Red Shoulder Hawk

Red Shoulder Hawk

Thursday, June 02, 2005


Rebuild the city to save the environment!

It's a great idea. We're all working on a plan to get us there. Here's a visualization tool. It represents the boundary between three states: for example, full urban space, lightly developed space, and natural space. Or what we know, what we think we know, and what we don't know. Or any set of three things which we can assign edges to.

All too often, we try to make straight lines. Suburbia is the ultimate, diseased expression of this aspect of our botched creativity. We build square miles of single-family homes, and all the roads and sewers and high-tension lines that requires, then we set a small cultivated area around that, and we build a fence at the edge of the wild space.


We're learning how to have the edges of things be "messy," that is, folded so that there is more edge per unit area. We have an affinity for these kinds of places; why don't we choose to build this way? Develop urban areas so there are neighborhoods and retail and semi-native areas all shoulder to shoulder. Make sure our commercial areas have some open space for wildlife. Mix it up a little. Discipline ourselves to build thriving communities that don't require the use of a car when we remember to buy toilet paper and milk at 10 o'clock at night.

That's the future I'm building towards.

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