“We cannot continue to believe that the landscape is sacred and the city is profane. They must both be considered sacred.”~Paul Murrain (British Urbanist, Sr. Design Director, the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment)
There is a blooming meadow outside your office window. Hollyhocks, lavender, daisies and thyme. Rich summer green. Birds singing. Insects humming. Wind rustling in a leafy trellis. Jasmine, rose, and meadowsweet. The spicy aroma of sage.
Fresh. Someone must just have mowed a lawn. Bee hives. Butterflies dancing in groups of three, four, five. Heavy traffic at the birdfeeders. Nearby, the sound of fresh flowing water. Sensation of coolness. A pleasant breeze.
It’s summer. As darkness falls, an abundance of little brown bats swarming…
Welcome to the city!
The city of the future. Humanity has finally made the necessary shift to shape its environment to suit its actual survival needs. We have finally made our well-being a priority. We have finally made community a priority. We have remembered our birthright to joy. As a result: there is less stress. Crime is down. People feel better able to cope. The goal is a shared one: to take care of the garden. The garden of Urban.
Since the majority of populations live in urban centers now, it’s here that the primary shift had to occur. We finally decided to build environments, which bring us joy, which make us feel well, happy, and therefore healthy.
Celebrating community. Like Greensgrow Farms in Philadelphia, where since 1997 the idea of unused and abandoned land has been rethought to create farms that convert veggie waste composts into fertilizer, shipping containers into a garden shop and rain gutters into planters. All for the good of the local community.
Greensgrow’s mission: By 2020, people in Philadelphia and communities all across America will see urban agriculture as a useful tool in creating and sustaining regional food economies.
Places like the Brooklyn Grange, rooftop farm, which sprang to life in 2010, have proven, that urban agriculture can exist to produce healthy vegetables for the community while improving the local ecosystem at the same time.
Urban centers can be regenerative places. Rejuvenating. Restorative places. Biophilic. Nature-full. Joy-full.Not merely sustaining life, but growing life.
The recipe it turns out has always been a simple one. We have known it since time immemorial. It’s been in our DNA all along. Lodged in our nervous system, our very brains. Hardwired.
All we had to do is remember. And trust the memory of Nature’s elements that made us who and what we are. We are designed to thrive in a specific habitat: a bio-diverse, abundant nature-full habitat. It feels like home. Because it is.
It’s what we crave because we know instinctively that we must have it to survive. We must breathe Nature, smell Nature, feel it, hear it, touch it, live it, eat it to be whole. We must be immersed in it.