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Ziska Childs

Freelancer, united scenic artists

TEDCRED 200+

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How do we get back the neighborhood?

Of course I'm referencing the 2012 TED prize The talk which inspired this question has been posted: Jen Pahlka talking about "Peace Corps for Geeks" aka- coding for government. One of the ideas in that talk which resonated for me was it's not about making the bureaucracy easier- it's about solving the problems. More often than not that means getting the bureaucracy out of the way and letting people be neighborly. "Adopt a fire hydrant"- shovel it out when there's a snow storm. That's pretty simple stuff and it promotes Community - with an upper case "C".

I've seen my own home town go from a place where I could walk to everything (the butcher the baker the candlestick maker) to one where there are 30,000 vehicle round trips a day. This is for a town of 6000 residents. The service providers drive in and out for work. The residents drive out and in to go to school, the hospital, the rec center and to find lower priced goods. Employee housing (also out of town-but closer) has resulted in a boost for the construction industry which increases the service trips in and out. Placing a transfer tax on real estate has favored flipping and cowboy development. I only mention this to emphasize that treating the symptom doesn't work and the unintended consequences can be devastating.

So, how do we get back the neighborhood? How do we get back the Community?

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    Apr 3 2012: Dear Ms. Childs,
    It is a strange thing I've found. Having lived in big cities all my adult life, (NYC, LA, etc.) , it has been an eye opening experience to find the rural now area I live in to be the strongest sense of Community (Capital C) I have ever known. It has taken time, and a few crises, and talking to my neighbors and giving and getting help from them to give me the comfortable peaceful existence I think you crave. My experience tells me the answer to your question is this: Move to a rural area and start over.
    Warmest regards,
    Gerald

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