Category Archives for "Green for Real"

Oct 03

How to get free labor to build your next home

By Bruce Firestone | Architecture , Business Coaching , Business Models , Design , Entrepreneurship , Finance , Green for Real , Ideas , Investing , Real Estate , Real Estate Investment Coaching , Urban Economics

[Negative Cost Labor (And Low-Cost Finance)] Sometimes, you can turn a cost into a negative cost. A former architecture student of mine, Dominique Tonetti and her husband, Frank Dutton, are managing to do that on their new project, Solisterra in Québec. Dominique and Frank are building wonderful straw bale structures on a 150-acre property they […]

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Sep 29

Rick Mercer One-tonne Challenge

By Bruce Firestone | Architecture , Business Coaching , Green for Real , Ideas , Urban Economics

[Neo-urbanist catalysts and anti-catalysts] Some time ago, I saw a Rick Mercer GOC (government of Canada) produced television commercial titled the “One Tonne Challenge.” My eldest daughter, Rachel turned to me after the commercial and asked, “How do I personally go about reducing my carbon footprint, Dad?” That is one of the problems with well-meaning […]

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Oct 03

Steve Willis’ Attempt to Makeover Ottawa Part 2 of 2

By Bruce Firestone | Architecture , Design , Finance , Green for Real , Ideas , Real Estate , Urban Economics

[A version of this article first appeared in Ottawa Business Journal, https://www.obj.ca/article/op-ed-meet-steve-willis-city-halls-most-important-person] [Part 1, https://brucemfirestone.com/steve-willis-attempt-to-makeover-ottawa-part-1-of/] Interestingly,Mr. Willis recognizes that a one size fits all planning and infrastructure approach makes no sense. He promises that in the next OP (official plan) review (slated to be completed in 2021 or 2022), a more nuanced, fine-grained approach whereby […]

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Oct 01

Steve Willis’ Attempt to Makeover Ottawa Part 1 of 2

By Bruce Firestone | Architecture , Design , Green for Real , Ideas , Real Estate , Sports & Entertainment , Urban Economics

[A version of this article first appeared in Ottawa Business Journal, https://www.obj.ca/article/op-ed-meet-steve-willis-city-halls-most-important-person] [Read part 2 here, https://brucemfirestone.com/steve-willis-attempt-to-makeover-ottawa-part-2-of/] I meet with Steve Willis in his suite of offices at Ottawa city hall after everyone else’s workday seems to be over, except his. He’s the new general manager of planning, infrastructure & economic development, a crucial 700-person […]

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Jan 06

Approval of Coach Houses Opens the Way to Better Urban Design

By Bruce Firestone | Architecture , Business Coaching , Business Models , Design , Entrepreneurship , Finance , Green for Real , Ideas , Investing , Real Estate , Real Estate Investment Coaching , Urban Economics

(This article first appeared in OBJ,  https://obj.ca/article/opinion-coach-houses-open-door-better-urban-planning-ottawa.) As OBJ readers may already know, the city of Ottawa recently changed its bylaws to permit construction of coach houses on many existing residential lots. This is part of a worldwide effort to densify and intensify existing urban areas to make them more interesting, more diverse, and more […]

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