Green: Within Our Grasp (Interview with the Montreal Gazette)

Last week I had a great talk with Peggy Curran of the Montreal Gazette. A big chunk of it  has just came out in an Earth Day feature in today's paper.

Curran was looking for an alternative angle to post-Copenhagen dissapointment and has profiled a variety of environmental activists and researchers. The focus is on ways that people can engage and work around some of the road-blocks and dead ends that we've seen so far. A few excerpts are below, you can find the full article here.
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"Everybody deserves a 20-minute neighbourhood," said Aylett. "It's not reasonable to have to get in your car and drive several miles to get a litre of milk." He dreams of more densely-packed districts where houses are smaller and more efficient and it's possible to walk to the park, take in a movie or go to the local arena by foot, bike or public transit within 20 minutes.

"Instead of talking about the exception which proves the rules, we should be creating the exception that changes the rules," he said. "All too often, someone's smart idea gets blocked because of rules which were designed for a different era. Ask a city why you can't put up solar panels on your roof and they'll cite a bylaw written to prevent homeowners from putting an extra storey on their triplex." That doesn't mean individuals are off the hook in Aylett's campaign to change the way we live. Far from it.

"Growing tomatoes in your yard is not going to make a huge difference to greenhouse gas emissions or global food security. But it will change how you see the issues.

"Doing something concrete is the foundation for community engagement.



Photograph by: Adrian Dennis/ AFP / Getty Images, AFP / Getty Images

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This is a blog for news and views on the future of sustainable cites. A major revamp is in the works. Until then I am keeping this version up as an archive of my past writing.

You can expect occasional updates, but not with the same frequency as in the past.

You can also find my writing on urban redesign and sustainability in ReNew Canada, The Mark, Sustainable Cities Canada, WorldChanging, and other more specialized academic publications.

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