Open-source, affordable, green housing on the way

Everyone's been talking the past year or so about global warming, going green, etc. In terms of housing, green construction standards (such as the US Green Building Council's LEED) have been a hot topic in the U.S. and in other parts of the world (India's wealthiest resident is building a 60-story "green" home in Mumbai). It's all well and good that wealthy people like Al Gore are going green with their mansions, but what about the estimated 1/3 of the population that will be living in slums by 2030?

Architect Cameron Sinclair might tell you with a straight face that those people will make decent homes out of wealthier people's "green" refuse. Sinclair, winner of 2006's TED prize, started the Open Architecture Network to spread affordable housing throughout the world — a rather impressive goal. The projects in the network are rather interesting, to say the least. According to Sinclair, "Someone's working on a $700 house. The Now House is a World War II retrofitted home that's carbon-neutral... There's a spinach-powered house, there's a grow-your-own clinic, a clinic you eat. All of these projects have to be sustainable." So even though the gap between rich and poor isn't shrinking, it's good to know that people like Cameron Sinclair are planning a future that's better for everyone.