Going Back to Basics is such a Wonderful Thing!

Posted: Friday, June 13, 2008 by Teena in Labels: , , , ,

I read an article in an online news website about Bogotá, a city in Colombia. The former mayor of this city, Enrique Peñalosa, was very effective in fighting off high crime rate, roads that are very congested and with very high traffic, and a fast widening income gap between the rich and the poor. Well, according to him, progress in a city may be defined not in the people’s income within the area, but on how the people are safe on the city streets. He further stated that bigger streets and highways mean more vehicles.

So instead of constructing highways, Peñalosa built parks, nurseries, libraries, community centers, and quality homes. New public schools were also built and increased enrollment followed. Gas taxes were also increased and at times, car owners were restricted in using their cars. Bike and pedestrian paths were built thus encouraging people to exercise more and pollution is minimized to a certain level.

As we transferred to our new residence in Laguna, a suburban neighborhood, I came to realize the value of simple living and going back to basics. I got to exercise more by walking the streets and appreciate the surroundings. We always walk going to the mall, to the market or to the bakery. Unlike before, we need to ride a jeep to go to such places. Even our kids also walk to their school; it is just a short distance in going there anyway. We also consider going to the park as city life do not have that many facilities and is very much crowded altogether.

The whole set up is a total diverse apart from the city life we grew up with. We look forward in attending community events here as we noticed local events help the community grow close together. Local government should add your Filipino events in their agenda for the purpose of integrating culture to the people’s daily living.

Pollution is limited, in terms of transportation usage and the efficient waste management by the residents in the area. Reforms like this may be implemented in the city life so that the quality of life of the people may be improved. And these reforms may be developed into policies for promoting public health and to protect the environment.

I think it is better to have cities where adults and kids alike love to stay outside. We all need a place that is safe for everyone and is built around the needs of people and not to compete with the globalization process where things of important are being traded for “progress.”

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