...reform—of transportation, food systems, and so many aspects of the way we live—is no longer about adding bike lanes or buying veggies from a local farmer; the time has come to re-focus on large-scale culture change. Advocates from different movements are reaching across aisles to form broader coalitions. While we all fight for different causes that stir our individual passions, many change agents are recognizing that it is the common ground we share—both physically and philosophically—that brings us together, reinforces the basic truths of our human rights, and engenders the sense of belonging and community that leads to true solidarity.
Even when we disagree with our neighbors, we still share at least one thing with them: place. Our public spaces—from our parks to our markets to our streets—are where we learn about each other, and take part in the interactions, exchanges, and rituals that together comprise local culture. Speaking at PWPB, Copenhagenize.com founder Mikael Colville-Andersen made this point more poetically when he said that “The Little Mermaid statue isn’t Copenhagen’s best monument. I think the greatest monument that we’ve ever erected is our bicycle infrastructure: a human-powered monument.”
Our public spaces reflect the community that we live in, and are thus the best places for us to begin modeling a new way of thinking and living. We can all play a more active role in the cultural change that is starting to occur by making sure that our actions match our values—specifically those actions that we take in public places. READ FULL ARTICLE >>