Recent Blog Entries: Happiness
It is too easy to believe that only those of us with "respectable" professions make a contribution in the world, and to believe that we should be entitled to all the respect...
The streets were full of life: thriving sidewalk cafes with diners watching the activity on the streets, children cycling, musicians playing, traditional actors performing, and a sense of enjoyment of the city.
We can create better cities. We can invite and celebrate diversity. Watch the video below.
Having grown up enjoying the beauty of Western Ghats in a small town of South India, moving to a highly dense city like Dhaka was a huge challenge. In contrast to the morning fog, roads meandering between the hills, coffee orchards and chirping birds, in the city lives were constrained and controlled by technology and machines.
The more space we give to cars, the more we demand. Instead let's return some space to people!
People make cities great, but what if people have grown hopelessly boring?
I often blog about what I would like to see happen...today I write about sharing of some of our successful programs to return street spaces to more important uses than just traffic jams for cars.
We take very seriously people's desire to own a car or motorbike...why do we pay so little attention to people's demands for affordable housing, quality education and health care, and attractive, usable public spaces? Would people value car ownership less if they realized what the ownership means in terms of other choices...?
Those of us who can easily walk easily take it for granted; those with far more obstacles to walking can, ironically, enjoy it far more. Just a few reflections on the topic as we work towards cities where everyone, regardless of age, sex, or physical challenges, can enjoy the simple but exquisite pleasure of a long walk.
Senior Project Officer in our Vietname office, Dinh Dang Hai, describes how vehicles have utterly transformed Hanoi, and what he and his colleagues decided to do about it:
"The story of Vietnamese children learning to walk and learning to smile made us think about what we, at HealthBridge, could do to change their situation. In 2010, we decided to start in Hoian, a small and beautiful city in the middle of Vietnam, with multiple strategies for advocacy."