Walking through downtown Portland reminds me a lot of what good and controversial urbanism looks like. The streets are clean, safe, and buildings tout many LEED symbols and even a few wind turbines. There is an incredible value to the development of solar/wind/clean energy and the reduction of coal and fossil fuel dependence. But often times these high tech solutions don’t change the culture – or give a broader understanding of simple sustainable life choices. Sometimes the best sustainability is a well placed light, the light switch for the rest of the house and turning off the AC/heat. BIG PICTURE: The BBC recently posted an article about the death of (1) American soldier in the Middle East. The value of life from our culture is at an all time high – WWII Veterans have mass monuments to their sacrifice and previous wars have some sort of record, but value of an individuals life is at an all time high. While this is great that people are developing a sense of reverence for life, it also poses one of the biggest sustainability problems – if the population is going to be controlled through War and disease, the cities of the future are going to need to grow in smart and urban ways. Food, energy and water management will be some of the greatest needs of the future. One question might be – How do you sustain healthy/organic food production for an even larger population while maintaining flora and faunas, natural habitats and species as well as the natural climates for the future and not limiting consumption?