Sunday, February 26, 2017

DO YOU KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOURS?

                                                     
 

 It seems there is a reason that you walk out of Disneyland after an exhausting and hopefully awesome day, and traverse down Main Street, everyone's fantasy of small town life.    As Charles Montgomery describes in Happy City,  happiness comes from where you live and small is better.  Commuting long distances is a prescription for misery, stress and divorce.

The cost of housing becomes excessively expensive even as people become increasingly urbanized.  Yet people desire ever more exorbitant amounts of space filled with extravagant furnishings.  Montgomery describes an interview with a resident of a what he calls a dispersed community (seems to me it used to called exurbia) who spends three and a half to four hours a day commuting to and from work.   His life is dictated by attempts to beat the traffic.   He leaves work at 5:15 and is lucky to get home by 7:30.   He doesn't trust his neighbours very far but then he doesn't know them.    It didn't help that he was burglarized shortly after moving in.   Family life has suffered.

According to this article building new traffic lanes with the goal of making commutes faster doesn't work.   Within a very short time the traffic increases to fill the available space.

Some people have looked for solutions, for a different way of life.   Minimalist Mom describes a single father who lives with his 5 children in a 1000 square foot condo in downtown Vancouver.   Without a car.   What does it take to make this choice?   The father has embraced minimalism as well as anti-consumerism . . . and bunkbeds!

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