Links for the week of Jul 30th

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Continue reading Links for the week of Jul 30th

Shared Links for Jun 26th – Jul 7th

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Shared Links for Jun 25th – Jun 26th

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Shared Links for Jun 25th

Shared Links for Jun 15th

  • Being “Used To” Our Lifestyle Makes Change Seem Difficult – The range of lifestyles which people have been able to become accustomed to and enjoy throughout history and spread out over the globe, is immense. Some of them are sustainable; ours is not. The willingness to experiment and accept change, to be flexible at a societal level, is of paramount importance today, and has in the past meant the difference between survival and obliteration for countless other civilizations, as detailed in Jarod Diamond's book "Collapse". But change is hard, whether you drive an SUV and have managed to shave your lifestyle requirements down to 8 earths from 10, or whether you're the child of a prostitute in Calcutta. We are creatures of habit, quite literally. (tagged: sustainability film energy green stuff money )
  • The Need for Geoengineering – A WSJ op-ed advocating near term geoengineering, of the stratospheric sulfate aerosol variety. It would be fast acting, relatively easy to reverse, and of the options on the table today, is the least mysterious, since it's not so different from the effects of a large (historically speaking) volcanic eruption like Mt. Pinatubo. The author cautions that even at best, all this would do is give us time: we still need to get the atmosphere back to ~350ppm. What a fascinating modern age it is we live in! (tagged: climate technology geoengineering )
  • Early Reviews of NYC’s New High Line Park – A round up of several reviews of the High Line Park, which has just opened in NYC. (tagged: architecture urban design landscape garden parks nyc )
  • The High Line – An abandoned elevated freight rail line in Manhattan is reborn as a long linear park three stories above the streetscape. I love how the design incorporates the rails and the overgrown feeling that the old line had developed on its own. This and the closure of Broadway at Times Square makes me want to visit New York. Inspiring to see that this kind of change is possible. (tagged: urban design architecture green garden parks nyc )
  • Pedalpalooza 2009 – Wow, a two week long bicycle festival in Portland, spanning the summer solstice? Sounds like a wonderful way to start a bike tour! Hopefully it will still be going on next summer. (tagged: bicycle transportation oregon portland festival activism )

Shared Links for Jun 7th

Shared Links for May 29th

Shared Links for May 26th

What Are Cities For?

Kurt recently asked me:

Assuming (1) that you like the outdoors, open spaces, gardening, etc. and (2) that you would prefer high-density urban design to low-density, suburban, car-oriented sprawl, then how would you fuse these two together in an ideal town? If my assumptions are wrong, I realize my question is moot.

I am asking because I like the idea of owning acres of land, but not the idea of having to drive everywhere, and I wonder if those two desires are mutually exclusive.

and it got me thinking about what my ideal city would be like, and how close one can get to that in this lifetime, especially on this continent.  I’m going to make this an exercise in creative idealism.  Kurt’s assumptions are right, and I do feel torn, especially having grown up in a rural area, on 8 acres of oak woodland with a creek running through it.  I am completely sympathetic to the pastoral urge, but that urge is not and never has been satisfied by the suburban existence which has come to typify the American experience in the last half century.

A small urban plaza

Continue reading What Are Cities For?

Shared Links for May 21st