Author Archives: Nat Zorach

About Nat Zorach

Nat Zorach is an urban development and energy professional working in Detroit and Chicago.


This week, I am riding RAGBRAI, Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, after talking about doing it for the better part of a decade. The 430 mile adventure travels from Orange City in the far northwest of the state … Continue reading

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Making Michigan Transit Work: Coming Soon, or a Pipe Dream?

Detroit has a reputation of being pretty weak on public transit, and it’s not undeserved. Southeast Michigan in general is, predictably, heavily dependent upon automobiles, with fixtures like the peculiar Michigan Left dominating inexplicably expansive thoroughfares that traverse sparsely populated … Continue reading

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Highlighting Detroit’s Sustainable Community Development Projects

  “We often hear about how it’s great to get like-minded people together in the same place,” one USGBC-DRC member said in a lunch conversation, “when, in reality, preaching to the choir is about the last thing we need for … Continue reading

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Up In Smoke: How LIHEAP Could (But Doesn’t) Reduce State Deficits And Carbon Footprint

WBEZ reported this morning that Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s deficit crusade will slash utility bill subsidies for lower-income customers through Illinois’ contribution to LIHEAP, or Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Rauner’s argument in favor of cutting the $165 million in … Continue reading

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Greenbuild to Canfield Green: The Missing Link of Social Equity in Sustainability

In a few short hours, I am going to be attending a holiday party, a joint event put on by the Chicago-based Illinois chapter of the US Green Building Council and the Passive House Alliance Chicago. There will be food, … Continue reading

Posted in Cities & Urban Planning, Missouri, Poverty, St. Louis, Urban development, Urban Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Fraught Comeback of American Manufacturing

I figured it was time to weigh in on the debate over Detroit-based Shinola, a company that has gotten a lot of attention as well as some seriously critical coverage in recent months, after I read Philadelphian blogger Zoe Gould’s … Continue reading

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Sustainable Summer in the City

  This week I’m attending the 2014 Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy, an annual, two-week intensive seminar on sustainability hosted at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The program’s packed schedule includes trips to Argonne National Lab, with whom … Continue reading

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Past, Present, and Promise in the Prototypical Failed Steel Town

On Monday I had the privilege to explore McKeesport, a city twenty minutes south of Pittsburgh in my home state of Pennsylvania. The city had popped up on my radar last year because of the renovation of a historic YMCA … Continue reading

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Lyft Some Weight Off The Argument

The ridesharing debacle made its debut most recently in St. Louis over Easter weekend. Members of the young, hip intelligentsia are at odds, not for the first time, with the city fathers, with a judge issuing an injunction banning Lyft … Continue reading

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USGBC: Illinois LEEDs Green Construction!

The US Green Building Council announced that Illinois and the District of Columbia led the nation in new square footage per person of LEED construction. Illinois came in second behind D.C. (or, the first-ranked bona fide state, if we’re using … Continue reading

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