Welcome to Deep Green

Deep Green is a show about how the built environment impacts climate change and equity. Buildings are some of the biggest things we make as human beings. In these bi-weekly episodes, we explore how through understanding buildings, cities, and all the things that go into them, we can do better for the environment and all life on this planet.

Episode 01
Can the Olympics Be Sustainable?

Biodome

Most low-wage workers in the United States don’t currently make enough to rent a one-bedroom apartment. Millennials aren’t able to buy homes because they are, on average, poorer than their parents were at the same age. However, the last thing we need is to worsen the climate crisis as we solve America’s housing crisis. Every time we build a new structure, we put carbon emissions in the air. If we had to provide housing for every American by building new apartment blocks, that would put us deep in the red on carbon emissions. Now, if we could convert existing buildings into affordable housing, that would be something. To discuss that and other avenues to address both climate and housing security, senior editor Kelly Beamon sat down with two guests: Katie Swenson, senior principal at MASS Design Group and author of Design With Love: At Home in America, and Shelley Halstead, executive director of the nonprofit Black Women Build.

Episode 02
What Should We Do for Clean Air?

Clean Air

It’s August 2021 and there’s no clear end in sight for the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks, of course, to the Delta variant. The Centers for Disease Control in the U.S. has had to change its advisory a few times this year. Its most current advice: If you’re in an area with high infection rates, wear a mask everywhere, whether you’re vaccinated or not. If your area hasn’t been affected much by the Delta variant, you should still be wearing a mask indoors, whether you’re vaccinated or not. It’s all about air—whether you are indoors or outside. So what should we do for clean air?

Episode 03
How Can We Create Green Affordable Housing?

Affordable Housing

Most low-wage workers in the United States don’t currently make enough to rent a one-bedroom apartment. Millennials aren’t able to buy homes because they are, on average, poorer than their parents were at the same age. However, the last thing we need is to worsen the climate crisis as we solve America’s housing crisis. Every time we build a new structure, we put carbon emissions in the air. If we had to provide housing for every American by building new apartment blocks, that would put us deep in the red on carbon emissions. Now, if we could convert existing buildings into affordable housing, that would be something. 

Most low-wage workers in the United States don’t currently make enough to rent a one-bedroom apartment. Millennials aren’t able to buy homes because they are, on average, poorer than their parents were at the same age. However, the last thing we need is to worsen the climate crisis as we solve America’s housing crisis. Every time we build a new structure, we put carbon emissions in the air. If we had to provide housing for every American by building new apartment blocks, that would put us deep in the red on carbon emissions. Now, if we could convert existing buildings into affordable housing, that would be something. 

Episode 04
How Can We Create Green Affordable Housing? Part 2

Black Women Build

In this sequel to our last episode (“How Can We Create Green Affordable Housing?”), we continue the conversation with Shelley Halstead, executive director of the nonprofit Black Women Build. Conventional wisdom holds that the answer to America’s housing crisis has been—how can we build new homes, build them cheaply, build them fast, and build them at scale? But every new building we put up is a carbon debt—tons of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. We need other strategies. Metropolis editor speaks with Halstead about Black Women Build, which she founded to help Black women purchase rundown houses and learn the skills to rehab the buildings into homes they can live in. Through sheer dint of their labor, women have seen homes that they purchased for $6,000 or $11,000 now be valued at $80,000. It’s a painstaking but thorough way of chipping away at racial and economic inequity, one person and one house at a time.

Episode 05
How Can We All Fight the Climate Crisis?

In this episode, produced in partnership with global flooring manufacturer Interface, Metropolis Editor in Chief Avi Rajagopal sits down with Dr. Katharine Wilkinson and Lisa Conway to discuss how we can all fight the climate crisis—emphasis on all. Dr. Wilkinson is an author, strategist, and teacher. Her books on climate include the best-selling anthology “All We Can Save” and “The Drawdown Review.” She leads the All We Can Save Project, which she cofounded with Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson in support of women leading on climate. She also cohosts the podcast “A Matter of Degrees,” telling stories for the climate curious with Dr. Leah Stokes. As vice president of sustainability at Interface, Conway helps the company work toward their mission: climate take-back. She is also cofounder of the Materials Carbon Action Network and an incredible leader on climate change and sustainability within the architecture and design professions.