What’s Wrong With the Paint Can?

By Jessie Feller Hahn

Jessie Feller Hahn is the Executive Director of Meeting of the Minds. She is an experienced urban planner, specializing in urban-regional policy with a particular focus on sustainability and clean energy. Previously, Jessie launched the successful Regional Energy Policy Program at Regional Plan Association in New York City. She has written numerous articles which have been featured in RPA’s Spotlight on the Region, The Hartford Courant, Urban Age Magazine, The Record, NPR, among others.

Feb 8, 2013 | Announcements | 1 comment

Last night marked the second monthly Meeting of the Minds happy hour meet up in San Francisco. Over fifty great minds showed up to network, have a drink, and meet other leaders working in urban sustainability, planning and innovation. Here are a few of the great Minds that I was able to speak with:

Peter Liu, Founder of New Resource Bank

New Resource Bank is a green bank that loans to clean energy projects, organic farmers, and other socially and environmentally responsible companies and businesses.

The Bank operates like any other bank. Customers can open accounts online, which lowers the bank’s operating costs and enables them to loan to businesses that they believe in. Their mission is “to advance sustainability with everything we do—the loans we make, the way we operate and our commitment to putting deposits to work for good.”

For more information on New Resource Bank, visit NewResourceBank.com.

Brian Stokle, urban planner and cartographer

Brian works as a consultant for various clients including the San Francisco Department of Environment. His latest project, commissioned by SPUR, is a Bay Area Transit Mobility Map which, as far as I know, is the first of its kind to include all Bay Area rail options in one map. The map includes metro, light rail, streetcar, regional rail, and a selection of express buses. The Bay Area transit system is run by multiple agencies – each with their own map – and can be notoriously difficult for tourists (and sometimes even residents) to efficiently navigate.

Brian also created a topographic map showing what would happen in San Francisco in the event of a 25-foot sea level rise. A striking image for anyone living in the city. His maps are available on his blog. I highly suggest you take a peek.

Charles Rashall, President & Founder of brandadvisors

brandadvisors a strategy, innovation and design firm. Last night Charles asked a group of us a seemingly simple question, “what is wrong with the paint can?” The group responded with a few answers:

  • It’s impossible to open and close
  • You can’t see through the can to see the paint color
  • The handle is too thin to carry such a heavy can
  • It’s impossible to dispose of
  • No one knows how to recycle it
  • It’s impossible to pour.

Charles responded, “Yes, the paint can is utterly stupid.”

He told the story of one particular paint company that has completely re-imagined the paint can. Rather than a tin can, he worked with them to develop a plastic, recyclable container that has a handle, a spout for pouring and solves the various problems associated with the historic paint can.

“Why did it take so long to change the paint can?" Charles went on to say, "Things don’t change because they’ve been done the same way for decades, but that’s no excuse not to re-think the way we do things.” Certainly there’s a way to apply this to cities, the environment, transit, etc., don’t you think?

For more information on Charles and his company, visit: brandadvisors.com

Who did you meet?

Who did you meet at our monthly happy hour last night? Give a description in the comments below.

Discussion

Leave your comment below, or reply to others.

1 Comment

  1. I also talked with Brian Stokle and I saw the map he’s created for the SF transit system. As a recent transplant to SF I love the idea and I’m shocked it hasn’t been done yet. It’s no surprise SPUR commissioned the project. Very smart.

    Ed Church of the Institute for Environmental Entrepreneurship was also there and brought some friends and colleagues. I had no idea he was so funny!

    A good representation from SF’s Dutch Consulate made it out, too. Nice to see them.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Read more from the Meeting of the Minds Blog

Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology

Smart Cities Predictions for 2019

While 2018 was filled with a number of successful smart city deployments, it also revealed significant challenges that will only intensify in years to come. The most pressing challenge to be addressed throughout 2019 is earning the public’s trust in smart city projects. Towards the end of 2018, we saw major data privacy concerns emerge from citizens. From these concerns a heated, but healthy discourse between citizens, local governments, and private sector companies rose to mainstream media prominence. Citizens’ expectations of privacy have begun to challenge the murky data privacy policies described by many in the private sector. 2019 will be the year of the smart city for the citizen.

3 Lessons from Chula Vista to Help Clarify A Smart City Vision

Collaboration extends beyond City Hall. Unlike a city like New York, where most government functions are under the purview of the municipal government, a city the size of Chula Vista (population 268,000) or smaller has to collaborate with regional partners, such as school districts, hospital districts, water districts, the port district, and neighboring cities. By keeping dialogue open and working together on major projects we’ve opened up new opportunities for economic development, smart cities pilot initiatives and education.

Autonomous London

AVs can move more people in fewer vehicles on less congested streets compared to private cars. This means that some London streets could be made narrower and spare street space can be reallocated for other uses including bus lanes, cycling lanes, or expanded pavements. Street space can also be released for vegetation, allowing for cleaner streets and better storm water management.

Share This