Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.


The Green Ways

Natural life and expressions must be brought back into the city. It is essential for the physical, spiritual and mental health of the people. Go Green is an organisation that links our culture towards health. We initiate cultural- political interaction, green area planning, set up health, activity and expression forums.

Green ways are being recreated with grand success. And righteous so! It is embarrassing to drive along a road and witness the walking people squeezed out in the ditch, baking in the sun. Or joggers doing what they know best on none bouncing, uniform asphalt, breathing car exhaust, while feeling somewhat vulnerable if not totally in the way among the fast moving engine people. It is time to increase the awareness of the basic balance in our surroundings, because this is the only way back to a healthy planet and healthy lively people. Our recent straight lined and sedentary culture slowly eliminates every touch of nature. It is highly toxic for the planet, our common sense and overall vitality.

Life in the modern city has become a symbol of the fact that man can become adapted to starless skies, treeless avenues, shapeless buildings, tasteless bread, joyless celebration and spiritless pleasures. We work often routine tasks in enclosed spaces and are increasingly treating our self as machines.
Our technological cleverness has isolated us from the world of nature. We even let our kids play football on plastic grass, because is cheaper to maintain. It is senseless indeed. The playgrounds are flat, made from iron and plastic for safety and easy maintenance of place and child.
-in many aspects we are too adaptable for our own good. We can survive in our concrete jungles and fool our self that we are enjoying the amusement and material comfort they provide. And yet deep down we know that something is lacking. We miss our contact with the natural world.

Parks with shady trees to tumble- grass to kick off the shoes, for toddlers, to sit on, to play on (acrobatics, martial arts, circus tricks).we need retreats, mini- spots, the tranquillity under a wise old tree. Alternatives to the body limiting representatives of the sedentary cultures: cafés, bars, benches and strollers.

Kids camps-children need to connect with the tranquillity and simple greatness of nature. let them roam on the mountain, climb in trees, make camp fire, sleep under open sky, learn basic skills such as pottery, handicraft, herb- lore, tree house building and natural living. Helping out in a grout and develop community skills.

Healing herbs- we should all have basic knowledge of how nature heals us. There in included the more common herbs there is around us. Know how to recognize the early onset of symptoms and be able to our self to take early action, with our natural inborn tools.

The tree
Prime concern is not to raise plants, but healthier and happier people!
The hanging gardens of Babylon had a purpose, they were not only places of beauty, but spiritual retreats used for physical rest and mental repose. Just think about your concept of heaven. Is it a nightclub, a supermarket or a world created by nature?
Flowers attract life to them.- and the desire to inter act with life.
Trees should be seen as the grand harmonizers they truly are, rather than limiting their use to ornamental purpose.
1.Trees could be planted along roads and high ways. They absorb both CO2 exhaust from motor vehicles and blocks as acts as a noise barrier. Instead trees are being cut down. The argument is security. They are dangerous in case a car slams into it. Statistics.
2. The trees provides a natural filtered shade. It is absurd that trees are planted on the side of the pavement, where they have no practical purpose at all, other than ornamental and as dog toilets.
3.The grand tree has since the beginning of time been a natural gathering place. We use bushes, plants and trees to steel a little intimacy, as to focus on immediate surroundings. To get a brake from observed from the world. Teenagers seek abandoned places, little corners not usually to do dark things, but rather their own separate stuff.
The ornamental view does not seem to satisfy the city people, who line up like cattle to escape their cement jungle and fall back in nature, when their schedule permits them… they would not have the same urgent urge, if we incorporated a bit of wilderness into all our city developments, instead of filling every patch with straight lined concrete.
The real estate and construction business is expanding big time. We must assure before it is too late, that some of the empty lots are left to balance local neighbourhoods with areas with space and wilderness. Small preen spots, little retreats- allow the people to catch that peace and tranquillity of nature everywhere.
Yes, and all the doggies. Don’t worry. Your ability to detect the shit from the flowers will sharpen quickly. It is organic and less harmful for your whole being than spending a lifetime on cement. We need parks to tumble in, green paths to linger on, where the trees enwraps us like a canopy, bushes to snug behind and fields of high grass and flowers to sink into.
Roads asphalt and cement
Paved surfaces dulls your senses, especially you’re the ones located around your ankles. If the surface you walk also is mostly flat, well then you are most likely to use your feet mechanically and seldom bending your ankle more that 90 degrees. Limited use of joints causes short muscles, loos of elasticity and movement range (if you fall backwards when squatting with heels on ground- you are in that bunch!).
When the mechano-receptors of the ankles are dulled from lack of re-bouncing, reactions are slow. We stumble easier, and do not always have the instant reaction to hinder a fall or a twist. It becomes difficult to trust our feet abilities on difficult terrain or in the dark.
But if you walk bare feet for some month, you will realise that our feet are the most incredible sensory detectors. 1. You feel in a split second when you are about to step on something harmful and therefore never step down on it. You do a slight weight change.
2. if you follow a path in the dark, your feet feel the surface and you feel when you are of the beaten track.
3. The dog turds are the only challenge left for your feet to balance around.
As a race we have inhabited planet earth for at least 2 million years. 99% of this time. We lived nomadic existence.
The secondary benefits follow in form of easing of the desperate exodus of city people towards nature in weekends and holydays.
To avoid the smog from the city, enjoy and benefit from the fresh sea breeze, a pine or palm grove…
It is obvious that city people need a brake from the linear cement ambience they are surrounded by.
The healing aspect of nurturing a life.

Practical aspects
There is a healing aspect in nurturing a life. The soil con be cared for by the people who belong there, rather than somebody paid by the hour, follow office orders, with no input of creativity and daily use. Gardening is done out of love, not out of duty and there is many in the urban life who long touch and care for soil and plants. Each park, garden and green spot will have their guardian to assure further growth.
Vandalism will minimize with personal touch.