book-sprawl-worldIt’s a Sprawl World After All. The Human Cost of Unplanned Growth – and Visions of a Better Future.

This was certainly a timely read, as many of the same themes have been running through my head lately. The book has a little bit for everyone – those who hate sprawl, those who live in the suburbs (often they are one-in-the-same), those who enjoy suburban life, and those who enjoyed Freakonomics. Conspiracy theorists will definitely want to read this book too — especially the Appendix! I had no idea that big oil and bus companies bought and dismantled many functioning urban electric rail companies in the late 1930’s.

Morris takes a few pages to addresses the Farmers’ Market Phenomenon with some research on the growth of local markets throughout the USA. Kudos.

Here in Ottawa I have many friends who are currently looking for a house. Some base their search on a price, some on their desired lifestyle, others on the materials used in building the kitchen countertop. For first-time homebuyers (especially singles) often step one is finding something affordable – buy were you can and adapt accordingly.

After reading this book I realized that I don’t want a house. I want a place to live. A community of neighbours who won’t be afraid to ask for a bit of extra help when they need it or share their time or talents when they have an opportunity to do so. If I can find that, a roof over my head will simply be a bonus.

Maybe I’m crazy, but a house with a few neighbours who spend a bit of free time raising money for a park or organizing a small community program sounds like a FAR more relaxing/stress-free place to live than a house with a few neighbours who spend their free time lobbying a condo board to change the rules so one resident has to re-paint their front door.