Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Built Environment

In November we had Dan Burden speak at our Sustainability on the Edge event and recently posted his talk at TEDx Manhattan Beach on the blog. He showed us what we can accomplish when we work together and listen to each other.

Dan showed us how we can create a good environment; a happy, healthy and safe place for young and old alike. This built environment must be for people and not just for the private vehicle. In the talk, we were advised that we could learn a lot from some people like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

A good built environment must have room for walking, safe lanes for bicycles, parks (that can be seen by shops and homes close by), and good public transportation. This will lead to a better quality of life for all and give people real choice and equality.

On that note, our current transportation system is not equitable or accessible. Some people who immigrate to Canada may initially struggling due to the fact that they must to learn to drive and buy their own car to find work and keep a job. When I was working with the Salvation Army, I learned there were many working poor people and they had a hard time owning and maintaining their own private vehicle. There are also middle class people who cannot afford to provide a vehicle for every member of the family. If you are unable to drive due to health reasons, you may also find yourself at a disadvantage. Even is cars were free, we simply cannot build enough roads and bridges for every person to own their own private vehicle and that is why we should listen to people like Dan when it comes to place making.

No comments: