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The next small thing: How sustainable neighborhoods could reshape cities

The next small thing: How sustainable neighborhoods could reshape cities | Matt's Geography Portfolio | Scoop.it
Residents and planners around the country are dreaming up innovative ways to create eco-friendly, self-reliant communities. But turning ideas into reality is a tall order.

 

Urban revitalization projects gentrification have been an important part of the American scene since the 1990s.  As we reconsider the city, and some of the associated issues with dense living, many are also thinking about the environmental impact of urban life and rethinking how to make neighborhoods more sustainable.  This article uses the Denver Lower Downtown (LoDo) neighborhood as its case study for analyzing sustainability with the city.  


Via Seth Dixon, Gregory S Sankey Jr.
Matthew DiLuglio's insight:

I have totally thought about this before, and a family that I know just spent the past several months remodeling their house to be more 'green.'  I think that in addition to energy, neighborhoods could have community grow-ops, where they grow all the necessary crops to sustain their area- fruits, vegetables, grains, cotton, etc. and I think that the communities would be cleaner, greener, and brought more together if they had the opportunity to work every day to provide for themselves and their community.  I miss out on a lot of enjoyment in life because I have to do things like school.  Other people miss out because they have work, or other obligations.  I think that if people farmed as communities, it would be economically, environmentally, and socially proficuous, as well as eliminating a need for capitalistic trade with other regions, where people might get cheated.  I have so many ideas of Utopia that I have gotten from reading and philosophizing with friends and acquaintences, but there really are so few people that have the ability to implement anything on a large scale, that I am often frustrated with these concepts of 'betterment.'  It really is sad that people are taught so much these days, because their brains are full of garbage, rather than new possibilities.  It would be really interesting to have an experimental colony where these ideas of sustainability could be tried out, but I think that will happen long after my generation has died.

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Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, November 19, 2013 3:11 PM

Here we have the perfect example of the positive effects associated with gentrification. Unused and weathering space being revitalized and re-purposed for the benefit of local economy and communitites. Not only that but the intention of these projects is to also operate in an ecologically sustainable manner by using as little resources as possible. The occupation of mill space is something that's even been seen here in Providence, most notably the hope artiste building in Pawtucket on the Providence line.

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The Ambiguous Triumph of the “Urban Age”

The Ambiguous Triumph of the “Urban Age” | Matt's Geography Portfolio | Scoop.it

"At the very moment when urban population has been reported to surpass the rural, this distinction has lost most of its significance, at least in many parts of the affluent world. Two hundred years ago, before automobiles, telephones, the internet and express package services, cities were much more compact and rural life was indeed very different from urban life. Most inhabitants of rural areas were tied to agriculture or industries devoted to the extraction of natural resources. Their lives were fundamentally different from those of urban dwellers."


Via Seth Dixon
Matthew DiLuglio's insight:

I have spent a lot of time in cities.  I think that urbanization as well as popularity of city-jobs will come to a halt once other planets are colonized.  People will be able to spread out and move towards equilibrium and equality, but right now, cities seem like an excuse to open up potential for danger.  In AVP II: Requiem, the people were ordered to the main area of city for an 'evacuation.'  This evacuation never happened; instead, the area was bombed.  It seems more strategically optimal for foreign or alien invasions to have people living closely in urban areas than it would for them to be spaced out in various country areas.  I know it is terrible to think about that sort of stuff, but the title of this article is "The Ambiguous Triumph of the 'Urban Age,'" and I don't think that cities and urbanization are triumphant at all.  I live in the sticks in Scituate, and I have had so many incredible spiritual experiences in the woods, and deep philosophical discussions with friends there, that I really condemn cities for what it takes away from the spirtual/animal part of being human.  I fear evolution will bring about mass dystopia- as it has done in some countries, and I also do not think that automobiles are a good thing.  I really disapprove of so many things in cities and urban societies, and I am unhappy when I see praise brought into the contexts of terrible achievements that damage the Earth.

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