Hot Trend for Real Healthy Living

September 14, 2011
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My neighbors and I have had to organize and attend to a desire by the County to up-zone in our semi-rural neighborhood.  There are several infrastructure issues we are presenting as arguments against any significant upzoning, but there are a couple of things that are worthy of a post here on my blog, as well.

My neighbors and I have had to organize and attend to a desire by the County to up-zone in our semi-rural neighborhood.  There are several infrastructure issues we are presenting as arguments against any significant upzoning, but there are a couple of things that are worthy of a post here on my blog, as well.

The first is a Wall Street Journal article about a hot trend that is already our current reality — An Apple Tree Grows in Surburbia.  The article explains how more and more people are returning to a more sustainable lifestyle, which includes a certain amount of local and home food production.  We see the the space and simplier life being healthier, but it is also part of my family disaster preparedness and response plan.

We have been told one reason for the desired increase in residential units in our neighborhood is a lack of sufficient workforce housing in close proximity to employers.  However, today’s mobile technologies and the current trend toward flexible workplaces should actually reduce the pressure to up-zone properties in established residential neighborhoods. In fact, the President has an interest in workplace flexibility and has directed all federal agencies to create plans for increasing the number of flexiblework schedules and mobile and remote workers. He wants federal agencies to become models for other public and private businesses.

Technology has taken us far and will continue to help reduce the need for workers to perform their job functions only at a downtown office location (or in the expensive hospital space).  The book Managing a Mobile Workforce describes how not all people always have to be physically present at the employer’s location to effectively perform and fulfill their responsibilities. It also reveals how productivity can actually be increased with flexible work arrangements. Think about how flexible work could help you limit or avoid the commute, pollution, cost, congestion, childcare issues and stress that comes along with it all.  
 
Coming back full circle, the First Lady is also promoting family gardens and more healthy foods to reduce our childhood obesity trend.  Why worry about finding space for a community garden when each property and family has room for its own garden? 
It is time we take a more comprehensive approach and explore the impact of flexible work solutions and benefits of space as we address the work and life housing needs of our community.