JHK and Duncan speak to a group of NextGen New Urbanists during the Congress for the New Urbanism held in West Palm Beach, Fla. this May 9-12. NextGen New Urbanists are young professionals participating in the New Urbanist movement. Jim asks the group to tell him what they’re up to and what’s next for New Urbanism. After a quick history of the NextGen movement, topics include: Resettle America, the Braddock PA Initiative, Tactical New Urbanism, Growing Culture and more.
This episode features a conversation between JHK and CNU President and former Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist and was recorded before a live audience during the Congress for the New Urbanism in West Palm Beach, Fla. this May 9-12. Kunstler and Norquist field questions from audience members on a variety of New Urbanist topics.
[Note: The server that hosts our media files was down yesterday for an extended time and was not accepting file uploads. The problem was resolved at approx. 11:30 p.m. – DC]
James Howard Kunstler speaks by phone with Catherine Tumber, author of Small, Gritty, and Green: The Promise of America’s Smaller Industrial Cities in a Low-Carbon World. Tumber believes that small industrial cities, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest, are well suited for the energy and climate change realities of future. Tumber is a journalist, historian and Research Affiliate in the Community Innovators Lab in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. In part 2 of this conversation, Kunstler and Tumber discuss urban contraction and urban farming as it is occurring in Youngstown, Ohio. They talk about the economy of Rochester and Syracuse, New York. Tumber shares her thoughts on living in Detroit, Albany and Boston. Though they share the same general view of small cities, the two disagree on the current battle over suburban sprawl. JHK believes the sprawl building in places like Youngstown is over, while Tumber says it continues today and must be opposed. They also discuss racial segregation and schooling in small industrial cities.
ANNOUNCEMENT: The 200th episode of The KunstlerCast is coming up. Call the listener line and share your favorite moment from the kast.
Join CNU in West Palm Beach, FL this year May 9-12, for the 20th anniversary event of the Congress for the New Urbanism. Confirmed speakers include Richard Florida, Sprawl Repair Manual author Galina Tachieva, retail guru Robert Gibbs, Fighting Traffic author Peter Norton, Peter Calthorpe, Lizz Plater-Zyberk, Jaime Correa, Andres Duany and many more speakers being added every day. *Note JHK and Duncan will be appearing on a living local panel at CNU.
Go to www.cnu20.org and register now to take advantage of early registration rates.
James Howard Kunstler speaks by phone with Arthur E. Berman, who is a petroleum geologist and consultant to the energy sector; editorial board member of The Oil Drum; associate editor of the AAPG Bulletin; director of The Association for the Study of Peak Oil. Berman has published more than 100 articles on petroleum geology and technology and has made more than 50 presentations in the last year to professional societies, investment conferences and companies. He speaks to Jim tonight about the history of shale gas “fracking” and a lot of the “magical thinking” surrounding the prospects of America becoming “energy dependent” through fracking.
Join CNU in West Palm Beach, FL this year May 9-12, for the 20th anniversary event of the Congress for the New Urbanism. Confirmed speakers include Richard Florida, Sprawl Repair Manual author Galina Tachieva, retail guru Robert Gibbs, Fighting Traffic author Peter Norton, Peter Calthorpe, Lizz Plater-Zyberk, Jaime Correa, Andres Duany and many more speakers being added every day.
Go to www.cnu20.org and register now to take advantage of early registration rates.
Apocalypse Not, Green Wizardry and Techno-Narcissism
Released: Dec. 22, 2011
Apocalypse Not, by John Michael Greer
John Michael Greer, author of The Long Descent, The Wealth of Nature and, most recently, Apocalypse Not, joins JHK and Duncan by phone to speak about 2012 apocalypse scenarios, Green Wizardry, politics and techno narcissism. Greer explains how the 1970s were the last time that America was confronted by a major disruption in its energy supply. At the time, many Americans began exploring renewable energy and more modest living arrangements that require less energy. But that was the road not taken. And now we face what he describes as a “stairstep collapse,” like many other civilizations that have overshot their resource base. Other topics include: our modern delusions about technology, the re-enchantment of our worldview, and the potential resurgence of fraternal orders which once served as the foundation of public life in America.
