Tuesday, September 22, 2015

New Slow City: Is this the future of Big Apple living? | GreenBiz

New Slow City: Is this the future of Big Apple living? | GreenBiz: This is an excerpt from the book New Slow City.

Burned-out after years of doing development and conservation work around the world, William Powers decided to see if the increasingly popular "slowliving" approach was possible in one of the most frantic, most overworked, most expensive cities in the world: New York City.

Just one year after spending a season seeking a sustainable lifestyle in a tiny 12-foot-by-12-foot cabin off the grid in North Carolina, Powers and his wife chucked 80 percent of their stuff, left their spacious Queens townhouse and moved into a 350-square-foot “micro apartment” in Greenwich Village. Committing to a 20-hour workweek, Powers explored the viability of Slow Food and Slow Money, technology fasts and urban sanctuaries. Along the way, he met New Yorkers also attempting to resist the culture of "Total Work."

On a routine impromptu afternoon, I dip into a sustainable cities panel at Columbia University. Architects and landscape planners imagine aloud a New York that combines the texture of the past with green technology and “permaculture” (a contraction of both permanent agriculture and permanent culture), so that Manhattan’s concrete boundaries are replaced by wetlands and beaches for bird watching, riverside strolls, and sunbathing.

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