My friend Heather at Mama Is just told me about Walkscore. It's a website that calculates how walkable your neighborhood is, according to how close things like grocery stores, libraries, and schools are. I plugged in a bunch of addresses and had fun comparing.
Our wonderful neighborhood got a 75 (out of 100), which is very good. My sisters house in Brooklyn got a 89, other sis in Santa Monica 88, sis in the burbs of CT 6, sis in the burbs of RI 3, parents in small mill town in MA 66. My old hood in northeast LA 69. The White House gets a 98. W's ranch in Crawford, a big 0. But a place like Polyface Farm in VA, the height of sustainable ag, also gets a 0.
The Walkscore blog had this video about the "New Urbanism" on it. It's catchy and slick and makes some very good points. They blame many of the world's ills on sprawl. It's a bit tongue in cheek (Cul-De-Sacs!!). The idea of more efficient use of space for humans is very appealing to my virgo love of re-organizing closets etc. It's common sense really, but one concept is not going to "save the world". It's all connected after all. If you don't look at where the food, energy, water and waste are coming from and going to, in relation to the denser neighborhoods, as well as the elephant in the room of too many people, you are not going to succeed in being SUSTAINABLE.
This is a word I am getting sick of. I like the word REGENERATIVE - something that can not only maintain itself without taking more than it gives, but actually improves ecosystems, restoring them to their previous healthy states. And another great word is RESILIENT. Rob Hopkins of Transition Towns clued me into that one. Resilience - a capacity to adapt to or ability to recover from changing conditions. We are certainly in for a lot more changing conditions, from the economy to the climate. Cultivating resilience as individuals and communities is a timely idea.