And if it's too much, you buy a bigger piece of land if you can, so you don't have to be so neighborly. You withdraw into your family and its petty estate. You fuss about the property values. You choose your town based on its schools, you don't help develop the school because it's your town.
And nature is a thing you do on weekends, when you're not mowing the lawn. You drive to visit it, little contained patches of land we imagine to be pristine. A refuge from this world we've co-created.
To me, the suburbs aren't just a problem, they're a manifestation of _the_ problem. They are alienating. Low density. Destructive to community, replacing community with a weaker network of family friendships that never coalesce into the durable relations that make true community.
You don't know your neighbors, not all of them. You don't _want_ to in the suburbs. You don't work in the burbs, not usually. You drive to school, you drive to work, or a train you drive to friends, you drive.
My hometown has no great record on native rights, but one can at least imagine the world as it is giving the Ute tribes a place to return to in their land without upending it all. It's in the realm of possibility. The world as it was taken from them is still there, if changed.
The Massachuset and Pequot and Cohasset and Nipmuc and Abenaki? Four hundred years of colonizing, privatizing and annexing land has left it utterly changed.
There are public paths and right of ways here. There's a few great meadows and sanctuaries, a recreation area here and there, but by and by large, the land is divided up into parcels held privately. Not fenced, but obvious demarcations between lawns. Large houses sprawled out for miles, farms are some of the largest open spaces, and those are in towns.
Towns are space-filling here, and since they have less structure inside than counties in Colorado, they don't cause clustering.
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