2: Glueless, Hubris and The 4 S's
My 3-part post continues about the failure of these two world capitals to become great cities by dreaming exciting dreams and converting them into clear visions. Both are in need of cataract removals to see their problems clearly and to create visions for all leaders and citizens to see and enthusiastically embrace.
Photo: Paul Weiss
The 4 S's:
signage, smoke, sidewalks
Lower left: Washington Monument enshrined in cherry blossoms and expansive lawns. A monument revered by Americans. Photo: Paul Weiss
I know that far fewer folks smoke in the American capital. Americans pay $4-5 a pack but cigarettes only cost $1.50 a pack down South. People committing slow suicide with tobacco doesn't seem like a major environmental issue until you wait for the signal to change at a busy Buenos Aires street corner and 2 or 3 people are filling the air with second-hand smoke. And, of course, most are young, a demographic well-targeted by tobacco companies. Needless to say, the streets and sidewalks are littered with cigarette butts. And when many adults smoke, good role models are not plentiful. I recently saw the head coach of the famous Boca Junior fútbol team, Julio César Falcioni, arriving at the airport and talking with reporters, a cigarette dangling from his lips, either oblivious or uncaring about his impact on the young!
And while we are on the subject of clean streets, in late 2005 the City Council of Buenos Aires passed a
In Washington, waste pick-up in my neighborhood was done from alleys behind residences and neighbors were responsible for keeping front yards clean. A weekly street-cleaning by big street-sweeping machine took care of the streets. The system was never perfect but got the job done. And, then, of course, out came the dogs.
There are solutions to all these problems, ways to clean our lenses by creating and embracing a vision for the city. I hope you will read my final post, Vision of a City on a Hill.
Paul Weiss founded and, for 30 years, directed Americas Children, an international nonprofit for children in North and South America. He recently published a book about his work, Touching The Rainbow Ground – 8 Steps To Hope. In 2011, he began a new journey on the rainbow trail, a global mission, The Rainbow Ground, to address the terrible challenges facing children everywhere.
Buenos Aires & Washington 2: Social Glue, Hubris & The 4 S's
Buenos Aires & Washington 3: Vision of a City on a Hill