Comment 39854

By schmadrian (registered) | Posted April 15, 2010 at 20:55:48

I suppose one of the problems with battling the perception that cities are inherently evil (at least to live in, at least to some people) is that there has been a 'country vs city' mindset going on for thousands of years. Higher crime rates, greater pollution, hectic pace of living...

Another one, maybe not readily identifiable to some, is what land ownership means. To identity, to individualism, to independence. In recent discussions with my father, it was noted that freedom of movement, freedom to migrate, freedom to own land is a very recent societal development for many people. It's easy to forget that the idea of owning your own land, of not being tied to someone else's land through your labours really only came into being with the settlement of North America, and even then, really only picked up speed after the first century of colonization. I believe there is an inherent attachment to the idea of land ownership, to a parcel of land, and to many, this subconsciously means 'not in the city'. (I can remember when living in the UK that home ownership REALLY meant something when there was a garden involved. That is, to purchase a flat in an urban setting was far nicer than renting...but to purchase a flat WITH A GARDEN took on an entirely different meaning. In a not-as-expansive-as-Canada Britain, THIS was the manifestation across the pond of what I'm proposing.)

The thing is, politicians and civic leaders don't do themselves any favours when 'promoting' the idea of quality city living...because they're always cocking things up so badly. Seriously; who'd be seduced by the players who are regularly featured in Star and Spec articles...?

(What I'm presenting here should not suggest that I am either anti-city or pro-rural living. I've spent my life in both locales. The only thing that really matters is thriving in the environment that works best for YOU. This cannot be mandated. However, we need a level playing field in order for people to make informed decisions. And even here, on RTH, at times biases take all the 'level' out of the process, creating seesaws, gullies and philosophically unscalable hummocks.)

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