Considering Mindfulness as an Urban Planner's Tool

A recent blog post in Substack considers the appropriation of mindfulness to urban observation and, implicitly, urban planning today.

1 minute read

February 26, 2024, 6:00 AM PST

By Charles R. Wolfe @crwolfelaw

Paved walkways with wood benches in green city park with large trees.

soleg / Adobe Stock

French Street Life--Chuck Wolfe
The Mindful Eye, Streetlife in Bedous, France. Charles R. Wolfe Photo.

Writing in his Substack blog, Chuck Wolfe considers borrowing from the language of self-help — focused on mindfulness and purpose — and makes comparative references to the work of  Jane Jacobs and the “decisive moment” of legacy street photographers:

Along the way, I’ve discovered that “urban mindfulness” is a real thing and a promising construct for engaging with and understanding urban environments. After all, observation, and appreciation of everyday city life, and associated active participation, have ready parallels to the ancient practice of mindfulness meditation.

After noting others who have explored the topic, he notes that using the concept of urban mindfulness could:

  1. Encourage a notable shift in how we perceive and interact with our urban environments. 

  2. Foster an awareness and appreciation for the intricacies of city life, allowing individuals to enhance their well-being and contribute to the collective vitality and resilience of urban communities. 

Friday, February 23, 2024 in Resurgence: A Journey via Substack

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