Rice looks at several attempts by builders and architects to create a model "New Economy" home, and documents the rough road they've had bringing the "smaller is better" mindset to the masses.
Rice interviews a who's who of planning minds for the article, including Andrés Duany, Marianne Cusato, Witold Rybczynski, Christopher Leinberger, and Sarah Susanka. Most are hopeful but somewhat jaded about their experiences trying to design smaller, smarter homes and getting them sold. Rybczynski talks about his experience developing the economical "Grow Home" in the early 90s, while Cusato is actually having some success today working with developer LeylandAlliance.
Duany, according to Rice, observed that "buyers will only accept smaller homes, he says, if their surroundings compensate them."