In this episode, Duncan appears solo on a radio program called Relocalizing Vermont to talk about The KunstlerCast book and podcast and the influence that James Howard Kunstler has had on him. In this half-hour interview by Carl Etnier asks Duncan about the KunstlerCast came to be, why JHK always seems to rip on Amory Lovins, the Y2K thing, and other topics. A caller from Britain asks about the prospects of “re-villaging” suburbia.
Thursdays 8:30 – 10:00 am
Exploring energy, food, and the local economy at the end of the age of oil
WGDR Plainfield 91.1 FM
WGDH Hardwick 91.7 FM
streaming at wgdr.org
JHK and Duncan are joined by Minneapolis-based cartoonist and self-described muckraker Ken Avidor, who recently illustrated the KunstlerCast book and whose artwork as been displayed on this website for years. Topics include Minnesota sprawl, the Mall of America, Avidor’s artistic influences and his opposition to the Personal Rapid Transit movement.
JHK Debates Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Paul Steely White
Released: Nov. 3, 2011
In this special episode we listen to a recording from: “The Long Emergency vs. NYC’s Resurgency: A Debate about the Future of Cities” featuring Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Paul Steely White and author James Howard Kunstler. Jeff Olson of Alta Planning & Design moderates before an audience at Skidmore College. Organized by Kim Marsella, professor of the Skidmore Environmental Studies Department.
Description: “We live in a time of either the collapse of our society or the emergence of innovative solutions. This discussion will feature two of America’s most interesting voices: Kunstler, whose book The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, is an apocalyptic vision of a post-oil future, and White of Transportation Alternatives, a leader who is helping to transform New York City into a livable metropolis. Both speakers share a common vision of the need for a sustainable future – the debate will focus on whether or not change is possible in light of our modern condition. ”
Transportation Alternatives’s mission is to reclaim New York City’s streets from the automobile, and to advocate for bicycling, walking and public transit as the best transportation alternatives.
Alta Planning & Design
Alta’s mission is to create active communities where bicycling and walking are safe, healthy, and fun.
Jeffrey S. Olson
Jeff Olson is an architect and planner who has been involved in greenways, open space, active living and alternative transportation projects for more than 20 years.
The KunstlerCast Book is Now Available for Purchase
Released: Oct. 27, 2011
CNU Fireside Chat With JHK
[Note to Listeners: I’m still getting used to the new website. I accidentally created this post without linking to the audio. It’s fixed now. -DC]
James Howard Kunstler and Duncan Crary join Congress for the New Urbanism CEO & President John Norquist for a “fireside chat” about new urbanism, the future of cities and other topics. This is a 25 minute excerpt from a one hour conversation that was original broadcast live over the Internet as part of the CNU membership drive. An archive recording of the full conversation is available for listening for CNU City Builder members. For information, visit: CNU.org/membership.
Severe weather, the financial toll and other effects of global warming
Released: Sept. 8, 2011
James Howard Kunstler and host Duncan Crary are joined in the studio by Jeff Goodell, environmental writer for Rolling Stone magazine and author of How to Cool the Planet and Big Coal. Jeff speaks about global warming and some of the efforts to cool the planet through man-made projects. Some of the questions Goodell addresses include: What do people in other countries think about climate change and about Americans’ attitude toward global warming? Why can’t American scientists overcome the climate change deniers? What has Jeff observed regarding climate change while traveling the world? What does he tell his children about climate change?
In the conclusion of this one-hour conversation, Richard Heinberg, author of Peak Everything, The Party’s Over and the newly published The End of Growth joins James Howard Kunstler by phone to talk about peak oil, financial dysfunction, techno-grandiosity, the fate of industrial aggriculture and the suburban living arrangement. Heinberg also reacts to being labeled a “Doomer.”
Buy full one-hour audio (.mp3) interview – $1
(Note: Parts 1 & 2 are now avaialble for free. But you can still buy the full interview in one file if you’d like.)
In part one of this one-hour conversation, Richard Heinberg, author of Peak Everything, The Party’s Over and the newly published The End of Growth joins James Howard Kunstler by phone to talk about peak oil, financial dysfunction, political convulsions and generational conflict.
*If you can’t wait to hear the exciting conclusion of this conversation, you can download the entire interview and/or purchase a transcript now.
