Some past (and in some cases ongoing) projects:
- #Spinbikeproject — assisting Bike Share Museum founder Kurt Kaminer with dismantling and redistributing retired bike share bikes in Miami, Florida. This has prompted experimentation with discarded solar panels and research into the life cycle of share scooters.
- #Slowandlowline — with the help of friends and my wife (photographed), drawing attention to the potential for the formal reclamation and transformation of current parking space beneath elevated sections of Interstate 35 in downtown San Antonio, Texas. This includes the potential to re-connect historic pedestrian rights of way severed with highway development
and recent urban management.
- #SATaco2040 — as a Visiting Researcher with The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA)’s Center for Cultural Sustainability, generating dialogue about the history, perpetuation and possible future of working class and widely accessible mobile food vending in San Antonio, Texas.
- #Tacotecture — convening monthly community conversations about urban planning and development issues and opportunities in San Antonio’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) “target” / REnewSA neighborhoods, while celebrating and enjoying local eateries in these areas.
- #Streetfind(s) — documenting my use of street found items — from clothes to a functional bread machine and boom box — to help draw attention to urban waste and re-use streams, the longevity of some items and issues of industrial design and dematerialization.
- Healthy Urban Development — employed by Elton Consulting, I helped to research and author a book-length Healthy Urban Development Checklist to assist health professionals and others in shaping better urban policies, plans and proposals. The work further opened my eyes to various possible barriers to healthier urban development including those related to the design and management of places of work. Specifically, I became more attune to indoor air quality, lighting and HVAC issues but also waste management and hard and soft infrastructure for active transportation. It also led me to reconnect with and recommit to offering alternatives to urban planning and consulting work as chiefly desk-bound “document creation business.”
- Sustainable Development With American Indian Communities (SDWAIC) — an online DemTex course/subject developed for the University of Texas at Austin. The course introduced concepts of sustainable development and democratic education, through the context of service-learning with American Indian community partners. I am happy to draw from this and other projects in work with Native Renewables and other partners.
- Public art mapping + street furniture creation / tactical urbanism (Salvador, Brazil) — this was 2006-7 experimentation with portable and affordable GPS (Garmin Geko 201) and CommunityWalk, a tool for online participatory mapping. I helped to waypoint where public murals by artist Bel Borba were then located. Additionally, I constructed a park bench and planter box out of bamboo and other found materials, installing it in a neighborhood pocket park at Rua César Zama and Rua Barão de Sergy. It appears that more formal benches were installed in this public space in 2014-15? Tudo azul!
- 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 emphasized cradle-to-cradle design concepts and encouraged students to think differently about waste streams and their campus environment. As one example, I encouraged students to consider and experiment with new uses for discarded chopsticks as well as packaging from bubble tea. In turn, students raised my awareness of urban infrastructure issues related to wastewater management and the potential for robotic assistance in some cases.
- The Horizons Project (2005) — This was an experiment with travel-based service-learning with American Indian (Northern Cheyenne) youth as participants. I bought a passenger van (“Roxanne”) on eBay, and participants helped to plan, manage and navigate a cross-country drive from Montana to Boston and back. The summer road-trip involved visiting universities supportive of American Indian student enrollment (some with a history of volunteering with the Northern Cheyenne Nation) as well as participants completing service projects with different local organizations. Additionally, we learned more about Northern Cheyenne history and culture prior to travel and visited key American Indian cultural and heritage sites en route. The project also involved participants monitoring their walking and observing community design at home and in cities visited. Participants also considered the global impact of travel decisions and attempted to off-set some of the environmental costs with contributions to NativeEnergy.