Terry Fowler

Daily Archives: November 23, 2011

Heidegger in Hamilton

The idea of living sustainably has been around as long as human language has been there to express it.  Unfortunately, having the idea is a far cry from putting it into practice.  For thousands of years, humans have been far … Continue reading

Getting Urban Growth Wrong

Every once in a while someone comes along to tell us that we are at the end of ideology, or of history, or even of scientific discovery. In fact, scientific discovery itself has revealed to us an astounding story of … Continue reading

The Making of Toronto

Is It Accidental or Merely Wild? There are no accidents.  Don’t confuse me with the facts; nothing can sway me from this belief. Things happen when we don’t mean them to happen, and we often call such occurrences accidents.  Or, … Continue reading

Pavement Mentalities

I am a child of the city. Not only have I lived in large cities all my life; I have made them a central focus of my teaching and writing

Cities are fascinating. At their best, they are celebrations of human diversity, ingenuity, and creativity. We can learn much about ourselves by exploring our own built environments and our behaviour in them. Continue reading

Food and the Realities of Choice

We consume food many times throughout each day, even those of us on the verge of starvation. Therefore, our decisions about what to eat, however meagre the meal, have a huge economic and social impact. Normally, most of us aren’t too conscious of our choices, which makes them no choice at all. Michael Pollan invites us to be aware of those choices, and with his skillful coaching the potential impact of such awareness could be both subversive and enormous. Continue reading

It’s a Both/And World

One of the hardest ideas for 21st century humans to understand is that we live in a both/and world. There are lots of popular books and articles that explore the world of “win-win” situations. In fact, though, as modern physics … Continue reading

Something out of Nothing

The almost universal feeling of powerlessness among humans is a learned condition, a profound human mistake. It flies in the face of what science now tells us is implicit in and characteristic of all organisms. Like the rest of nature, … Continue reading

Place: The Hidden Dimension of this Dark Age

North Americans are a restless people. Somewhere between fifteen and twenty percent of us move every year, although most of those moves are in the same country. Furthermore, millions of immigrants arrive every year from other parts of the world. … Continue reading

Faulty Towers

Areas dominated by highrise buildings have more feeble social networks and higher crime rates, no matter what their social, economic or ethnic characteristics.
In general, the higher the building, the more the crime, regardless of the residents’ income or ethnic background Continue reading

Heritage in the ‘Burbs: How to Make Suburbs a Lasting Legacy

Imagine walking down a street of a suburban subdivision built in 2000, somewhere on the outskirts of Calgary, Vancouver or Toronto. Only now it’s 2020. To your right is one of the single family homes that survived a phys- ical transformation initiated in 2007, when it became clear that surviving the oil crisis required neighbourhood inten- sification. In his home, a retired minister sells polished and drilled semiprecious stones – amethysts, agates and tour- malines – out of a living room he has transformed into a showroom. His workshop is in the basement. Continue reading