Million Dollar Hole
This hole in the ground represents different things to different people. For some, it is a future home to rest one’s head and raise a family. For another, it is a money making venture, a temporary job, an opportunity to brand, sell, design or build. For others, it is a scar and damage done to a place where trees and birds once flourished where anyone could openly enjoy.
For me, it is a symptom of an economic system that takes at any cost with questionable benefits to society as a whole. Developments encroaching into green spaces only accessible for the affluent, streets of single family homes where studies prove, inside, families are separated and lonely, while outside neighbours stay strangers. It is the type of development where developers prioritize profit over true ecological building standards (being less bad doesn’t make it good); where the best views are marketed to the highest bidder; aesthetics symbolize wealth and the inevitable class division comes through exclusion, inaccessibility, and a clear division of who does or does not belong.
I am not saying that wealth or nice things are bad. If one loves their job and finds meaning in it, and all is good, balanced and ecological then cool. What I am saying is that these types of developments and the resulting high consumption environments and lifestyles that they led to are unsustainable. Despite what so-called ecological building standards they claim to use, it is not good enough because their standards are too low and more importantly, their worldview too limited. Do you think any of the houses at skyridge collect rainwater, have composting toilets, or are off the grid? Do you think any of these units are deemed “affordable”? Will vehicle residents be welcome to spend a night on these streets?
More so, is it really worth trading this one precious life trapped in a system of social status and aesthetics while being left with little time to enjoy life and the other beings who are part of it? (Human and non-human). How much do we really need and are we capable of examining the true social and environmental cost of our indulgences? When is enough? When will it stop?