Category Archives for "Ideas"

Oct 14

Jeff Speck on how to make your town more walkable

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

Noted urbanist and planner Jeff Speck shares his views on how to create a more walkable city. Points covered include: -Euclidean zoning (separation of uses) started by moving housing away from dirty soot-producing mills with the result that life expectancy immediately improved… (the one and only success of urban planners, Ed) -large areas of single […]

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Oct 05

Pizza for the people by the people

By Bruce Firestone | Business Coaching , Business Models , Design , Entrepreneurship , Finance , Ideas , Investing , PB4L , Real Estate , Sales & Marketing , Urban Economics

So, you think you know something about modern-era business models? Well, test yourself by examining what chief executive officer Michael Lastoria has done with his fledgling chain of tiny (300-square foot) &Pizza restaurants, which now number 36 locations on the US east coast. Here’s his secret sauce in which he invokes crucial elements of the […]

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Oct 03

ROI Group welcomes Jonathan Westeinde, Ralph Shaw and Toon Dreessen as special guests

By Bruce Firestone | Architecture , Design , Entrepreneurship , Green for Real , Ideas , PB4L , Real Estate , Urban Economics

The ROI Group was formed to create a forum for interested parties to get together online (and occasionally in the real world too) to speak to issues surrounding the creation of vibrant communities that are sustainable in every way. The idea is to find new, innovative ways to meet multiple “bottom lines” including how to: […]

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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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Sep 21

Potential policies and strategic directions for the city of Ottawa

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

[This is the third in a 3-part series written for Ottawa Business Journal by OBJ columnist, Bruce M Firestone, PhD, who is working with the city of Ottawa to develop a new OP, official plan, one that is suited to 21st century conditions—both economic, sociological and environmental.] Introduction If you were the ultimate authority in […]

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Sep 15

How to create your very own high-performing PB4L, personal business for life

By Bruce Firestone | Business Coaching , Business Models , Entrepreneurship , Finance , Ideas , PB4L , Real Estate , Real Estate Investment Coaching , Tiny Homes , Urban Economics

Where do (good) ideas come from to start your own business? Well, if you are Ben Jacobsen, you marvel at the fact that your girlfriend is willing to spend $10 on a tiny package of bespoke table salt. So, he left Europe and moved back to the Oregon coast where he sampled seawater from 27-bays […]

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Aug 17

In defense of the sharing economy and in particular home-sharing platforms

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

[Feature image: Airbnb founder Joe Gebbia (right)] In June 2019, I wrote to city consultant Brian Bourns who had held a short-term rental workshop, https://ottawa.ca/en/short-term-rental-workshop-3, which no doubt brought forth many competing viewpoints on Airbnb, VRBO, Expedia et al. Below you will find my note to Brian and also a defense of home-sharing written by […]

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Aug 10

Land development: merchandising and marketing

By Bruce Firestone | Architecture , Business Coaching , Design , Entrepreneurship , Ideas , Real Estate , Sales & Marketing , Urban Economics

Many real estate developers forget about branding and merchandising. Imagine if you went to a high-end dress shop or a place to buy an expensive suit and they had fabulous clothing but no racks–you had to pick up that dress or suit up from the floor and shake off the dust? Yuck. So, when buying […]

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Jul 31

On the plus side of a tornado attack: multi level basements

By Bruce Firestone | Architecture , Design , Ideas , Investing , Real Estate , Urban Economics

On the plus side of getting whacked by a tornado in September 2018 is knowing soil conditions in our neighborhood, Arlington Woods. It’s sand all the way down–a great foundation material–it’ll support residential structure no problem at all plus the drainage is fantastic. Here’s our neighbor’s home. Her house was destroyed by the tornado attack. […]

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