“La ciudad y la amistad”, Laura Marajofsky, vida moderna en contexto urbanos, vida moderna en la ciudad, singles, viviendo con amigos, comunidad intencional, permacultura, “nuevos arquetipos de vivienda y colaboración en las grandes ciudades”, “nuevas formas de organización socio-afectiva”, impacto del medioambiente en la salud, la salud en la ciudad, impacto del medioambiente en el cuerpo, resiliencia urbana, nuevos modelos de familia, nuevas estructuras familiares, fin de la familia tipo, aumento single, hábitats humanos autosuficientes y ecológicos, Cities and friendship, modern life in urban contexts, modern life in the city, cohabiting with friends, intentional communities, “urban collectives”, permaculture, new housing and collaborative archetypes in the big cities, new forms of socio-affective organization, natural environment impact on people’s health, natural environment impact on individual’s health, health in the city, health and the city, natural environment impact on the body, urban resilence, new family models, new family structures, the end of the typical family, the end of the nuclear family, single’s rise, single rise, self-sufficient and ecological human habitats, self-sufficient and eco-friendly human habitats, Meet Farming’s Future Hamida Kinge American City, Nudging Recycling From Less Waste to None Lesleie Kaufman The New York Times, Quejas y fuerte polémica por el sonido de los shows en clubes Nora Sánchez Clarín.com, Accidentes de tránsito: en 20 años serán la quinta causa de muerte Valeria Román Clarín.com, Bill Davenhall: Your health depends on where you live TED, Urban resilence Maywa Montenegro Seed Magazine, New U.S. Census to Reveal Major Shift: No More Joe Consumer Bradley Johnson Advertising Age, Menos del 40% de los hogares argentinos responde hoy al modelo de "familia tipo" Pilar Ferreyra Clarín.com, Singles: más de la mitad de los argentinos no tiene pareja Brenda Focas Silvina Herrera Diario Perfil, To Each Her Own Suzanne Slesin The New York Times.
Underneath the everyday veil a lot of the things that we go through day after day become natural, almost indisputable. We get up in the morning knowing we’ll walk the streets of the city, running into unknown people who inhabit the same place. We’ll get mad if the bus is running late or if the subway is stuck. We’ll regret the excess of noise, the lack of fresh air or the suffocating pace according to the occasion. Maybe we even ask ourselves about life in other places and fantasize with the chance of getting to know them.
Though living in an urban landscape constitutes almost an axiom for many people, something that doesn’t requires a lot of thought, it becomes a necessity to acknowledge the increasing complexity and the great challenges that come with this decision, especially when the city seems to constantly put our physical and mental health to the test. There’s a lot of variables that once incorporated are difficult to disarticulate and reshape, from issues related with geography, to food supply and the care of the environment, and finally leisure and transportation, to name a few examples. Perhaps this is why it’s so important to recreate a predisposition to evaluate certain crucial matters. For instance, traditional medicine is incorporating an aspect which has to do with making an analysis of the characteristics of the environment (levels of contamination, etc), in order to provide the individual with as much information as possible when it comes to make decisions that will have an impact on his health.
But these times not only bring a transformation of the urban settings, but also, luckily, of the human too. Thus, to the continual growth of cities we have to add the rising of new forms of socio-affective organization that little by little make the more conventional schemes tremble, posing interesting questions regarding the way of thinking relationships nowadays.
Without going any further, the last USA census reveals a curious stat: the typical family structure (a married couple with children) accounts for a mere 22% of total households; above them are married couples with no kids and singles, evidencing a timid but distinct transition. Similarly, according to data collected in Argentina, “nuclear families” represent less than 40% of total households, and 15% are single households.
In the same way fresh air could give a respite and some perspective to the observer, these recent cultural movements may be the kick-start to begin thinking more intelligent and sustainable designs for living in an urban setting, where sociability plays without doubt a decisive role.
Currently very specific configurations can be appreciated. At one side of the spectrum we have the “mainstream” dispositions, such as family in its various shapes. In the opposite extreme we find single people, who have been gaining presence in the last decade (although presenting big contradictions). Between these two points we can locate a tiny group of not quite constituted variants, such as groups of people living together, either in a more organized manner under the format of a community, or directly with informal arrangements of some sort.
Therefore, some incipient alternatives that explore new housing and collaborative archetypes in the big cities begin to appear.
The “intentional communities” o “urban collectives” work with the premise of reuniting people with similar interests and objectives, that live under the same roof and who organize themselves to deal with the different daily issues. In spite the fact that in many cases the tenants don’t know themselves before moving in together, these communities aim at reformulating the concept of family recreating own customs.
Simultaneously these initiatives face a topic of great strategic importance so as to move with certain autonomy in the city: the generation of self-supplying systems in reduced groups of people. The use of “permaculture” practices, a philosophy based on the construction of self-sufficient and ecological human habitats, it’s a perfect match when observing many of the problems we face at the moment, related either with the quality of the food available or with the administration of natural resources.
These arrangements might shed some light on the depreciated role of friendship regarding individual’s social and project outline these days. However, even though this proposal allows us to glimpse, at least partially, other possible affective sceneries which compete with the existing ones, it wouldn’t seem there’s a very consistent elaboration of the subject. Recognizing friends as building blocks in the lay out of networks which provide support on the long term, is an arduous task in a culture where this relationship always appeared as something secondary.
Besides, it gives the impression that when trying to figure out some matters such as the housing situation (one of the central axis of the “urban collectives”), other equally or more relevant factors are neglected; among them, the construction of sustainable bonds and its articulation with other vital facets. Perhaps it would be suitable to seriously reformulate the idea of friendship itself and of its potential in the first place.
Likewise, an independent model which aspires to work with the numerous variables that concern life in the city should have a holistic approach precisely for avoiding fragmentary solutions, coping with necessities as diverse as food supply, work and leisure. It suffices to notice for example, the problem that it is for many to have a healthy diet, or even being able to participate in recreational instances where narcotization or self-harm are not promoted. It should also be considered other transversal phenomena present in this culture, like the systematic burnout produced by work routine, the breakthroughs regarding human longevity and the application of new technologies.
All throughout history metropolis have positioned themselves as hubs of expansion and movement, of opportunities and future prospects. Maybe a first step towards an optimization of the urban experience would be to deactivate the apparent prevalence of all those conditions that are understood as acceptable, combining the individual capacity of incidence with a group logic as well as a group spirit which reminds us that, after all, we are not alone in the big city.