Tag Archives: sustainability

Dee’s Green Party of Utah Party Office Candidate Speech

Yesterday (June 24) the Green Party of Utah held its state convention. Candidates for party offices were elected and Dr. Jill Stein was our guest speaker.

I was elected to state delegate to the national Green Party and as a state Grassroots Coorindator.  This is the speech I prepared, part of it was earmarked for an acceptance speech, but we ran behind so I did not get to deliver it in person, so I offer a slightly modified version of it here.


Good afternoon , my name is Deanna Dee Taylor and I am a candidate for Grassroots Coordinator and  National Delegate. The following words, written by my husband Tom, hang on various walls in my home and serve as a daily reminder of what I believe.

I pledge allegiance to ALL life

in its interdependent diversity;

and to the Planet upon which it exists;

one World, under the sky, undividable

with harmony and balance for ALL.

I want to talk to you about the sunflower.

There is a project called the Fukushima Sunflower Foster Parent Project, launched in 2011 about two months after the nuclear power plant disaster. The hope was that sunflowers could be used to cleanse radiation-contaminated soil, as reported following the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear crisis. But it was determined that sunflowers actually had little effect on removing radioactive contamination, so Team Fukushima decided to focus its efforts on reviving the economy. What happened next was nothing short of miraculous, as reported in the Japan Times in 2015.

The project distributed more than 12,000 bags containing 5 grams of imported sunflower seeds to schools, businesses, groups and individuals.

Ten tons of harvested seeds were returned the following year and were then used across Fukushima to grow sunflowers, make edible oil and process used sunflower oil for fuel. As a result, people came to visit Fukushima, helping to restore the economy. The project helped to create jobs, restore businesses, and build tourism through a charter bus system that developed the use of biofuel, processed from waste sunflower oil, to power some of its route buses.

Team Fukushima represented the desires of its people to restore life from disaster through the sunflower, which is also the international symbol of nuclear disarmament and of the Green Party. As a Green Party National Delegate, I plan to represent the members of the Green Party of Utah to the national Green Party in an effort to be active in the movement to restore the interests of our people TO our people, from the disaster of our political climate today.

Since I was a small child I have loved life. I have always felt a kinship to the planet. This passion has led me down many wonderful paths as I have grown. One of those paths led me to the Green Party 17 years ago. Today I formally reaffirm my commitment to furthering the values of the Green Party through my active participation in the Green Party of Utah, and through the example I strive to live each day in alignment with the Ten Key Values. My hopes and desires for the GPUT are to see it develop as a viable party in Utah to truly represent the will of the people of this state and offer REAL choices to the state’s voters of candidates who hold the interests of the people, of the environment, and of all life, ABOVE everything else!

Most of all, my heart is with our Mother who provides us the air we breathe and water we drink, and to whom I owe my existence.

Having served as Green Party National Delegate in the past, I am familiar with the role and responsibility of Delegate to fully represent the will of the GPUT membership on all issues discussed and up for vote at the national level. I fully intend to serve on the membership’s behalf to the National Committee of the Green Party and to ensure that the values upon which the Green Party is built, are a priority.

In the words of Petra Kelly, founder of the German Green Party – the FIRST Green Party – and leader in the disarmament and social justice movements– “If there is a future, it will be Green.”

Well, that future has arrived, Green Party of Utah! And we ARE green and growing!

Salt Lake City District 3: Jennifer J. Johnson on Greening the Vote

If you live in Salt Lake City District 3, consider voting for Jennifer J. Johnson for Salt Lake City Council. She is vibrant, intelligent, politically astute, and genuinely interested in her city and community. Here is my endorsement:

“Jennifer’s concept of ‘Think Global, Buy Local, and Vote GREEN?’ It’s spot-on. Her support of BUY LOCAL FIRST for herself and for her clients, teamed with her own sustainable lifestyle is inspiring. Endorsed!”
–Deanna Taylor, National Delegate, Green Party of the United States

Visit Jennifer’s Facebook page and also her Campaign Site.

“Happy” New Year?

