From tactical urbanism and travel-based service-learning projects (experimenting with low-cost technologies and approaches in the field) to research and writing for publication, here are some past projects demonstrating a range of capacities:
#Spinbikeproject — assisting Miami, Florida’s Bike Share Museum with dismantling and redistributing hundreds of retired share bikes. This has prompted experimentation with discarded solar panels and research into the life cycle of share scooters.
Mike’s Paddle waste reduction — helped to devise additional uses for some packaging and other discarded materials, using some items to stock a ‘maker space’ at the Boys & Girls Club of Alameda, California.
Virginia Tech Future of Cities — volunteered to help shape the inaugural offering of this online core course in Virginia Tech’s Smart and Sustainable Cities (SSC) major. Assistance involved reviewing course materials, assignments and readings, suggesting refinements and engaging throughout the semester with students via online forums.
#Slowandlowline — this campaign and series of weekly events (2016-2017) drew attention to possible alternative uses of vacant parking space beneath elevated sections of Interstate 35 in downtown San Antonio, Texas.
#SATaco2040 — with The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Center for Cultural Sustainability, generated dialogue about the history, significance and possible future of working class and widely accessible mobile food vending in San Antonio, Texas.
#Tacotecture — monthly community conversations about urban planning and development issues and opportunities in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) “target” / REnewSA neighborhoods in San Antonio, Texas. Meetings were held at and celebrated affordable family and legacy eateries in these areas (such as Patty’s Taco House and Linda’s Mexican Restaurant).
Healthy Urban Development Checklist — employed by Elton Consulting (Sydney, Australia), I helped to author a book-length Checklist for health professionals and others to shape urban policies, plans and proposals. Working on the Checklist heightened my awareness of design as well as management barriers to healthier workplaces and ways of living. It also led to my return to offering less office-bound and more distributed and frugal innovation focused urban issues consultancy and assistance.
Sustainable Development with American Indian Communities — an online DemTex course/subject developed for the University of Texas at Austin. The course/subject utilized free tools for distributed learning and promoted ethical volunteering and sustainable community-based work and study.
Salvador, Brazil: Public art mapping + street furniture tactical urbanism (2006-7) — I used an affordable GPS (Garmin Geko 201) device and CommunityWalk (a free tool for online participatory mapping) to waypoint where public murals by artist Bel Borba were then located. I also constructed a park bench and planter box with bamboo and other found materials, installing this furniture in a pocket park at Rua César Zama and Rua Barão de Sergy. The park has since been formalized with public street furniture.
Sustainable Taiwan (2005) — I served as a teaching and research assistant for a course/subject on sustainable development offered to postgraduate students of Taipei Tech (then NTUT). The course/subject emphasized cradle-to-cradle design concepts and encouraged students to think differently about waste streams and their campus environment.
The Horizons Project (2005) — This was an experiment with travel-based service-learning with Northern Cheyenne youth as participants. I bought a passenger van on eBay, and participants helped to plan, manage and navigate a cross-country drive from Montana to Boston and back. The summer road trip included visiting as well as completing service projects with universities supportive of American Indian student enrollment. The project also involved participants monitoring their walking and observing urban design at home and in the cities visited. Additionally, participants attempted to off-set some of the environmental costs of the travel with contributions to NativeEnergy.