Energy and Environmental Building Association, 1999
Jamie and Shari had an ever-increasing free range within which they could exercise their will without adult supervision - translate that adult management, translate that adult control. Along with their spiritual training, I think this largely explains why they are both creative, free-spirited, willful adults today, they had lots of practice starting from a young age.
There are three reasons why children with a free range are the cornerstone of a modern sustainable community.
First, children are our future and their social and physical health is at the heart of what it means to have a community that sustains itself over the long haul.
Second, if a community provides a free range for children, everyone in the community will enjoy and benefit from the same freedom.
Third, when children play with each other according to their natural uninhibited childishness and inquisitiveness, it draws the adults into the society the children create.
Which, of necessity, draws the adults into relationships with each other.
If you take nothing away from my talk today, take this: You can forget about a sustainable environment or sustainable communities if we do not return again to the timeless, proven ways of building communities that nurture children.
Alexandria and Victoria are the oldest of my six grandchildren. I reviewed every element of design in HomeTown with these young ladies in mind. HomeTown is designed for children - for my grandchildren.
However, very few families make the special needs and growth potential of their children an active part of the decision as to whether to buy a home in a real neighborhood or an average subdivision.
As a country, the only real asset that we have is our children. As parents, there is nothing more important to us than our children.
Most builders do not design houses and neighborhoods "for" children because children don't make the home buying decision.
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More by Perry Bigelow
- The Spirituality of Sustainability
- Building and Development Philosophy: Cultural and Environmental Sustainability
- Energy and Environmental Building Association, 1999
- Think Differently - Think Creatively
- Bibliography - Neighborhood Planning, Community & Ecology