The recent heat wave sweeping the nation gave me good reason to hide in the air-conditioning and finish a book. There is no better reading material than Green Metropolis by David Owen whilst lounging in my temperate, palatial oasis.
Green Metropolis – Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are the Keys to Sustainability was published in 2009 and presents yet another course of action for us humans to take from our recent sprawling, self-indulging ways.
The cover art actually explains the 324 pages quite well. However, the contents of the 324 pages are very well thought out, well worth the read, and provide an eloquent sales pitch for people (mainly Americans) to get their heads out of the sand when it comes to some hard issues.
It starts off as a boy meets girl, fall in love, live in Manhattan, then flee the city for the burbs of New York typical saga. But the author has the ability to look at his past and present situations with a very keen eye, and realizes what a lot of urban historians suggest for cities – to be more like Manhattan.
To some, this might seem as a grand plan, and if you haven’t read any other literature on the history of cities or the current state, then it might not be the right timing for you to read this. To those of us who don’t wear I ❤ NY shirts Monday through Friday, why should we care?
Really, only ignorance should lead us not to care, for it is the complex structure of who and what Manhattan is and does to people is what could make our cities of the future better.
There are far too many high level perspectives throughout the book, and to try and summarize them all in my rinky-dink blog would be an insult to the book. What I recommend is that you read the book with an open mind and allow yourself to get past your own hangups of what you “think” cities are. You must also allow yourself to understand that true environmentalism encourages dense cities and discourages modernist style suburban development. Most of what we have been trained to think and believe in is actually contradictory to what “green living” really is.
Believe me, I am not solely on a mission to seek out books, blogs, websites, and thoughts to beat a dead horse, but until someone suggests that sprawling developments, driving frivolously, mindlessly consuming, and being ridiculously wasteful is the wave of the future, I’ll keep recommending books like Green Metropolis.