(I have been out of town for the past 2 weeks, so posting has been non-existent.)

I am having difficulty wishing people a “happy” new year with everything that is going in in our world: A failing economy resulting in job losses, a housing market crash, budget shortfalls; A broken health care system that continues to prevent families from receiving adequate health care; War-ridden countries and recent escalation of conflict in Gaza; the continuation of planetary destruction with not only the effects of war, but also the sale of land for oil drilling, lack of adequate regulation for pollution generating machinery and equipment and practices, lack of appropriate measures to address global warming, the demise of local businesses due to increasing invasion of large corporate giants, to name a few.

There is so much negative occurring at this time that it is difficult to focus on the positive. Nonetheless, I have generated this list of positive things in my life:

I am thankful that I have a job with health benefits.
I am thankful that I have the skill and knowledge to be able to grow my own food and be self sustaining.
I am thankful that I have resources to help my children and grandchildren right now in the current economic crisis.
I am thankful that I can gain and share knowledge about world events and actually have the ability to do something about some things to effect change.
I am thankful that I am able to provide an education for a little girl in Ethiopia, my small postivie contribution to one life which otherwise is affected by negative circumstances.
I am thankful for my husband who is a constant daily source of friendship and inspiration in my life.
I am thankful for my family and friends here in Utah and across the country.

My hopes for the new year?

That I am able to maintain my health and attitude to continue to work on peace, justice and sustainability issues in my community and beyond.
That at least one person I know who isn’t as convinced that big change needs to occur to improve our world will come to the realization that some of the things I mention here do need to be addressed and so they make changes towards that end for themselves and in their community.
That the new administration begins to make moves in the direction towards a more peace and just society and world without war.
That family and friends I know who are without jobs and health care will find improvements in those areas in their lives.

So “happy” new year with these things in mind. Peace on earth. Good will toward all life on our planet.

3rd Annual Imagine Peacfest
Contact information: Deanna Taylor, 801.631.2998,info@imaginepeacefest.org
3rd Annual Imagine Peacefest will highlight films, music, and children’s artwork

Salt Lake City – The 3rd Annual Imagine Peacefest will be held at Library Plaza, downtown Salt Lake City,
September 20, 2008 from 12noon to 6pm. The event is being held in tandem with the International Day of Peace, September 21st.

“Imagine Peacefest is an opportunity for people to come enjoy a variety of ways to experience the concept of peace in our world,” says Deanna Taylor, co-founder of Imagine Peacefest. “The goal of the festival is to provide a fun, interactive afternoon of art while raising awareness of the need for peace, sustainability and social justice. We hope that this event will inspire community members to become more involved in local projects and organizations that promote global peace and justice.”

Imagine Peacefest features activities and entertainment for all ages. Displays of art by area school children and local musicians, who donate their time and talents, are featured. Films and a panel discussion provide education on global peace and current issues facing the world. Booths are available for children and adults to learn, create art and participate in a variety of ways during the event.

The Eyes Wide Open Exhibit will be on display throughout the entire event on the plaza.

"The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) created its traveling exhibition, Eyes Wide Open: The Cost of War, to honor fallen U.S. military personnel and Iraqi civilians. Eyes Wide Open: The Cost of War Utah focuses on the specific costs of war to the state of Utah,” states Brenda Chung of Cache Valley Peaceworks. “ The exhibit includes over 20 pairs of boots representing fallen servicemen and women from Utah, plus boots added by request of the families of the fallen from Mendon and Salt Lake City, Utah, and a visual representation of the Iraqi civilian casualties. This exhibit is part of AFSC’s national Eyes Wide Open: The Human Cost of War networks. “Since the Eyes Wide Open state exhibits embarked on their tour around the nation in June 2007, the exhibits have been shown in 44 states. The results have been remarkable as the message of the human cost of war has expanded to an ever wider audience. Since it’s debut in October 2007, the Utah exhibit has been shown several times in cities and towns across the state.”

Inside the library downstairs will be a children’s display of art on the theme of Peace, organized by Westminster Roots and Shoots.

