Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

How We Space Things

Calgary, Alberta

I have been staying at a suburb home in the north east of Calgary. I’ve been also doing a daily trek whatever the weather. And why did I today walk apart from duty? Well, the neighbourhood looks like a Courier and Ives Christmas card, “It’s downright pretty” with crystal like trees and white satin like snow thrown into beautiful mounds by Mother Nature. I like to be in that midst.

But I must admit, there’s something drab about burbs. I can comfortably say that the modern day layout of cities is very non-Vedic. They’re also not practical. Modern cities, which include suburbs are for cars, not for people. I’m going to quote from an article in The Globe and Mail”

“Throughout our whole history, people have walked for transportation. We deleted that,” says Dr. James Sallis, a behavioural psychologist. “We designed that feature out of the world for many many people and now we have the evidence that our planning community design decisions and our transportation decisions are reducing activity and contributing to chronic diseases. “

I like more of what he says, “Every older city is walkable. If they were built before cars they had to be.”

The question in the article asks, “How does this translate into healthier behaviour?” Answer, “The brain is not our friend when it comes to physical activities. We are kind of programmed slothful. As we age, some of the neurons that connect movement centers and reward centers die off, so we lose our ability to get pleasure from activity. That’s why we need spaces that invite people to be active. We need to feed the pleasure center of the brain through our design.”

Sallis also suggested that residential and commercial areas should not be separated. Everything should be walkable friendly.

My thoughts (and of course I agree with the above) are that community is important, and it must be infused with space that can also heighten your spiritual power. How about an acoustical kirtan hall, smack in the middle of a well planned community?

8 KM

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