I get you. Okay, well first, I'd back the truck up quite a few stops. I am just brainstorming here, and communicating what I perceive to be a pretty dire demand, with no supply. Trouble is, this demand won't pay in dollars up front. There's our bottleneck.
I don't mean "create jobs" with the stroke of a fairy wand, or government program.
It does strike me that cities are idea and communication centers, as averse to direct land-use policy implementation centers.
But even in the cities, we could be doing so much better. In Columbus, we could certainly start with the rivers. We could reinstall native species in abandoned or low-income areas. We could allot a much larger percentage of land to community gardens, and pay a small community-led staff to oversee them. I think what Local Matters is doing is fantastic.
On the imaginative side, I always envision this as a sewing problem. Or alternately, the way a wound is knitted back together. First, you make large, ungainly basting stitches, or staunch the bleeding. Make large, bridgelike efforts. They will by necessity, be a little ungainly, homely, and grassroots. But they will be true to the larger pattern we wish to put in place. For instance, if we are looking for a new nickname for our city, then why not "River City"? This is akin to the "Indie Arts Capital" effort. They didn't just slap a name on something, there was and is much concerted work put into that, and I'd argue that we've seen very definite benefits. Or, take a look at the investment in Lincoln Theater. There's a cultural bridge, installed to knit the divide created by the freeway.
I'd like to see our city, and cities in general, be the locus for these kinds of efforts. Make big strides, make big plans. These plans are not to be too idealistic, but to set the bar for the quality of life for all living things.
Then, once we get the ball rolling, continue to guage the needs of each specific, intimate biological community. This is the kind of problem-solving that has not been a strength of our culture, and I'd suggest, has been almost completely absent from our culture for quite sometime. This will call for both grassroots efforts, and efforts from larger financial entities, to bridge this very real divide. And many, many presuppositions will have to be turned upside-down.
For instance, if an individual is making the maintenance of biological life their life's work, perhaps they should be supported in some way by the culture at large. Reeks of socialism, but hey, the banks and car companies sure don't have any problems pulling up to that gravy train. And what benefit do we see from that? Negligible.
I don't really want to argue, petition, any of that. I just want to show up, and punch my timecard, and get to work. And I hope I can figure out a way to do just that, and that I can be an example for others when I do.
I really appreciate tossing this ball around with you guys!