Sunday, October 23, 2011

Healthy Urbanism

A quote from Peter Calthorpe's recent book, Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change, that I feel is a perfect metaphor for the current condition of many of our cities - and Albuquerque certainly resembles these remarks:

"Urbanism so defined has been on the wane for the last half century. Our cities and towns have been on a high-carbon diet - and our metropolitan regions have become, in short, obese. Oil is like a high-sugar and high-starch diet for cities; it expands the waistline without nourishing strength or resilience. Urban neighborhoods are like healthy diets: they build on unique places and local history, they use natural ingredients and mix them well, they tend toward local sources, and they are lean. America's postwar suburbs are like fast food: their history and sense of place trumped by mass production; their ingredients dominated by a few generic staples; their resource distant and large; and their infrastructure highly subsidized. Our urban footprint-its physical size and resource demands - has expanded in unsustainable ways for too long."

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