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Roger Valdez's Posts


mcLovin It!

American appetite for big homes is falling

Trulia just released some very compelling charts and graphs based off of recent opinion research suggesting it might be the end of the McMansion -- the huge, mass-produced housing form associated with sprawl. Their data, together with the drop in lot sizes for single family homes I wrote about last month, might point to a slackening in the demand for homes with lots of square footage. While this likely doesn’t mean a mass exodus of people from outer belts of sprawl into condominiums inside urban growth boundaries, it is a promising trend in tastes and economics that could be leveraged. …

Read more: Cities, Living


An Evolutionary Take on Climate Change

Last weekend I spent some time at home recovering from some oral surgery. It was a welcome respite that allowed me to catch up on some of my favorite television shows, including PBS’ Nova.  I downloaded the first of a series called “Becoming Human: Unearthing Our Earliest Ancestors.”  The series tries to answer one of the most fascinating questions of evolutionary science: How did apes evolve into human beings and why did Homo sapiens emerge, after millions of years of evolution, as the only human species on planet earth? I was surprised to find that the answer contemporary science has …

Read more: Climate & Energy


Spare Tires

Food industry and longer commutes are making us fat

Recently I wrote about a study that looked across a few decades of data about housing and health. And we have written more than once about the relationship between the environment, location, health and price as it relates to food. Certainly there are systems issues that conspire against us when we try to make the right decision about food including the food industry. Blaming the food industry might be an easy thing to do. But a combination of policies that improve what we eat and encourage alternative transportation is the recipe we need to follow. Dr. Boyd Swinburn comes down …

Read more: Food