found in one of his world-class restaurants. This is what is happening in the world of senior living today! And, that’s one of the perks of working in this niche – whenever we are on site, we are treated to some enjoyable meals. Dining at senior living venues no longer involves a cafeteria-style tray with globs of mystery meat and vegetables in their respective compartments.
Everyone these days talks about sustainability. Indeed, many corporations and jurisdictional agencies demand sustainability in structures, processes, and even landscapes. The real challenge in business though, is convincing the unconvinced management team that sustainability goes well beyond the usual emotional “feel good” response to the issue, and indeed makes good business sense in ways that will add significant value to the bottom line.
A recent survey done in partnership with the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) reveals that there is a real interest on the part of property managers to learn more about what "going green" can mean to them. Not surprisingly, the most interest in actually making "green" property improvements came when cost-savings were involved. However, they were not willing to pay a premium for green improvements and retrofits.
PLANET, the Professional Landcare Network, is an international association serving lawn care professionals, landscape management contractors, design/build/installation professionals, and interior plantscapers. The group emerged back in 2005 when the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) and the Professional Lawn Care Association of America (PLCAA) joined forces to become a more encompassing network of green industry professionals.
The article is over two years old, but thanks to my daily Twitter Tweets Keyword Alert digest, I found it. Whole Systems Design, LLC develops human habitats yielding "perennial abundance and enduring value". That got my attention!
A recent post on LSUAgCenter.com urges: "Don't let landscape maintenance become burdensome." Rick Bogren has it right - reducing the amount of maintenance does not mean eliminate! The key, as Rick states, is to "reduce the amount of work it takes to maintain your landscape". The thing I like about the "Green Movement" is the concept of the Triple Bottom Line: sustainability affects people, the planet, and provides a profit. The fact that wise choices to reduce the manpower requirements of a landscape directly impact the cost of maintenance is significant. It is the basis for our approach to Living Asset Management. In these economic times, it is nice to know that beyond the "feel-good" effect of good stewardship is the underlying strong business case for sustainability.