Thursday, April 12, 2012

Encouraging People Friendly Communities

There are some interesting articles on Planetizen today that all grapple with the big challenge of how we as a society create communities people want to live in.

First, ever wondered where the global 1% live?  A current list of cities, as well as a projection for the top ten cities of the future 1% can be found in the Atlantic Monthly.  Most interesting are the reports on what those who can live anywhere want in their community.  Turns out they desire what almost everyone wants from their community: access to good education, safety and security (read stability, which gets a bit challenging in the face of all that inequality), and a rich cultural life. 

Slate has a great series running on the pedestrian, including an interesting critique of the term itself as boring, pejorative, and even alienating.  The language serves to divorce what is a natural element of the community, walking and experiencing the lived environment on a human scale, from itself. 

It's easy to get caught up in segmenting people--talking about the global elite, the city of the suburb, or the pedestrian city.  But the reality is that what we want is pretty universal--we may argue over which strategies are best for achieving those ends, but we have to remain focused on encouraging people friendly communities.

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