“Roots and Shoots groups from around the Salt Lake Valley will be participating in the Imagine Peace Festival by bringing peace doves to fly and open the event. This symbol of peace, will soar at all Roots and Shoots Peace Day Events around the globe,” states Monica Ferreira, Community Outreach Coordinator of the Westminster Roots and Shoots. “The Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots and Shoots strives to foster a respect and understanding of all cultures and beliefs and promotes care and concern for animals, humans and the environment. We feel that if compassion and understanding is given to the whole world, peace will follow”.

A children’s “peace story time” will also be held with the reading of two books on the theme of Peace.

Two films will be shown in the library’s 4th floor conference room: “Peace One Day” about the advent of International Day of Peace and “A Soldier’s Peace”, made by Utahn Marshall Thompson, an Iraq War Vet who walked across Utah to tell his story. His film will be followed by a panel discussion including Thompson, Kim Sprangunde of Military Families Speak Out and Andy Figorski of Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace.
Local musicians Gary Stoddard, Slick Rock Gypsies, Andy Monaco, Rich Wyman, Ric Shirett, and Leo’s Ego will provide continuous live music on the plaza just outside the library.

More information: info@imaginepeacefest.org or 801-631-2998

2008 Schedule of Events
Saturday, September 20, 2008 12:00 noon: Opening – Amphitheater, Plaza at Library Square, Salt Lake City

Eyes Wide Open Exhibit: The Human Cost of War

will be on display for the duration of the Imagine Peacefest event.

The exhibit is provided by Cache Valley Peaceworks and the American Friends Service Committee. Downstairs in Library
noon to 5:00pm ~ Art Display
Meeting Rooms A and B sponsored by Blue Sky Institute
Peace Story Time for Children at 2:00pm in the Art Display Room of these books
(Readers provided by student members of Westminster College Roots and Shoots) Continue reading

Speaking of locally grown food….

….when we arrived home from our vacation yesterday, we were pleased to see our gardens doing well.
Here are the gardens with irrigation water in them:

Before we left I had harvested a number of herbs (basil, oregano, sage and horehound) and dried most of the harvest plus made a couple of batches of basil pesto.

Oregano, Sage and Basil:

Our first vegetable harvest of the season was yesterday when we arrived home:

It pleases us that we are able to grow much of our own food and are also able to give a fair amount away to others.

Maryland Governor Issues Challenge to Eat Locally

While I was visiting my family in Maryland, I learned some things about its new progressive Governor, Martin O’Malley, such as his efforts to promote local agriculture. In Hometown Annapolis, the July 19th article, Your challenge: Eat locally–State, county officials encourage consumption of area’s produce, written by Tim Ebner (which also was posted on Common Dreams), describes the challenge the Governor put forth to Marylanders to eat at least one locally grown food each day.

The heat did not stop Gov. Martin O’Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown from throwing a party yesterday on the lawn of the Governor’s Mansion. Mr. O’Malley opened his front yard to host a barbecue banquet of foods produced by Maryland’s farmers.

The event kicked off the state’s Buy Local Challenge, a week of events promoting and supporting the state’s agricultural community.

Mr. O’Malley and other state leaders are challenging Marylanders to eat at least one locally grown food each day from now until July 27th. The governor said he hopes this week will change the way Marylanders think about their food.

“If you buy a tomato and have to drive it here from Mexico or Florida, there’s a lot of cost and environmental impact in the transportation,” Mr. O’Malley said. “If you buy a tomato that was raised in Anne Arundel County, it’s safer and tastier, and a larger percentage of that dollar goes to Maryland farmers,” he said.

In the past few years, the local foods movement has gained wide popularity across the country. Many “locavores” buy directly from regional farms because of the food’s nutritional and organic value. Grocery stores that cater to organic tastes, like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, also have seen a growing consumer demand.

