Dare to Live Outdoors

The old cool: Sealing yourself inside suburban air conditioning. The new cool? According to Howard Blackson, it's the joy to be found outside, connecting with one another and the world we share.

1 minute read

January 22, 2013, 9:00 AM PST

By Hazel Borys


"As we re-populate our downtowns, and watch the crime statistics drop, people are seeing safety in numbers. Jane Jacobs was right about eyes on the street reducing crime. With the sense that it’s indeed safe to be in cities again, it appears that citizens are re-learning how to be connected in an urban context. Downtown’s street cafes, shops and plazas, filled with activity, are proof that we’re succeeding in bringing people back downtown. Safely. This wasn’t always so."

"For many, perhaps the majority, of us, our suburban lives were spent sealed in air-conditioning, interspersed with moments of purported discomfort as we transitioned between the homes, cars, McMansions, big boxes, gyms, schools, Olive Gardens, and Arby’s drive-thrus that characterized our daily lives. Suburban yards became meaningless, as were the landscape berms surrounding our banal office parks and multi-family apartments."

Howard Blackson goes on to explore the city-suburban migration cycle, and concludes that accessible public spaces -- both urban and natural -- are more essential than ever to both sustainability and satisfaction.

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