This week James Howard Kunstler gets a much deserved break from podcasting, while Duncan explores the topic of bicycle sharing and tours the city of Madison, Wisc. First he speaks to Jason McDowell, projects & logistics manager for B-Cycle, a bicycle sharing company with programs throughout the country. With bicycle sharing, users can pick up and drop off bicycles throughout the city. Next, Duncan heads out into the streets of Madison with Matt Dellinger, author of Interstate 69 and blogger for WNYC’s Transportation Nation. Bicycle advocate Robbie Webber gives Duncan and Matt a bicycle tour of Madison, starting with the Dane County Farmer’s Market. Madison is a very bicycle friendly city, with a robust network of bike paths and bicycle amenities. This episode was recorded during the Congress for the New Urbanism in June.
JHK & Andres Duany Critique the Landscape Urbanism
Released: July 21, 2011.
JHK continues his critique of Charles Waldheim’s presentation on Landscape Urbanism, delivered at the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU 19). This episode also includes remarks by New Urbanist leader Andres Duany and a listener quesion from a conferencegoer.
In recent years there has been a growing debate between New Urbanism and Landscape Urbanism, a theory that argues the landscape, rather than architecture, is more capable of organizing the city and enhancing the urban experience. In this episode, JHK reacts to recent remarks by Harvard Prof. Charles Waldheim on Landscape Urbanism at the Congress for the New Urbanism. In particular, Kunstler will respond to Waldheim’s claims that New Urbanism places too much emphasis on neoclassicism while not paying enough attention to environmental concerns of the 21st century.
JHK continues his critique of the ideas in Ed Glaeser’s best-selling book Triumph of the City by using excerpts from a talk the Harvard economist gave during the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU 19). Though Glaeser is an advocate for cities in general, Kunstler feels that the shape and character of future cities is not going to be what Glaeser is expecting at all. Kunstler addresses Glaeser’s ideas about transportation subsidies, high-rise buildings, the value of college educated citizens and environmentally friendly urbanism. He also comments on Glaeser’s thoughts about Buffalo, New York.
JHK critiques the ideas in Ed Glaeser’s best-selling book Triumph of the City by using excerpts from a talk the Harvard economist gave during the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU 19). Though Glaeser is an advocate for cities in general, Kunstler feels that the shape and character of future cities is not going to be what Glaeser is expecting at all. Kunstler says Glaeser is a “master of the self-evident” looking into the rearview mirror. JHK feels that Glaeser is preoccupied with statistics which do not present a coherent and comprehensive view of where cities and civilization is heading. Kunstler feels that Glaeser is overly optimistic about the future of skyscrapers, which do not fare well in JHK’s “Long Emergency” prognosis. Kunstler also shares some new thoughts on the problems of large, vertical condominium buildings.
Orion Magazine Managing Editor Andrew Blechman (a previous guest of the KunstlerCast) interviews author James Howard Kunstler about his recent essay on the future of cities in an age of peak oil and obligatory contraction. According to Kunstler, Phoenix and Las Vegas will be “toast,” skyscrapers will become massive liabilities, suburbs will turn into salvage yards, and commerce will look very different. Kunstler is quite certain that civilization will remain intact, albeit retrofitted with slow trains, sailing ships, and other blasts from the past.
JHK gives an update on the bursting housing bubble and the fate of car dependency in America. This episode includes a short interview with Sharon Feigon, CEO of I-Go Car Sharing, and Sonya Newenhouse, president of Community Car, two professionals in the car sharing industry. Car sharing is a membership-based service that allows people to have access to a car for short periods of time so that they don’t have to own a car themselves. The practice first got its start in Europe and is now cropping up across in North America as the cost of car ownership rises and public sentiments change.
This week’s sponsor is Bjorn Bergman, who reminds you to support your local farmer and eat local this summer. With warmer temperatures in the air, it is a time for fresh local salad greens. Here is a recipe for Bjorn’s Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing that would go well on some fresh locally grown spinach, arugula, salad mix and/or mustard greens.
Bjorn’s Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing:
-1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
-1 tsp dijon mustard
-1 medium clove of garlic, minced
-1/8 tsp salt
-1/8 tsp black pepper
-3 Tbsp olive oil
-Add vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper to small mixing bowl and whisk together well.
-Slowly add the olive oil to the bowl while whisking (this ensures that the dressing stays emulsified or mixed).