In Maryland, residents said they would prefer to eat locally.
Continue reading

Organic and Locally Grown

Thanks to fallenpiece over at vegetarian for this:

The Musts and Myths of Organic and Locally Grown

Posted Tue, Jun 26, 2007, 10:01 am PDT

So you’ve been known to occasionally spend extra on organic milk, mosey over to the free-range meat section, and make an effort to support your local farms by buying berries from a roadside fruit stand. Still, I’m betting the farm that if you’re confused about when to go local, when you should go organic, and when it’s all just baloney, you’re not alone.

I reached out to two experts in the field for some solid answers. Joy Bauer, nutritionist extraordinaire, breaks down the musts and myths of organic and local, while Ryan Hardy, the fresh-market-obsessed chef at The Montagna in Aspen, provides five easy ways to include the best of both into our diets. I hope this helps you figure out the best ways to bring farm-fresh food closer to your home.

Locally grown means seasonal food from small farms. Some say it applies only to foods grown within a 100-mile radius; others stretch it to 250 miles.

MUSTS: Seasonal fruits, seasonal vegetables, milk and dairy.
Local crops harvested at their peak of freshness and flavor offer superior nutrient density, and buying produce from local growers reduces the environmental impact and costs of transporting product. 

MYTHS: Local food is not necessarily organically grown. However, there is truth to many local farmers’ claims that they do not use pesticides.
 They just can’t advertise themselves as certified organic unless they’ve gone through the certification process, which is lengthy and expensive.

For plants, organic means grown on certified organic land without synthetic fertilizers or chemicals (like pesticides). Genetic modification and irradiation are also off-limits. For animals, organic means access to the outdoors, only organic feed for at least a year, and no antibiotics or growth hormones.  

MUSTS: Apples, cherries, grapes (especially if they’re imported), nectarines, peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries, bell peppers, celery, potatoes, spinach, beef, poultry and dairy.
Because these fruits and veggies have been found to contain the most pesticide residue, even after being washed, and organic meats and dairy (though much more expensive) reduce your exposure to toxins, including the one that causes mad cow disease. 

MYTHS You don’t need to worry about buying these organic: bananas, kiwi, mangoes, papaya, pineapple, asparagus, avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, onion, sweet peas, and seafood.
Because these fruits and veggies tend not to carry pesticide residue, and seafood has no USDA organic certification standards (so “organic seafood” doesn’t mean much).

Now that you’ve got the dirt on organic and local, check out Chef Ryan Hardy’s 5 easy ways to bring the benefits of both to your table:

1. Go to farmer’s markets. The farmer’s market may not always easily fit into your busy schedule, but taking 30 minutes to buy good foods for your family is worth the time.
2. Demand it at your local store. Ask your local grocer to get in products you want — be specific and follow up.
3. Talk with local chefs who use local, organic ingredients. Chefs are notoriously picky about finding the right product. Ask about the ingredients they use…. You’ll probably find out that most are easily obtainable.
4. Buy what’s in season. Food is at its cheapest when it’s at its best — so take advantage and eat fresh fruits and vegetables when they’re at their peak.
5. Eat more greens. Farm-fresh salad greens are exciting additions to all kinds of dishes, not just salads. Try adding them to pasta, serving them under a steak, or simply sandwiching them with goat cheese between bread.

Are you living beyond your ecological footprint? If you live in Utah, you ARE

In today’s news:

Utahns are living beyond ecological means

The group Utah Vital Signs,  a project of the Utah Population and Environment Coalition,  has released the results of a study they conducted – “Utah Vital Signs 2007: The Ecological Footprint of Utah”.

The bottom line: 
            Utahns use 11 percent more than the state’s land can provided on a renewable basis.
“Utah is using more of nature’s resources than nature provides,” said
[Helen] Peters. “We are drawing down resources that future generations make take advantage of.”
      “The state has gone into ecological default,” said Sandra McIntyre, project director. “We are in an overshoot situation as of 2003.”
      Figures from 1990 show the state was living within its ecological means, the group said. But by 2003, the population of Utah grew from 1.7 million to 2.4 million. Members pointed to the 40-percent population increase as involved in the change of the state’s ecological footprint.

What could be the reason for this increase in UTAH?  Hmmmm…..
Part of the increase was because Utahns had the highest reproduction rate in the country, the group said.

