Sustainability and living in a city

“While watching this interview with the Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, I wanted to know more about his hedonistic sustainability concept, and I came across his manifesto “Yes is more“. He claims that sustainability doesn’t have to mean renunciation, pain or less comfort, but building cities with sustainability in mind can make life in the city more enjoyable.

Right now, giving up the car and taking the bus, cycling or walking feels like giving up the comfort we grew to enjoy, and facing the caprices of the weather. How to make these alternative choices attractive is still a challenge. Better health due to increased exercise, reconnecting with nature and relearning how to be sociable on streets and footpaths do not seem to have sufficient appeal for most of the people at this point in time. Not having a car is still perceived as a nuisance. It would be great if we could do the same thing the Dutch did, but cycling is not the most fashionable thing at the moment.

The Ranks exhibition open at the Hunt Museum in Limerick allows us a glimpse into the city’s past and features bicycles used by employees to get to work. Helen O’Dwyer’s memories show how prominent these were at the time:

“… We used to always be on our bikes. … I was going mad without my bike now because we all cycled down… That time now there were hundreds cycling down the Dock road..

Can Limerick tap into its past to revive that cycling culture? Let’s hope so!

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One thought on “Sustainability and living in a city

  1. I’ve given up my car, and I can honestly say that life is better for doing so. The key thing is to choose to live somewhere that allows you to access most places by foot or bike. I’m living near the city centre, so it works, and I wouldn’t choose to live anywhere else now. There are a few occasions each week when I could use a car, as I spend a lot of time running in the countryside, but this is solved by car-sharing and car-pooling. All in all, it makes sense (to me, at least) not to own a car.

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