Harvard physician Paul Dudley White, the ‘father of American cardiology’, believed that a brisk, five mile walk every day is as good a remedy for a restless mind as anything the worlds of medicine and psychology have to offer. Many literary notables, from Charles Dickens to Will Self, have written at length on the restorative effects of their peregrinations through the urban jungle, but as Dr. White well understood, there is something unique about walking in natural surroundings that no amount of urban wandering can approximate.

George Orwell, Thomas De Quincey, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Søren Kierkegaard, Thomas Mann…

By 2050, 68% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. That’s according to a United Nations report released in 2018. The population of our cities will have grown by 2.5 billion, the report predicts, and the majority of countries will have more than 50% of their population city-based. Barring the no-longer-entirely-inconceivable scenario of some cataclysmic event triggering a planetary-scale back-to-the-land movement in the interim, this is the future for which policymakers should be preparing.

Conversations about livable cities often center on issues like optimizing buildings for energy efficiency, enhancing public transit, creating walkable neighborhoods and de-clogging our streets…

Human beings are nomadic creatures. For 99 percent of our existence as a species, anthropologists believe, we’ve been on the move. Some scientists have argued that a propensity for travel, novelty and adventure is actually encoded in our DNA. Either way, we don’t take well to confinement.

Confinement, however, is precisely what’s defined our shared experience of the last twelve months. For many, the sudden inability to travel much beyond our own neighborhoods brought with it a very real, very natural sense of claustrophobia. But being forced to stay close to home, while obviously limiting our experience in certain respects…

Even in this deeply polarized age, there are still some things that Americans agree on

Image via Pixabay

The United States is limping into the 2020 election a divided nation. With the tribalization of partisan loyalties and an ever-expanding galaxy of political factions hunkered down in the comfort of their respective echo-chambers, it sometimes seems hard to find an issue that unites even members of the same party these days, let alone one that garners the bipartisan support necessary to make the kind of legislative strides needed to fix the multitude of problems facing this country. …

James Horrox

Editor / researcher / occasional writer of stuff. Expat Brit. • https://jameshorrox.com/

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