So I might come off as a blithering idealist with this post, but I'll go out on the limb anyway. In my readings and my personal life, I have been noticing a trend over the past few years. More and more I'm running into stories about constructive compassion, that potent mixture of energy, indignation, and understanding that really gets things done. I have seen many websites for groups that look to bring people together to create a healthier, more vibrant environment for their communities. It seems, in short, like people are finally starting to understand the idea that having more than just our own interests in mind might be a good thing for everyone.
One of my favorite quotes is from Edith Wharton, who said "There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." Part of my inspiration for starting Where was to create a mirror for all of the great stories that I come across in my perusal of the ever-expanding "internets." Creating healthy, attractive cities is a matter of improving the lives of everyone in them, and I believe that a huge part of the true revival of cities will be the creation of more compassionate urban social structures.
So one of the recurring themes in this blog will be "Compassionate Urbanism." Whenever I see evidence of the cultural movement in urban centers toward constructive compassion in society (which I think is already well underway, even in these chaotic times) I'll re-post the article or website (or whatever) here. If you see something that you think is evidence of this movement, let me know and I'll put 'er up.
For the inaugural post in this series, I want to highlight an article over at Worldchanging.com about mitigating the negative effects of gentrification. It talks about the social problems created for the poorer residents of San Francisco by the city's amazing resurgence, and the ways that one group is trying to involve these people in the process that is improving their communities--and keep them living there after the improvements are made. Ch-ch-ch-check it out. ;-)
Linking Social Equity and Smart Growth (WorldChanging)