using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : November 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2011 46 way around twenty-two lakes, so there are lots of recreational bikers. But when it comes to commuting, many of them get in their cars. “We would like to coax them into seeing a bike as something they can also ride to work, including in winter,” Prest says. “We want them to see biking to work or going on an errand as a normal thing, something their friends and neighbors would do. We market commuter biking as a mainstream activity.” In my conversation with her, Prest echoed something Rachel Gutter had put forth as a hallmark of new green strategy. You don’t overcontrol the message and start lobbying everyone to support your special mission. You find partners. Their passions, when stoked and let free, create something emergent, something you didn’t plan yourself. (One of Gutter’s key partners is a Tea Partier who feels green schools save taxpayers money.) Plenty has emerged that Prest and her colleagues didn’t create. Minneapolis has crossed a bicycling tipping point, with many repair shops, nonprofit bike recyclers, social media groups and clubs, bike-oriented cafes and bars, filmfests, and art shows crop- ping up. (Art Crank, a bicycle-themed poster art show, has been exported from Minneapolis to seven other cities, including Lon- don). Biking culture surrounds you, which could at times con- tribute to the alienation that concerns Prest, but fortunately the bike culture is diverse, and when people start cycling, they like it, and judgmental attitudes fall away. She’s found that “people begin to surprise themselves—Wow, I can ride for half an hour... I can ride for an hour!—they start to feel healthier and better about themselves.” The Minneapolis bike explosion has begun to affect develop- ment patterns. Realtors are paying more attention to the value of neighborhoods where you can readily bike to schools, libraries, stores, cafes, farmers’ markets, or offices. On the dedicated bicycle commuter road (a two-lane trench free of car traffic), businesses are opening up along the route to serve cyclists. “When you start to have bicycle-oriented development,” Prest says, “you know it’s becoming mainstream.” W HEN WE LIVE CLOSER TOGETHER, we use less energy. We use less energy to heat and cool our living spaces. We use less energy getting around. We use less energy because we share more—things like washing machines. One of the reasons for the low housing density in North America is flight from cities. To the thinking of many city planners, we made cities progressively less livable, and with the help of transportation subsidies, liv- ing in big houses on sprawling lots on winding streets with a lot of separation from neighbors was seen as desirable. From this point forward, though, we have little choice but to move closer together. And to many people’s way of thinking, if we’re able to activate the “we maps” we all carry within us, we’ll be delighted to do so. It will build community. When I visited with neuroscientist Richie Davidson recently at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, in Madison, Wis- consin, he and one of his researchers, Donal McCoon, talked animatedly about doing research using the Happy Planet Index, created by the New Economics Foundation. In a nutshell, the index tries to calculate a society’s well-being (defined as life sat- isfaction and longevity) in relation to its ecological footprint. North Americans have a very high level of well-being, but it comes at an unsustainable cost to the planet. What Davidson and McCoon would like to find out is how people could some- how internalize this information and willingly reduce their foot- print—with the confidence that they would not decrease their genuine well-being. John Rahaim, San Francisco’s director of planning, is in the trenches with this kind of challenge every day. He was paying close attention to a presentation on neuroscience during a “Climate, Cities, and Behavior” gathering at Garrison, and afterward I asked him why. “I’ve spent my whole working life trying to bring about behavioral change in a direction that’s positive for the city as a whole,” he said. “I’d love to learn anything that could help me do that better.” San Francisco justifiably has the reputation of being one of the loveliest and most livable cities in the world, but most people don’t have to work with the whole city in the fine-grained way Rahaim does. There are many challenges in the effort to find common ground in creating a livable, sustainable community together. For one thing, Rahaim sees tech workers in their twen- ties and thirties who live in San Francisco commuting down the road to their jobs in Silicon Valley. Why can’t they work where they live? His department would like to encourage denser hous- ing in parts of the hip new South of Market neighborhood (SoMa), but residents are putting up resistance. As new as many of the current residents are, they don’t want even newer resi- dents changing the place. “In the thirty years I’ve been doing this work,” Rahaim says, “it’s become more complicated and conten- tious. The governmental mechanisms we have for reaching deci- sions together don’t work well anymore. With the diverse people and groups involved and the complexity of the issues, throwing it out to a public meeting where everyone has their two-minute say just doesn’t work.” Rahaim and his colleagues, like their contemporaries in other cities, are experimenting with different ways of engaging people, including smaller meetings where a few opinion leaders can be heard for longer, and more intelligent debate and exploration can ensue. As Gutter and Prest emphasized, this kind of work is about finding the audiences that you need to hear from and work with as partners. You can’t really learn what makes them tick during their two minutes on the soapbox. While Rahaim and his colleagues have their frustrations, they keep exploring new ways of helping the public reach deci- sions that benefit the city, and there are successful community engagement processes that have led to inspiring projects. Among