Andrew Blum has a great article on urbanism, environment, and change: Local Cities, Global Problems: Jane Jacobs in an Age of Global Change:
We are wedging ourselves between a rock and a hard place: between the pleasures of medium-density living (Greenwich Village, Park Slope, TorontoÄôs Annex) and the ecological necessity of even more density. When it comes to our homes, we are all justifiably afraid of change, especially when it feels like (or is) destruction. But we donÄôt often pair that truth with another oft-repeated one: Our way of life is unsustainable. In North AmericaÄôs most beautiful urban places, we unfailingly fight every new tall building in the name of Äúquality of lifeÄù and the Äúcharacter of the neighborhood.Äù We claim to have internalized the idea that itÄôs all connected, that slowing the warming of the planet is a global project, but the nature in our backyards remains sacredÄîoften to the point, perhaps, of self-destruction.