Wednesday, April 23, 2008
a look at a community
"It is much more common to complain about time or money than to fume about urban design. In part this is because we think our miseries as being caused by personal problems rather than social problems Americans often say, 'There aren't enough hours in the day', rather than, 'I'm frantic because the distance between my home and my workplace is too great'."
Source: Dolores Hayden, Redesigning The American Dream, The Future of Housing, Work and Family Life.
I found this quote on the slow home site. I find it very interesting, because, being in the building and design industry I find I blame all my problems on urban planning. Granted, I know that there is more at the root cause than just the layout of our homes and roads, but I gotta tell you, being a mom in a suburb can be pretty frustrating sometimes.
So, I've been thinking about doing a decent critique and study of where I live. I have to add that I have a lot of friends who really like being a mom in a Calgary suburb. (Although they do live in much more expensive suburbs, have a tight community of other moms, and feel connected with the culture of the majority... so that helps no?) I am talking about this suburb. When I first moved here I was so excited to meet another mom who lives here. I asked her if she likes living in Rundle. She looked at me shocked..."no!, I mean, this is the only place we could afford, if we could move out, we would" I think her sentiments are felt by most people who live in this neighborhood... and now, after a couple years here, also by me... but WHY???
The low income community, the fact that it is north and east of the city, it is a community made up, mostly, of immigrants, known for crime, not a lot of services, proximity to industrial areas, accessed by freeways, the biggest amenity being a large mall...these could all be reasons...
but then, there is a lot of green space, there is public transit, there is urban planning that involves schools and shops in walking distance, people own their own homes... so lets see!