Our HRM Alliance- Greenbelting and Complete Communities 
WRWEO, the environmental association that I Co-chair is an active member of Our HRM Alliance. Comprised now of 54 local groups and organizations, Our HRM Alliance accompanied and lobbied the Halifax regional planning process that took place over the last few years. The Alliance has adopted a two-pronged approach to going forward:

1. Greenbelting (including an initiative for people to hike, bike, canoe the greenbelt around HRM to explore its possibility)

2. Complete communities. Suburbs are not the problem. If suburban communities are built with transit at their core, walkable design, and a mix of shops and other business, they can encourage healthier lifestyles and produce considerably less emissions.

The problem is single-use, low-density sprawl. When communities are built in a way that makes cars the only option for doing every single task of the day, they engender enormous costs.


See the related link below for more detail including our own David Patriquin's brief on the impact that green belting will have on biodiversity.
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Inspirational community work: Sketch & Courage Lab exploring Decolonization 
I've been a supporter of this organization for years. Use them as a case-study in my facilitation. Early, early days I was a volunteer in Toronto. Such an inspiring approach full of dignity and possibility - the best of what art can do.

Courage Lab, is part of a new collaborative project between Neighbourhood Arts Network, ANVU and SKETCH, aiming to gather diverse artists, educators, organizers and activists to courageously investigate, share and experiment with concepts, ideas, tools and practices for exploring equity and anti-oppression through the arts. On Wednesday, April 1, the most recent lab explored decolonization.

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Finnish Educational System kicking butt with a Less is More approach to learning and life 
1. Less formal schooling
2. Less time in school (more play, more idleness)
3. Fewer instruction hours (more planning time for teachers to be creative)
4. Fewer teachers over a longer period
5. Fewer classes (more breaks)
6. Less testing. More learning.
7. Fewer topics. More depth.
8. Less homework. More participation.
9. Fewer students. More individual attention.
10. Less structure. More trust.

Check out the full article on the related link below.
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Goodbye Dear Karl  
The Cathedral in Mainz

arm in arm
we strolled the cloisters
emptying colour
built from
bird prayers and monks
walking face to face
knowing when to step forward
knowing when to step back
words fully attended
as rare and unlikely as
our symmetry
I can still hear your voice in the corridor
Gudenkenflugem
I can still hear your voice in the corridor
our symmetry
as rare and unlikely as
words fully attended
knowing when to step back
knowing when to step forward
walking face to face
monks and bird prayers
built from
emptying colour
we strolled the cloisters
arm in arm

For Karl Osner

We lost a great man this year. One of my most inspiring mentors was an unlikely one- an elderly German man, a bureaucrat formerly studied theology. We talked about art and faith, poverty and justice. We fought a lot too. He took me under his wing but, in spite of the decades between us and our experience, always as a peer. I learned how much you can learn from a colleague who is really a friend. How important it is for our work not to talk about work. What it really means to listen.

He took me to where he grew up in the Black Forest and areas nearby. We roamed museums and churches. I wrote this poem for him after a visit with him to the Cathedral of Mainz.

Karl founded an approach based on dialogue that brought countless policy makers from Germany and parts of Europe to live and speak with marginalized families. That some of these methods have been reduced to case studies or life stories missed what he intended which was dialogue without agenda. Reflection without a log frame. Who we are in all of this and what it means. SEWA, WIEGO, Mohammed Yunus and others have captured this spirit. We are blessed to have known him and been touched by his humanity. For more on his work and life see the link below.

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Copenhagen bike lanes - a model of active transportation 
200 miles of bike lanes and one with 40,000 bikers a day.



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