A recent Planetizen interview on the relationship between park space and active living got me thinking about what spaces inspire physical activity and what spaces discourage it.
In my old apartment complex, the indoor fitness centers were jammed while the nearby riverside walking trails were desolate, despite nearly perfect year-round weather. Why? The trails were perceived as unsafe because they were completely isolated from view.
I have to admit, listening to Peter Lovenheim talk about his book “In the Neighborhood, The Search for Community on an American Street, One Sleepover at a Time”, spiked my planner’s radar. In his novel, the journalist, quite intentionally, well, the title is self-explanatory isn’t it? It sounded a bit hokey and contrived at first, as did the interview. Lovenheim explained that the only way to truly get to know someone and develop a real sense of intimacy and bond was to sleep in their home and shadow them for the day. But the real story is about the loss of intimacy and comfort among neighbors.