Almost half a century ago I was in a new high school and held in my hand a mimeographed sheet inviting all and sundry to apply to be exchange students with the American Field Service. I thought about it all night long, then applied with an essay about how I really wanted to go to Japan and learn Japanese, as I was so taken with Japanese culture. To my surprise, I was selected as the school’s exchange student, and sent to Denmark. [Read more…] about Cycling through the Danish Land of Enchantment
We think of “sustainability” as a new idea, a concept underlying our hoped-for environmental stewardship of the planet, but as Poor Richard first voiced a related concept at the beginning of our national existence, it really isn’t a new idea at all. I’m not going to use this opportunity to go tree-hugger on you (although it’s not a role foreign to me), but I do want to highlight how an unused asset of the City’s could be turned into a brilliant community treasure. Sadly, this is an asset the City was prepared to waste. [Read more…] about Innovative Community Bike Center coming to San Diego in . . .
In a recent article Tim Jorgensen, an Associate Professor of Radiation Medicine at Georgetown University, wrote about the risks of getting cancer from flying in jet airplanes. According to Professor Jorgensen, the primary health risk comes from exposure to cosmic radiation. Sounds like scary stuff. He wrote about one particularly frequent flyer (a Mr. Stuker), who had amassed some 18 million miles of air travel (imagine the upgrades!): [Read more…] about Risky Business – brownfield development in need of reasonable health risk standards
Anybody remember this movie? Based on a book by Philip Wylie, it started with the thoughtful gaze of astronomers using science and telescope technology to protect us. The trouble was, they observed a planet (Zyra?) hurtling towards us and presaging the impending doom of all on earth. Lucky for us, the collision that I have been observing is much less likely to wipe out all the dinosaurs or destroy the planet. (Don’t doubt that there are still dinosaurs – they just walk and talk like mammalians.) [Read more…] about When Worlds Collide (air quality) – Observations from the Brownfield Trenches
Lately, it seems that more and more often one runs into a Phase I report for a property that has already been through some assessment and remediation. That is, after all, the status of many a completed brownfield project. It’s been my unfortunate experience that only a few of today’s Phase I drafters know what to do with that situation. Let’s climb into the Wayback Machine and remind ourselves what the heck a Phase I is and why we do it. [Read more…] about Observations from the Brownfield Trenches: The Phase I Report
I am a brownfield guy. I’m down with that – because a brownfield project should always end up with something better for everybody. Re-using property means re-using roads and other infrastructure, instead of building new. But there is a challenge. Sadly, everywhere people have been they’ve left some schmutz, as my grandmother would say. [Read more…] about Observations from the Brownfield Trenches