The people behind this blog and the South Main neighborhood are nothing if not ambitious. We all share this world, the good, the bad, the beautiful and the distressing. While we are under no illusions about whether or not our project alone will solve global problems (it won’t), we are working as hard as we can to address them for our community and hopefully serve as an example for the world at large. This blog seeks to shed light on some of the efforts we and other like-minded people are making to model those ideas as we go about our work and lives to address some of the most pressing issues of our time.
What does it mean to be green? How can we live it? We are striving for this concept with every building in South Main. From Energy Star certified homes to reclaimed and local materials, from highly efficient land-use to an enduring traditional design code. Green is something that we are not just talking about, it is the foundation of our philosophy. Every decision we make must withstand a sober, reality-based assessment of its embodied energy, environmental impact and sustainability.
What does it mean to be sustainable? Isn’t that the same as green? Not quite. For us its about building and developing in a way that will work for generations to come. That can accommodate an influx of people who love the qualities of our valley in region without at the same time destroying the resources that drew us here. It’s about creating a built legacy of spaces that will be loved and maintained for generations, not scraped and rebuilt after the life of a mortgage. It means sensible design that encourages walking, discourages driving and acknowledges our collective carbon footprint. It is being accountable for our actions today so that our great-great-grandkids can be proud of what we will have done in the future.
Everyone appreciates beautiful, thoughtful, well-designed places, spaces and buildings. Conscious design creates places people want to visit, to live, to raise children. Everyone instinctively knows when something has been done without care, without intention. Just picture a strip mall for a second: ugly, unconscious, inefficient, and cheap are the qualities that spring to mind. Now picture an authentic (often historic) neighborhood: beautiful stone work, people chatting on their stoops, tree-lined streets, a corner bakery, kids playing in the park. That’s a place to live, not simply reside. We are advocates for New Urbanism.
We are trying to strike a balance here on the blog. We are hoping to talk to you about a bunch of ideas we really care about and the sometimes-amazing struggles and breakthroughs we’ve gone through (and are going through) to make them happen in real life. But this isn’t a vanity project. We want to celebrate the thinkers and the doers around the world who are working to make these ideas happen. There are a lot of them. So we’re going to start talking about them all. We hope that you find all this information as interesting, important and engaging as we do. Welcome.