RP: SubStack -Flip-flops, Girl Guides, and Food Banks
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RP: SubStack -Suburbs, Hugs, and Monkey Bars

Better zoning rules, coping skills in a stressful world, and olden play structures 

02b7b7fd-6549-4076-a46c-dda3d8100186_4080x3072 De-suburbification - There’s a new convenience store on Forward, just across from my building, or rather a new owner for an old place. And newer stock, hopefully. It’s a small single-use building, next to an old wooden house, and with a high rise behind - typical of the area.

Typical of my home town too, and many across Canada. Towns built before zoning, with mixed-use and walkable neighbourhoods. We didn’t even have our first mall until ‘77 - people either went to the corner store or walked downtown.

What brought this to mind was a Daily Hive article about zoning changes in Edmonton, saying it “will lead the way in Canada”. The 1960’s bylaws that encouraged suburbs filled with rows of single-family houses have been updated to allow a mix of duplexes, rowhouses, and even low-rise apartments. Plus more small businesses, like corner stores and cafes.

It’s a welcome change that will hopefully spread to other cities. I’m guessing there was some pushback from the NIMBY crowd, but I am glad to see this move away from yet more urban sprawl. More walkability, even way up in Edmonton.

Photo-1507652955-f3dcef5a3be5 Coping strategies in global uncertainty - City News had a good bit on this, with some helpful tips. No quick fixes were promised, but they did add some ways to build a bit of resiliency. I’ll summarize, but do read the article.

  • Leaning in - don’t be passive, lean in, get active and take some steps. Schedule some of your day, both with chores and nice things, healthy things. Take up a hobby, volunteer somewhere, and be consistent with it all.

  • Leaning out - as in back away from social media and television, especially news coverage. Choose your battles. Much of the news is negative and most of the outcomes are out of your control - and thus annoying and depressing.

  • Connecting - while backing away from those downers, work on connecting to others, be it friends, family, neighbours, or even strangers along the street. Don’t hit on people and be weird, but nothing wrong with a smile and a hello and some empathy.

  • Support your loved ones - just let people know you are there for them, that’s all. Knowing that will give them a bit of predictability, and same for you.

Ironically, as I wrote this, I could hear sobbing outside. I went out on my balcony, there was a woman out on hers - just a few over. On her knees, sobbing like her heart was broken. No idea who she was. I didn’t know what to do - call out, knock on her door? She stopped after a few minutes. I will mention it to nice folks in the rental office tomorrow, just as an FYI for them.

32fdf31d7a13e65540f7f8d3c8392a52 Risk-taking in the playground - It’s a good thing for kids. And the old jungle gym certainly mixed adventure and exercise with some risk. I don’t think they allow them anymore, nor monkey bars, they are all too dangerous. Meaning too hard to insure. We had the bars in my playground in the 50’s, made of plain pipe and couplings screwed together, as well as swings and teeter-totters. I think if anyone was badly hurt, they could just be hustled to the hospital, as it was only two blocks away. No jungle gym, as that would have been pretty complicated to assemble.

NPR has an audio clip about the inventor of the jungle gym, Sebastian Hinton. He built one for his kids in his backyard, and because he was a patent attorney, he patented it - 100 years ago.

What sort of play structures did you and/or your kids grow up with? Are you better or worse for the experience?

 

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