Shelter is on the first rung of renowned psychologist Abraham Maslow‘s hierarchy of needs. And yet, as a society, we have not cracked the code for how to house people in a way that is equitable and sustainable. While millions consume cubic acres of carbon heating and cooling their McMansions, others combat housing insecurity on a daily basis. This week on Sea Change Radio, we discuss two different facets of the housing puzzle. First we take a look at the tiny homes movement with two builders, Fatih and Deniz Saat. They describe what the target customer base is for their Lilliputian locales, their design inspiration, and how these itty bitty domiciles could potentially transform communities of the future. Next, we hear from San Francisco Supervisor Rafael Mandelman to learn about his unique journey into politics and to talk about the issue of homelessness in America.
“Just remember that what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not happening,” said the President of the United States this week to a group of veterans. It was a statement eerily reminiscent of the quote from George Orwell’s 1984, “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears.” It was also yet another example of gaslighting, a term derived from the 1938 Patrick Hamilton play “Gas Light” that’s used to describe efforts to manipulate someone’s perception of reality. It’s, of course, a term with which more and more of us are becoming familiar as of late since we seem to be getting a consistently unhealthy dose of gaslighting under the current Administration. Recently, the White House Council of Economic Advisers published a report that essentially declared poverty in this country a thing of the past. This week on Sea Change Radio, we discuss the ins and outs of this latest gaslighting special with Rebecca Vallas, the vice president for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress. Vallas explains what’s at the root of the report, who it really targets and why it should be concerning to all of us.
Futurists, environmentalists and planners alike generally believe that humans living in more densely populated areas has benefits for the earth – city-living is just a much more efficient use of the planet’s resources. But cities also expose a society’s inequality. Some of the world’s wealthiest cities are plagued by abundant homelessness and have deep pockets of persistent poverty. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to Rafael Mandelman, a local San Francisco politician who has seen homelessness up close. Mandelman tells his story of growing up with a mother who struggled with mental illness and homelessness and how, despite the odds, he made his way through an Ivy League education and helped lift his mother out of her dire situation. Now an advocate for homeless rights, Mandelman walks us through the simultaneous explosion of homelessness and high-paying tech jobs in his hometown, sets forth some of his ideas for solving the crisis, and gives examples of cities that have been able to tackle this problem in an ethical, compassionate, and effective manner.
Do you live in a city? Well, if you don’t, you may soon. It is predicted that by 2050, more than 70 percent of us human beings will be living in cities. The urban landscape offers several advantages for sustainability, including reduced transportation emissions, more efficient water delivery, and less per-capita energy consumption. But those of us who live in cities know there are also disadvantages. Today on Sea Change Radio we speak with two innovative thinkers who are working on solutions to a couple of the problems of city living. Our first guest is Doniece Sandoval whose company Lava Mae recycles buses and transforms them into mobile showers for people who cannot access sanitation, many of whom live on our urban streets. We talk about the model, the mission, and the vision of replicating these bathroom buses in cities everywhere. Next, we dig into the archives to revisit host Alex Wise‘s discussion with Dickson Despommiers, microbiologist and vertical farming advocate. He tells us why he believes growing food in skyscrapers would conserve water and fossil fuels, and how it could become the way cities get food in the not-too-distant future.