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Help: Regenerative Communities Questionaire

Hello friends! I’m working on a school project exploring the idea of regenerative communities from a real estate developer perspective. My group is curious to know if there is a place in the market for real estate development infused and guided by the ethics and principles of permaculture. We are trying to validate our gut sense that there is latent demand for living in patterns of community that allow people to realize a fully regenerative lifestyle.

Most of the questions are close-ended so I don’t think it will take you more than 10 or 15 minutes of your time.


in gratitude

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  1. Polymathena

    I infer from your survey that your excluding the proximity of Theatre or visual arts venues in either the ‘convenience’ or in ‘spirit’ sections means that you do not think that access to the arts should even be a consideration for the development of a community.

    Usually the inclusion of an arts venue in a development plan is a sop to locals who’s neighborhoods are being ‘redeveloped’ or a tax mitigater for the developers, or both. But if one is truly interested in the health and well being of a community, a regenerative community, a theatre should be a primary consideration, not just a deal-making chit.

    One could argue that we humans are becoming increasingly isolated by choice, that the internet and on-demand entertainment are adequate palliatives for our savage breasts, but the stunning popularity of American Idol, reality TV in general, and YouTube, to name a few examples, are definitive indicators that human beings long for a deeper level of contact, to feel empathy with the world around them, and for good reason; it is critical to our health and societal well being.

    This is not a new idea. A few examples: Antonin Artaud wrote that if the actor can “join with the passions by means of their forces…he can become a true healer”. Three thousand some odd years before that, the Greeks built their greatest healing center at Asklepias right next to their spectacular theatre at Epidaurus–with a connecting hallway between them–because they knew that the experience of live theatre sped healing. And way before that, when pre-lingual hominids chose to hunt and gather in groups, the ability to perceive the behavior of one’s peers was a critical survival skill. Failure to do so meant isolation and vulnerability to predators.

    Our need to perceive the meaning of behavior and to be in empathetic environment is still critical to our survival, even if we’re no longer in ongoing danger of being some predator’s lunch. Late 20th century science has clearly demonstrated that not only do isolated individuals suffer significant ill health effects including heart disease, but also that those who are in recovery from heart attacks heal significantly more quickly if they have access to the emotional intimacy of an empathetic environment, even if they do not exercise physically!

    Theatre is an emotional gym where people can access and exercise their empathy in a non-stakes environment, without even having to live the reality or the narrative. Whether one has had a heart attack or is perfectly healthy, for an hour or two, a person can have deep emotional responses to the plights or joys of a character, even if that character is a profoundly different person. Having had an ‘empathy workout’, an audience can walk away from a live theatrical experience emotionally stronger, less willing to engage in or escalate conflict, and more able to deal with the challenges of daily life, and potentially physically healthier.

    Given the progression of our ever more densely populated world, the nature and quality of human interaction should be a primary concern, in community re/development. Just as the physical topography of the land must be considered to ensure efficient, effective waste management, energy use, and traffic flow, etc, the emotional topography of human nature and behavior must be a component of planning. Specifically, intimate, local theatres and performance spaces should be an integral plat on every neighborhood’s plan for the healthy lives of its citizens.

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