-Add to greens right before eating.
-Makes enough dressing for about 8 oz of greens.
Note: If you would like more dressing recipes, feel free to call Bjorn at 651-276-8875.
In the first of many installments to come, Duncan updates James Howard Kunstler on the recent Congress For the New Urbanism, held June 1-6, 2011 in Madison, Wisc. The Congress for the New Urbanism is a professional association of planners, architects, developers, political leaders and activists who are committed to revitalizing cities and curb the continuation of sprawl. During this show, we hear from: Andres Duany, New Urbanist architect; Ed Glaeser, Harvard economist & author; U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-OR; Paul Soglin, mayor of Madison, Wisc.; Paul Minett, Ridesharing Institute; Will Allen, Wisconsin farmer and founder of Growing Power; Charles Waldheim, Harvard professor and leader of the Landscape Urbanism movement; and Stefanos Polyzoides, New Urbanist architect. JHK reacts to some short sound bites regarding Landscape Urbanism, skyscraper cities and the development of New Urbanism.
Author Andrew Blechman discusses his book Leisureville, a tragicomic report on The Villages, America’s largest planned retirement community. In this version of suburbia, Blechman explains, everyone drives golf carts, last call is at 8:30, Fox News plays on the hour from the lampposts and children aren’t allowed.
This week’s sponsor is PostPeakLiving.com, offering online courses that prepare you for a post-peak world. Enroll now in the UnCrash Course, Sustainable Post-Peak Livelihoods, Navigating the Coming Chaos, Introduction to Sustainable Gardening or Chickens 101. Find out more at: http://postpeakliving.com.
James Howard Kunstler is joined in the studio by author Matt Dellinger to discuss his new book, Interstate 69. Also known as “The NAFTA Highway,” I-69 is a proposed 1,400-mile mega-highway linking Canada to Mexico via the American heartland. This special one-hour conversation covers the economic development schemes, history, culture, conspiracy theories and colorful characters behind the story of what might be the last great American highway.
Matt Dellinger has written for The New Yorker, the Atlantic, the Oxford American, the Wall Street Journal magazine, and The New York Times. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and blogs for public radio’s TransportationNation.org. His website is http://www.mattdellinger.com.
Journalist/Author Peter Golden interviews James Howard Kunstler about The Witch of Hebron (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2010), the second novel in Kunstler’s World Made By Hand series. Without giving away any important plot points, Golden explores the major themes in this autumn story set in a world after the lights have flickered out and the oil has dried up. Topics include: the rule of law, the importance of ritual holidays, and the role of religion in a tight-knit community. In this novel, Kunstler has revealed more about the circumstances that have placed his characters in a world without modernity. Golden ask if Kunstler believes that people are happier in this imagined future than they are in today’s high tech world.
Music: “Be Thou My Vision,” performed by Ed Lowman & John Kirk, recorded specially for the World Made By Hand series.
New Urbanist Planner and Author Jaime Correa speaks about urban planning in the peak oil era. KunstlerCast Host Duncan Crary recorded Correa’s talk on May 28 at the Albany Roundtable in Albany, N.Y. Correa speaks about how the end of cheap oil will affect communities in the future. He describes his peak oil action plan, which he calls The 40 Percent Plan. As urban communities begin to contract in the future, Correa has some ideas about what people need to do to successfully prepare for the future. James Howard Kunstler introduces Correa and chats with Crary about the role that Correa has played in the New Urbanism. Kunstler also responds to a question posed to him by Correa about his preparations for peak oil.
Note: Curse words and adult language occur at 27:30, 27:37 and 30:17
James Howard Kunstler explains the negative effects that empty building lots have on the urban streetscape. These empty spaces or “missing teeth” are dead zones that are repellent to pedestrians. But, at the moment, our car crazy society prefers to keep those dead zones for surface parking rather than to infill them with good urban buildings. During the second half of the program Kunstler speaks face-to-face with Troy, N.Y. Mayor Harry Tutunjian about what to do with the empty space that will be left behind after the city demolishes its current City Hall. Plans for the soon-to-be empty lot include an underground parking garage with grass on top. The mayor says that the lawn will allow access to the Hudson River and provide scenic views of the river from Broadway. Kunstler argues that the building lot should be completely occupied by a good urban building, like a new city hall.