I'm doing a CNU21 session Saturday on Agrarian Urbanism and the Mormon Grid, and I'm also participating in the Salt Lake City Interrotta, which examines the things you can do with the Mormon Grid, which is an enormous 660' on each side. Unfortunately, I hadn't even begun the drawing below, which is central to both events, before arriving. So I spent the first eight hours of the Congress camped out next to NextGen's Engaging the Plat of Zion jam session that explored the Mormon Grid as well. Please stop by Saturday at 10:45 AM in Grand Ballroom BC for the Agrarian Urbanism and the Mormon Block session!
I got the drawing printed and taped it onto the Interrotta boards as the sole late entry just in time for the opening plenary, which was excellent. Keynote speaker Richard Louv wrote Last Child in the Woods. The following are selected tweets from my tweet-cast of Richard's presentation:
• We give community associations power we would never consider giving to government. Even the color of your curtains is regulated.
• A community association in Florida actually banned children playing outdoors.
• Access to nature is exceptionally important to child development.
• I'm much more interested in nearby nature than the wilderness.
• People who once knew nature never lose what nature taught them, even in the densest of cities.
• Kids' time in nature has decreased 50% since the 1990s.
• For all of human history until now, kids have spent most of their waking hours in nature.
• Child abductions have been decreasing for 30 years, but you'd never know it by watching the news media.
• Preschoolers are the fastest-growing segment of the population in antidepressant use.
• Studies have shown that health metrics of people who sit for long periods of time are very close to those of smokers. Sitting is the new smoking. Especially for our kids.
• Studies have shown that the ability to learn goes up with contact with nature.
• Run on a treadmill and get healthier. Run outdoors (green exercise) doing the exact same mileage and get even healthier.
• Nature Deficit Disorder is a malady our kids have been increasingly suffering from for several decades now.
• There are many child maladies for which pediatricians should be prescribing nature.
• You don't get a bigger constituency by talking in acronyms, or just to each other.
• Environmentalism is in trouble. We need a new nature movement. Today's average environmentalist is 67 years old.
• A young hipster told me "All my life I've been told it's too late for the environment." New Urbanism says it's not too late.
• As of 2008 more people on earth live in cities than the countryside. This is a huge moment, and largely unremarked in the news media.
• William McDonough: "Environmentalism says: your carbon footprint is too big. The unspoken implication is that: "We'd be better off without you." That's no way to sell an idea!"
• William McDonough: "Sustainability isn't good enough, because it just means keeping things going like they are. Do you just want a sustainable marriage? Don't you want something better? Not just carbon neutral."
• The new nature movement is one that brings life.
I walked back toward the Peery Hotel with Tim Halbur for the evening debates, but neither of us had eaten, so we stopped in to the Market Street Cafe for a quick (we thought) dinner. Several of our New Urbanist colleagues were just arriving, so we got a big table. Just after ordering, someone on the other side of the street said "wow, look at that!" We all turned around, gaping at the scene above. The Grand America Hotel three blocks away where the Congress was being held, was bathed in sunset light, set off by a stunning rainbow laid against a dark sky thick with clouds. A good omen for a great Congress!
PS: Here are my upcoming sessions… please come!
Walk Appeal: Tonight at 8 PM at the Peery Hotel
Barranco Award presentation: Tomorrow at 9 AM at the start of the morning plenary
Original Green Hope for Architecture (with Clay Chapman): Tomorrow at 8:30 PM at the Peery Hotel
Agrarian Urbanism and the Mormon Block: Saturday at 10:45 AM, Grand Ballroom BC
Art Room: Design Techniques for Charrettes: Saturday at 2 PM, Murano room
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