>John O. Andersen wrote:
> -> We have a choice of whether we're going to spend our energy forever
> -> those who live there how misguided suburban life is, or whether
> we're going
> -> to take positive steps to improve it and promote a more urban lifestyle.
>Suburban life in America *is* misguided, and enormously wasteful and
>destructive. Saying so, as often and in as many ways as necessary, is a
>requisite step in the process of promoting a more urban lifestyle.
A pitch describing the BENEFITS of living in a pedestrian-oriented, carfree
urban development would probably be more persuasive.
> -> And believe it or not, there are baby steps we can take now to make the
> -> suburbs more sustainable; stuff like writing to our legislators
> -> them to support public transportation bills, promoting walking, and
> -> bicycling in our suburban communities, getting out and getting
> involved in
> -> local projects like tree planting, backing mom & pop businesses,
> etc., etc.
>I'm not much interested in baby steps. And I don't think they will make
>much difference in the long run, except to divert energy and attention
>from the core problems.
Increasing support for public transport does address a core
problem. Anything that gets people out in the streets, talking with their
neighbors, supporting local shops, etc, is creating community, perhaps even
urbanity, where it otherwise might never arise.
A much bigger baby step, that nearly every neighborhood is completely
terrified of, is taking an honest, open-minded, and informed look at the
benefits of increasing the DENSITY of the neighborhood. Without this, most
neighborhoods will remain unsustainable, and the benefits of true urbanity
will remain largely out of reach.
> -> I like the idea of positive action rather than finger pointing.
>The first step in positive action is to promote an understanding of what a
>horrendous mess our suburban world has become, of the fact that it is
>the basic shape of the suburbs that created the mess, and of the necessity
>for major alteration of that shape if we are to have any hope of
>correcting the problem. Tweaking won't work.
Tweaking the consciousness of suburbanites, many of whom are beginning to
become disillusioned with the American Dream, with the benefits of
alternatives, might do wonders. Attacking them, and the lifestyle choices
they've made, won't work.