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Energy and Environmental Building Association, 1999

Perry Bigelow - The Way Neighborhoods Were Meant To Be

3. You cannot have a healthy, sustainable natural ecosystem unless you have healthy sustainable communities; i.e. they are mutually interdependent.

So our foundation is the Bible, Alexander, Bellah, and Berry. 

The primary super structure consists of archetypal patterns from
- Pattern Language
- CoHousing
- Design for Children
- Traditional Neighborhood Design
- And Traffic Calming.

It is the layering of all these patterns that creates the "dense space".

You can pick up a copy of our design bibliography in the back for specific references.
 
III  CHILDREN

The primary cornerstone of a modern sustainable community is children who have a free range and learn through life experience how to reign.

Dallas Willard is a philosopher and chairman emeritus of the UCLA Philosophy Dept. Willard in The Divine Conspiracy says that every person and child has a "kingdom" or queendom,a realm that is uniquely our own, where our choice determines what happens. This reaches to the deepest part of what it means to be a person. We are made to have and want to have dominion within an appropriate domain or range of reality. Willard says that our kingdom is simply the range of our effective will. Whatever we have the say over is our kingdom.

And our having the say over some thing or some space is precisely what places it within our kingdom.

Anyone who has raised a child knows how important it is "to let them do it"- whatever "it" may be, and to do it as soon as practically feasible.

Did you catch that phrase: the range of our effective will.

Do you resonate with the idea of children having a range - a kingdom or queendom that moves as they move? A place or space where the child has the say? 

Some of us, who are concerned about animal care and healthy food, eat "free range chicken" and "free range eggs." You probably have read the account of 1000's of chickens in tiny cages so narrow they can't even turn around, kept in special bright light 24 hours a day to increase egg production, you will never want to eat modern agribusiness's eggs and chickens again.

Would you rather be a free range chicken or that chicken in a tiny cage.

I would submit to you that a child penned up in his suburban 6' solid fenced back yard, because the street he lives on is not safe for children due to strangers in high speed cars and trucks, is little better off than a caged chicken. He has no more relative effective range!He has no more effective ability to learn how to reign responsibly - to exercise his will and creativity in regards to the real world.

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