Creature comforts, reinforced with concrete.

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Traveling along I-78 through northern New Jersey, about twelve miles west of Newark, drivers experience a reprieve from the endless array of New York suburbs as they speed through the Watchung Reservation.           On a map, it looks like this:But, despite the fact that it’s fundamentally a forest preserve, the infrastructure is a bit more sophisticated …Read more…

And on the seventh day…He created a market.

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With this article I venture into what may prove one of my most overtly political topics ever, possibly against better judgment.  Yet I wade into these waters as a deliberate challenge to myself, since I strive to separate the intensive political controversy that this tourist attraction elicits from what I think is more interesting and …Read more…

Even the cows can be crooked.

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Across most cultures, the animals that comprise what we would call “livestock” remain remarkably similar. Chickens, turkeys, goats, pigs, sheep, cattle, and horses are reliably visible in countries with widely variable climates and levels of industrialization. Some of this may be due to a commonly cultivated taste for the meat, milk, and eggs of these …Read more…

A new shade of pastoralism.

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An exploration in unfamiliar territory can often make the typically mundane landscape features pop out. This doesn’t require a great understanding of psychology: when we don’t know our surroundings that well, the employment of the senses becomes more of a conscious act. Much of western Kentucky, of which I am more familiar, is embedded in …Read more…

Four-Legged Pedestrians?

As I prepare for a significantly longer essay on the introduction of complete streets into the American landscape, I wanted to include a few images of a quiet but growing concern among planners and civil engineers: biofragmentation through the construction of roads.  In his book Road Ecology, Richard T. T. Forman estimates that 1,000,000 animals …Read more…