Footprints

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. ~ Arthur Ashe A few years ago I became intrigued by the concept of ‘carbon footprint’, the sum of all the greenhouse gases — like carbon dioxide — emitted by someone’s actions. Early on, the size of your footprint was represented by the […]

Where Do the Children Play?

“…if we build a city that allows children and youth to thrive, we are inherently building an inclusive, sustainable city for everyone.” ~ City of Toronto, quoted by Lloyd Alter A scream, shouts and high-pitched laughter. The kids down the block are engaged in some complex game that seems like an amalgam of tag, Marco […]

Small Green Spaces

Now more than ever, in an age when children grow up staring at tiny screens all day and Earth itself is threatened by human heedlessness and folly, it’s critically important to protect those places and get out to experience them as often as possible. But it is not necessary to live exclusively in the world […]

Barefoot

“…the tactile details of a landscape that often pass unnoticed. They are durably imprinted memories, these footnotes, born of the skin of the walker meeting the skin of the land….Walking barefoot, you are freshly sensitive to the nap of the landscape. The Old Ways, A Journey on Foot, Robert Macfarlane  I remember running out of […]

When is Public Space Not Public?

At the end of our street, where the pavement ends, an orange plastic fence stretched across the trail leading into an undeveloped area. A small sign noted that the trail was closed. Knowing it was just a few hundred yards to the regional bike trail — and following in the footprints of many others — […]

Sprawl

To me, it is a landscape of scary places, the geography of nowhere, that has simply ceased to be a credible human habitat. ~ James Howard Kunstler, The Geography of Nowhere Some would say that urban sprawl is the major quality of life issue of our times. We see it every day, driving from our […]

Waste Not

“Whatever you do, don’t make any jokes about organized crime,” she said and gave us a serious look. It was just after the passage of the national solid and hazardous waste laws (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976), and companies that had landfills and other waste disposal facilities had to complete a ton of […]