TED Conversations

Susan Brooks

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How do we fix the sprawl?

I'm from Houston. Actually, just outside Houston, but near enough to it to make my point. I live in the suburbs. My city is very spawled. Once a city has already been built around the need of a car, how would/could that town "fix" the infrastructure to allow it to be more walkable? What's the first step? Who do I need to talk to in my local government to try to get these changes made?


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    Nov 20 2013: Your local government could limit sprawl through policy; in theory they could establish a boundary of urban growth. In reality is hard to accomplish because of politics and the democratic system where they have to listen to property owners and their rights to live as they please. In my opinion what was done it cannot be 'undone', at least not in our life time...the mentality has to change. Not sure if it happens the same in other places (maybe in Australia?)
    • Nov 20 2013: Who's mentality needs to change.

      I did a stint in politics and quickly realized that it was my mentality that was changed. There are no easy answers and no clear cut boundaries marking the right way to live. Those people thatcare clear on the right way to do things are the most troubling.
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      Nov 20 2013: Anairda and Vincent,
      I suggest that for a plan to work well, everyone needs to be working cooperatively toward the same goal. Which means that if some people are politically or financially motivated for their own personal gain, it doesn't work.

      We had this situation in the village where I live years ago.....the local government was driven by a handful of people who were concerned ONLY with their personal gain. Therefor, the rules and regulations were molded around what those people wanted for themselves.

      Unfortunately, there were a lot of things done that adversely impacted the community, and only served to fill certain people's pockets. I don't agree Anairda, that what was done cannot be undone. Although there are some things that cannot be changed, there are certainly some things that can be changed.

      I observe Vincent, that people who profess to be clear on the "right way to do things", are probably telling everyone that their idea is "right" because that is what they want for themselves. A sustainable community, that benefits individuals AND the whole, is a cooperative effort, with everyone in the community involved.
      • Nov 21 2013: Everyone working cooperatively towards the same goal is an interesting but unrealistic idea in my community, i guess our diversity is what makes us interesting. My thought is that when the powerful or the majority have a wonderful goal they should at least accept that there people who think differently.

        Since i am almost always the one thinking differently I know what it is like to be marginalized by someone elses goal.

        Fortunately in America there are many ways to travel the road less traveled.
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          Nov 21 2013: Vincent,
          We can be diverse AND working toward the same goal. We can think and feel differently in some respects, and still working toward the same goal(s). This is not an unrealistic idea at all........to some of us:>)
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      Nov 21 2013: Anairda,
      You say..." ...what was done it cannot be 'undone', at least not in our life time".

      It is being done NOW my friend. Have you watched this TED video?

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