How can this be addressed?  According to the group that conducted the study:
….it’s better to have denser housing, like a close-living community with common green grounds, than a subdivision with large lots.

Living Green

Yesterday I helped table at the LIVE GREEN sustainability festival in Salt Lake City. I was most impressed by the music group Shake Your Peace, a “sustainable music” group. Their website is wind powered, they do bicycle tours and power their music by bicycle power! How green!

Here are some photos of yesterday’s event.

Continue reading

Sustainability – Characteristics of a Healthy City

I often wish I live closer to where I work and that may become a reality at some point in the future, however it’s not that simple.  We own our property in West Jordan, which is about 12 miles from the center of Salt Lake City (which is also where I work).  To sell our property and find a comparable property closer to work is practically impossible.  We could downscale to a less “involved” property, but our dream is to have our property be a community center for activism.  Thus our decision to stay put – at least for the time being.

West Jordan is far from “sustainable”, as sustainable standards go, however it’s possible to get around without a car and be able to meet just about every need.

For example, from my house in West Jordan, which is on the far east side of the city limits, close to the Jordan River and almost to Midvale, I can walk, take the bus (at least for now until the routes are changed AGAIN) or use my bike to take advantage of these West Jordan services (all within 1-2 miles):

  • Grocery Shopping at a local Mexican Market
  • Grocery Shopping at two local health food stores
  • Local Sandwich Shop
  • Asian Market
  • Local Mexican variety shop
  • A number of other various locally owned businesses (health, haircare, etc.)
  • Thrift store
  • Local Library
  • City Offices, where I can pay my utility bills
  • City Park
  • Jordan River Conservancy District – educational center with sample xeriscaped gardens
  • Jordan River Parkway

From my house in West Jordan, it is also easy to go the other direction without using a car to the next community, Midvale, a historic little town, where there are tons of local businesses, including a used book store, restaurants, and a variety of other merchants.

Of course there are larger chain stores to use within these  boundaries without using a car, but the list above reflects the locally owned merchants and services.

In my search for information on sustainable cities, I have heard about the new Daybreak Development, owned and being developed by Kennecott Land (a division of  Kennecott, the largest copper mine company in the world), which  will include 15,000 – 20,000 homes and is being built on a  sustainable  community model. I’m still examining that project before weighing in on my opinion of it. I have also found this article on what constitutes a Healthy City.  West Jordan has some of these characteristics, but still has a long way to go.  From the list below, I can safely say that West Jordan has characteristics #2, 6, 9(one of my favorite characteristics about West Jordan)  and parts of #1, 3, 4(it’s hard to identify a “downtown” to West Jordan), 5, and 7. 

The New Colonist:

Top Ten Characteristics of a Healthy City

1. Fixed transit, preferably rail, above and below ground. Subways along all major travel corridors; buses or trams on all secondary corridors

Fixed-rail transit helps to guide development and keep the streets busy. When development happens around fixed-transit, it is easy to get around on foot because everything is closer together. On the contrary, when transit isn’t fixed, as with a diesel bus route, or it is designed around the auto, transit becomes impractical because everything is further apart. New York is an example of a walking city that grew up around fixed transit. Dallas is an example of an auto city built up around roadways. It is very convenient to get around without a car in a walking city built around fixed transit. This makes it so there are more people on the sidewalks, and businesses can thrive from walking traffic, without the need for parking. Fixed-transit can be light-rail, a subway, or a bus that operates from overhead wires. A busway built for diesel buses is also fixed transit, but because the bus can leave the busway it doesn’t have the same positive impact on development and density as other forms of fixed transit. If your city doesn’t have fixed-transit, advocate for it. It will take a long time to change the way things are built, but a convenient walking district can spring up in little time when fixed transit and high density are established in an area.

2. Mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhoods

Mixed-use neighborhoods solve many urban ills. By intermingling commercial, residential, and civic functions in the same neighborhoods, you reduce dependence on automotive transport, since destination facilities are always close at hand: one can walk to the market, the salon, the library, the bar, school or university, administrative offices, what have you. This means denser development is possible without reducing living spaces (you reduce street pace, space dedicated to the automobile, instead); it also means more tax money for more amenities and social programs, since streets don’t pay taxes and parking lots don’t pay much tax, but homes and businesses do. Yet, since there is less road infrastructure to build and maintain, and utility infrastructure is more efficiently configured (eg. 100 feet of sewer pipe serving hundreds rather than tens of users), such neighborhoods need less tax money to support their basic functions. This means one could then either lower taxes, or apply them to more desirable civic amenities, such as parks, squares, concerts, etc. More people walking also increases community feeling, reduces opportunity for crime (“eyes on the street”), and allows for more interaction among the citizenry. It increases ridership on public transit, making it more efficient.

Mixed-income neighborhoods not only increase urban variety by mixing types and sizes of housing; they also increase the cohesiveness of a community. People from different walks of life come to meet and know each other, however superficially, and are thus less likely to make political or personal decisions based on stereotyped views. Rich, poor, and middle can discover common ground and not base their attitudes toward each other on envy, disdain, or spite. It’s a matter of hybrid vigor: purebred ideas, like purebred animals, tend to be delicate, weak, and subject to “genetic” infirmities. We learn not by congregating with those similar to us, but by meeting those who are different. You could say it’s the sexuality of the intellect: just as animals who exchange genes evolve into more efficient forms more rapidly than those primitive creatures that don’t, so do societies whose members exchange ideas, social concepts, personal philosophies, what have you–even just gossip.

3. Buildings of different age, condition, and size

Too often in the last half-century urban developers and city officials have approached revitalization by assembling multiple parcels, bulldozing what existed, and building new. This happens in commercial and residential areas. It is standards set by suburban development and a desire to compete with suburban development that leads to this practice. This will not, however, lead to a healthy city. Wherever you live, a walk around town is sure to show the liveliest areas are the places that have many small parcels with different owners, a mix of new and old buildings and some buildings that are in better shape than others. The mix of old and new buildings provides an interesting streetscape. Older building in poor condition provide the incubators for entrepreneurs to start businesses. The newer buildings provide locations for the more established merchants to ste up shop and serve as drawing cards for a business district. The mix also serves to provide residential dwelling units of different size, condition and price making it so the neighborhood is mixed economically and providing places for both the business owner and grocery clerk to live.

4. Living spaces everywhere, especially near downtown

Many cities that developed after World War II or were redeveloped after World War II mirror suburbs in that there are some areas where people live, others where people shop and others where people work. This leads to people moving in mass at different times of the day from one area to the other. Downtown in the morning to work, to the shopping area after work or on the weekends and home at night. This creates needless congestion, streets empty at some times and overcrowded at others. When the places people live are spread throughout the city, many will choose to live near where they work. Stores will locate where people live. Many small stores will serve to supplement or even replace larger stores. The downtown streets, which in many cities become deserted after the workday ends, will become busy later and later into the evening. Lively downtowns are downtowns that are filled with not only office buildings and shopping districts, they are filled with apartment buildings, condos and other places where people live.

5. Large or small public squares at all significant intersections

The automobile has arrogated nearly all public space in the US to itself. It has stolen from us the places where we used to be able to meet and mingle as human beings, and replaced them with channels for sealed metal cells whose operators stare grimly straight in front of themselves as they manipulate the controls of the car. We need to have places where we can be people together, whether we talk to one another or not, where we can pass among each other on our way to our daily chores, acknowledging our common humanity with a glance or a nod or a word; places where we can linger if we feel so inclined, where we can enjoy the day and partake of a feeling of community, a feeling that we’re all in this together, helping each other, tasting life together, creating the city. Places that we feel we won, as individuals in a polity, and that we do literally own. Public space: our space. Not some landlord’s or management company’s.

Public squares, unlike public parks, are also thoroughfares for pedestrians, and usually support businesses on their perimeters. They acknowledge that we all bear responsibility for the working of our society, and that we all take pleasure in it too. Motorists isolated in their cars will never feel this way–the car is sold by fostering the delusion that is frees one from responsibility. People crossing each others’ paths in a square may not speak to each other, but they know that they occupy common space.

