How can you build efficient Urban communities, homes, and businesses?

You need to log in to create posts and topics.

Work-at-home Design

How about a community designed to support work-at-home jobs? In most cases all you need is a room with its own separate entrance, some common parking, and a restroom. Some folks might use it as an in-law unit. Some might rent out the room. Some might work as hair stylists, parole officers, masseuses, or any other job that has low foot-traffic and requires a small room.

This arrangement might add 20% to the cost of a small, affordable home while providing a permanent income source for some, and solving some childcare issues for jobs that can stand some interruption.


Uploaded files:
  • iStock-670550144.jpg

Maybe there could be a group of volunteers that could also help these potential entrepreneurs navigate the regulations and permits and licensing they are going to face. Maybe a grant that could also help to pay the fees of permits and licensing.

It can be very discouraging when it comes time to clear the government. If they have an advocate to help push them along the success rate would be much greater and they would also gain some knowledge of how it works.

I have written a book that will require props. Without giving away my product checkout Juggling for the complete Klutz at Amazon (a book + bean bags). I was on the verge of contacting an agent and seeking a publisher, when Scott Adams introduced me to Bill Pulte, and I became obsessed with Detroit. (I live in Oregon)

I could self publish. This is a business I could operate from home. The sewing needed for my props is simple, and could be done by employees piece work at home. I've done a back of the envelope calculation for a business, and I think it would be a profitable venture paying employees about $15 an hour. Working from home.

I am sure there are other people like me who have an business idea or invention who are willing to relocate to Detroit, or other blighted areas. The road block is money. I don't have the money to relocate and set myself up in business, so I will probably make a deal with a publisher.

My suggestion is: Set up a platform to vet and promote business proposals and then crowd fund loans or grants to start businesses in a given zip code. A sort of "Shark Tank". With the goal of setting up businesses with the best chance of success, and  will get the most jobs for dollars invested.

Added bonus of adding entrepreneurial minded people to the community who will find more opportunities for other ventures.

Part of the reason for blight is the obvious advantages of living in the cities (where jobs are). There are huge incentives (Russ Roberts has an EconTalk on this). So how do you allow people to benefit from the incentives and not have to live in the city? I think that's the question. Because as soon as it's possible to not live in the city but effectively have a city job, people are going to want to move into areas like this (inexpensive).

I work in Fast Food and there are positions that we have at corporate that would be better served in the community where the restaurant is. This is part of the advantage of small businesses and the disadvantage of huge ones. A local restaurant is always going to feel more at home because it is part of the community instead of a transplant thing that the community only operates like a hamster in a wheel.

So you start hiring those corporate positions in the neighborhoods. We are very close to this from a technical standpoint. Strong internet connections are essential and even more so, a belief that the internet is incredibly reliable.

Any company that allows it's employees to work from home should allow them to work anywhere in the country.

I'm going to start working on a program to make it feel like anyone who works at the restaurants feels like they work at a corporate office.

My big goal is to turn Fast Food back into a real first step to working life and responsibility, a job you can help support your family with, a job interested in your success as an individual no matter what you do in life.

I have some great ideas about how we can prevent the inevitable rise of automation and minimum wage from taking jobs.

Think Emily Post level of etiquette.

There's a serious issue of the soft bigotry of low expectations in food. Nobody wants these jobs for good reason. There is hardly a future and you're treated sub-human.

So what is most important in my head is a reliable strong fast internet. Because you might need to do huge file transfers and you don't want to wait an hour for it. Or if you're in a meeting etc...

Also here's a fun idea:

I would want themed co-working places. So you go to an office building to "work from home" that's in your neighborhood. Everybody there works at different places but they get to be co-workers in a physical place. Also, they should be themed. 50's, 70's, tech startup etc....

Having a place where people can talk by the water cooler is important for human sanity.


Let's make the "bonus room" a flexible design that can be sheathed in various types of walls.  I have in mind a greenhouse, if the standard walls can be changed-out.  (Michiganders need some sunlight.)  There may be plenty of other uses for that room besides a home business.  If we are using a standard design for these homes, built-in flexibility might be economical.

It occurs to me that I could leave my dog in that room and give the dog-walker the access code, without allowing access to my entire home.  (How well do you know your dog-walker?)

Great Article, Thanks for sharing