kickstART Your Weekend with Some Good Reads: Bloated American Dreams, How Walking Helps Us Think, and the New Wave of Public Art

Our Friday update here at kickstART farmington highlights some communitygreat articles we’ve read this week dealing with art, creative placemaking, and building great communities. You’re sure to find some inspiration to make your life and our community even better!

1. The Bloated American Dream: The size of the average American house has grown consistently (from 983 square feet in 1950 to a monstrous 2,679 square feet), even as the average U.S. household size has decreased.

2. French Revolution Against the Automobile: By inserting high-quality transit systems into old urban and new suburban fabrics, largely at the expense of space previously dedicated to automobiles, the new revolutionaries have reversed declining transit use, and have stimulated pedestrian, and bicycle use in French cities.

3. Walking Helps Us Think: Because we don’t have to devote much conscious effort to the act of walking, our attention is free to wander … This is precisely the kind of mental state that studies have linked to innovative ideas and strokes of insight.

4. The New Wave of Public Art: Public art … can move away from often staid, intimidating, bureaucratic public buildings and into busy, non-traditional public spaces. Public art can ask questions about stories of place, histories, or communities, rather than simply offer answers.

5. Front Porch PlacemakingIn many cases the front porch is the most prominently spatial element of the home because it is located on the front façade and usually in the center of it. As such front porches have a strong social connection between private and public space.


One thought on “kickstART Your Weekend with Some Good Reads: Bloated American Dreams, How Walking Helps Us Think, and the New Wave of Public Art

  1. Enjoyed reading the Front Porch Placemaking article. Interesting stuff from a few years back, an NPR series on “porch culture”:

    Another related good read: Celebrating the Third Place: Inspiring Stories about the “Great Good Places” at the Heart of our Communities, ed. Ray Oldenburg. Picked up a copy at Horizon Books (Traverse City), one of the featured locations in the book.

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