March 1, 2013
March is finally here and with it–marching in lockstep motion–comes the frigidity we’ve been experiencing since December of last year. I could go on and on but alas, I’ll stop here. Instead, today I wanted to share with you a very cool video podcast I came across not so long ago.
Ever heard of PBS.org? They’re a Public Broadcaster in the U.S. with some really top notch-kick-ass video podcasts, most of which are accessible via iTunes, or streaming online from their website. One series in particular called e2 ( e squared) has won me over with its core focus on sustainable design/sustainable living. A Professor Jeffrey Kenworthy from the Sustainable Policy Institute of Curtain University in Australia was interviewed in one episode. I found him particularly insightful and took the liberty of quoting his message below. If you’re interested in checking out the podcast series, the link can be found here.
Professor Jeffrey Kenworthy:
“Currently, about 50% of the global population is urbanized and we’re heading to a situation within the next 15 years or so where two third’s of the world’s population will be urbanized. So cities are a really huge magnets to people and i think we can forget about saying we have to stop the growth of cities, we have to manage that growth and we have to direct that population growth into the kind of forms that can be better serviced more sustainably with less use of resources, with less use of cars. And that in turn means that we’ll actually have to focus much more on the public realm of cities and not just the private realm.
Streets have traditionally been not just for the movement of vehicles only. They have been social space, they have been places where people congregate, talk to one another, places where children play in the streets… The idea of children playing in the streets was with us only, 40-50 years ago and somewhere along the line we changed all that, we gradually gave over the streets to the automobile and the streets became a place of passage only, not a “place.” And that is fundamentally wrong because streets occupy about 20-30% of the land in any metropolitan area and if we just take that all away and say that’s just a purely transportation function, then people have lost a major part of the public realm.
People congregate in cities to have community, to have this casual kind of interaction and support that help to make people thrive. That is what cities should be providing for people, quality of life, outside the door. It’s a focus on the public environment of cities that is what is most lacking in urban development today and that which most sets apart those cities who do decide to actually do it…”
Please share the love below, leave a comment or subscribe to my blog updates! Thanks! (:-)