6. Lots of people coming and going (immigrants, people moving in from other places, and people moving out to other cities)

A city is more than just a collection of people. It is an incubator of ideas. A certain stability is good for a city, but an influx and out box is even more important. I like to use the analogy of a college. How productive or useful would a college be if the same students were there year after year after year? The best colleges, like the best cities, pull people from far away places. This brings together the widest array of ideas, interests and backgrounds. As important as it is for cities to attract diverse people from far away places, it is important to send them out again. Cities, especially industrial ones suffering from a loss in population often lament the loss of residents who leave. But just as it is important for colleges to send students into the business world and other academic institutions, this sending out of your product and the transplanting of native people is also productive and leads to other cities being healthy and energetic places. It can also lead to economic growth when a person with a background in say metal fabricating leaves and initiates activities elsewhere or gains knowledge that will improve processes or establish new markets. People leaving a city sends out messengers with the knowledge needed to make it part of activities elsewhere.

7. Street trees and rooftop gardens for pleasure, and to ameliorate temperature extremes and reduce need for HVAC

Trees and gardens save energy and money and give pleasure to people, living space to animals and birds. Rooftop gardens provide better insulation than any amount of fiberglass batting and can grow food as well; trees provide shade in the summer and obligingly drop their leaves in the winter so sunlight can warm homes and offices, and their transpiration also helps balance local temperatures.

8. Light rail or a rapid train connection to the airport. Freight and passenger rail depots in town

Making different forms of transportation work together will be a prime challenge in the 21st Century. There is no need for much of what exists around airports in the United States. The shopping areas, acres of parking lots and hotel accommodations at airports can be eliminated. Further, in the future, people will be able to begin their journey near their home and end it at their destination, without checking the baggage twice. To accomplish this cities need to establish airport connections via light rail to downtown. This will allows passengers to leave their cars at home, or to get to the airport without the use of a car with the assurance they will be able to get to their destination without financing a cab ride or renting a car. Further, high-speed rail lines should be built to replace smaller airports and accommodate passengers traveling less than a few hundred miles. Amtrak should be funded and operated by commercial airlines and establish train stations at airports. (In Europe, for example, Lufthansa provides rail as well as air service.) This will allow for seamless connections and transfers between trains and planes in order to complete a journey using a single ticket without hassle.

9. Working farms adjacent to or (better yet) within city limits

The farther food is grown from town, the more it costs and the worse it tastes. Local farming means less fuel and road use, which is good for the earth and reduces need for taxes to support road infrastructure and fuel subsidies. Shorter transport times means food can ripen longer on the branch, so it tastes better and is more nutritious. The necessity to fit farms into numerous smaller spaces in town means fewer big agribusiness operations making their money on economies of scale; instead you have a greater number of small producers, which would lead to more variety of food, more accommodation to local tastes, and more competition (thus better service and lower prices), as well as making commercial organic farming economically feasible. This would again reduce stress on the earth and help minimize dependence on petroleum. Urban farmers’ markets bear all this out, providing higher quality food than the supermarkets, yet charging less for it.

Also, the presence of farms provides green space for the citizens and reminds them that all, regardless of pretensions, are tied to the earth.

10. Shops that open onto the sidewalk, not onto parking lots. All automobile parking is underground or mid-block, not between street and shop

Shops that open onto the sidewalk encourage pedestrian traffic, and pedestrians are better able to window shop than drivers. Walking of course is exercise too, and people who are walking are more likely to meet or make friends or other social, even commercial, contacts than drivers can. More pedestrian traffic therefore makes for a healthier and richer city. Shops set back behind vast parking lots foster the delusion that they are separate from the city and bear no responsibility to the community that supports them. They practically require driving, which increases civic infrastructure costs and increase social isolation. Sidewalk shops encourage friendly social contact and simply make life more pleasant.

Putting parking in mid-block structures or (better yet) underground accommodates those who must or prefer to drive without fragmenting the city to make room for vast parking lots.