So this marks a shift in ye 'ole blog.
I'll still be doing some personal stuff - really what isn't personal?!
However, I am going to start focusing the blog on urban living, urban design, urban issues etc...

I have just been given the position of Project Manager for a project designed by Andres Duany and his team in Miami.
Brookfield Homes, the company I work for, has partnered with the original town founder John Hawley and we are working together to get this new urban village off the ground.

The interesting thing about the Village is that it was started almost a decade ago and do to some unforeseen circumstances went through a period of dormancy - now that Brookfield is involved we are ramping up the Village again and excited about it being the premier Canadian exhibit of New Urban and Traditional Neighbourhood design.

My goal with this blog is to document our journey - it's going to be honest, I'm sure we'll make some mistakes, but it is my intention to explore new urban growth in a very real way. As a society, growth in general has been called into question over the last few decades. The economic downturn of the last year has made us all a little wary of development in general as we hear horror stories of builders going bankrupt with millions of dollars of inventory foreclosed on.

On the positive side, It is my sincere hope that the greed of the last 50 years has started to unravel and we are all yearning for a more holistic outlook on life. There seems to be a yearning in all of us to connect the dots - to connect our longing for family, longing for honesty and safety while all the while experiencing a culture that is changing at breakneck speed.

I intend to bring in several voices to this conversation - voices from other disciplines, learning disicplines, cultural disciplines etc... As we explore al avenues of urban planning and growth we are looking to chart a course for the future - and we may actually find that much of our ability to do that will hinge on our ability to look to the past and learn from our successes and our mistakes.

It is probably important to make the disclaimer that these are my personal opinions. I work for a large home builder - a public builder who has made money for their shareholders by tract building, exploiting all of the various ideology of suburban building that we know look on with some disdain. That being said, they are exploring new opportunities and instead of rolling over and playing dead in this economic environment, they are developing new and creative ways to build and better our culture.

Lastly, the reason that I care about urban design, is that I care about people. In fact, people, living free, holistic and healthy lives is perhaps my greatest desire - so how we live is paramount to realising that desire. As a result, the blog will also address those things from my personal Christian point of view. Undoubtedly, then, I will have to address the disparity between the developed worlds' ability to ponder issues such as new urbanism, and the developing worlds' need for shelter of any kind - if this dialogue is of any value, it must address both issues. So look for that to pop up at some point in our discussion.

OK - preamble over - look for an intro to the Village tomorrow!



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