CREATING HUMAN COMMUNITY
|IF ONE THING, MORE THAN ANY OTHER, distinguishes a real neighborhood from the corporate machine-architecture of the 20th-century developer, it is the fact that real people have -- together -- conceived it, planned it, and built it. It is this human reality which makes it worth living in, pleasant to be there, and valuable.|
THE BENEFIT OF TAKING TIME
||The capacity to generate life in a neighborhood, comes in part, from slowness. People need a chance to adapt to one another's actions. This does not mean that it takes 100 years to build a neighborhood. We have done it effectively in two or three years, and in our experience that can allow enough time for some mutual adaptation to occur step by step. |
But it does mean that it is important not to be obsessed by speed. The desire to build at once comes from issues of banking, interest rates, and the desire for profit. Surely these matters can be brought under control, so that they no longer interfere with the birth of community -- a more significant issue.
PLANNING AND BUILDING TOGETHER AS A SOURCE OF FRIENDSHIP AND LIFE-ENHANCING COOPERATION
Our emotions are deeply rooted in our surroundings. Our social and personal connections to one another are connected to the shape and character of our environment and our individual relationships with the environment. When we create the physical substance of our environment, as a personal matter, we then become rooted in that world that we create, and in doing so we then become joined together with the fellows, friends, family and colleagues with whom we do it.|
Thus, the environment cannot be regarded merely as an object. It is the manifestation of our love for the earth, of our desires, of our affection for one another, and of our understanding of the universe. Of course an abstract, developer-built neighborhood cannot do this for us. And indeed, we are now surrounded by buildings which cannot do it - and so, small wonder - the bond to the universe and to our fellows has been weakened.
To allow this inner essence of the world, to be reborn, we must both create the world, and do it together with our fellows.
When partners in a community engage in making a generative code, planning, and building together, they embrace a living process that brings with it the deepest kind of community building. They create both a social structure and a physical structure that holds the community together because, along with the contributions of all the people in various roles, the deeply held values and culture of the neighborhood are built into the physical form. The outcome – the physical form – serves to reinforce on a daily basis an appreciation for what can be built out of shared vision and commitment, an appreciation for one another, and the restoration of mental and emotional health in the inhabitants as well as the physical surroundings.
||All the materials and processes described on this site emphasize the need for people to be partners in a true sense -- that means, that they are to be taken seriously, each one of them, as a part of the proceedings and creative effort. Please take this specification seriously!|
||This short Note from Chris describes the human under-structure of community, and the way this under-structure liberates the possibility of unfolding and morphogenesis, then allowing a real neighborhood to form itself in human and geometric terms.|
CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STRUCTURE established 1967
CENTRE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STRUCTURE, EUROPE established 2005