Open Space Seattle:2100

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Healthy, Human Cities

The Sydney Herald reports about the "nature-culture war" noting that there is rather "a fortuitous nature-culture alignment; what's best for cities is also best for nature." Here's what they say:

"It's a familiar paradigm, the nature-culture war. And it implies that the more intense the culture, the worse it is for nature, making cities, as our most intense cultural monuments, enviro-evil central. Turns out, though, that this is a misconstruction, just our old need to polarise.

In fact, cities represent a fortuitous nature-culture alignment; what's best for cities is also best for nature (which is good for citizens, and so on). A sustainable city is virtually indistinguishable from a healthy one - which is just as well, since by next year, says the UN, cities will be the dominant habitat of this over-dominant species.

Professor Howard Frumkin, the director of the National Centre for Environmental Health in Atlanta, spoke in Sydney last week on the public-health impact of car-dominated cities, especially regarding epidemics of heart disease, cancer, asthma, obesity, diabetes and depression."

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