Welcome to Your World: How the Built Environment Shapes Our Lives
By Sarah Williams Goldhagen
I have some architect friends with qualms, but for an entry-level reader, this was an interesting point of encounter about the ways that urban planning can lead the way in sustainable development. In reality, the majority of us are city dwellers! “Being green” does not mean living somewhere green. In fact, it shouldn’t mean a lot of the things we code in that language--it should mean transformation of our entire outdated energy grid and other large scale changes rather than guilt or individual-focused narratives.
Take a second to think about buildings:
Even as many people have quarantined in our apartment buildings or homes over the past year, there are still millions and millions of square ft of office and indoor space that have been heated and cooled. That's so. Much. Energy.
Goldhagen ends her book by sharing, “For good and for ill, buildings and cityscapes and landscapes literally shape and help constitute our lives and ourselves. Designing and building enriched environments, ones that are informed by what we now know and are learning about how people experience the places they inhabit, will promote the development of human capabilities. Just as is true with regard to global warming and the earth’s environment, nearly everything we construct today will outlast us to affect those who come after us, sometimes generations and generations of them. Shouldn’t a better built environment be the legacy we leave to the world?”
Luckily, there are companies already hard at work towards this goal. And organizers pushing for legislative reform. Whether you read this book or not, may we support those efforts to follow the most brilliant design plan there is--the intelligent, efficient balance of the earth itself.
By Artistic Director, Gail Tierney. To learn more about joining our Book Club email firstname.lastname@example.org
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