I was being interviewed by Windsor Star reporter Ted Whip yesterday, and he asked - simply enough - what Scale Down is all about. I've been asked this so many times before, and have given a different answer each and every time, that I paused for a second before answering him.
If we distilled the essence of Scale Down into a perfume (without adding the 13 virgins - that would just be overwhelming!) what would the scent be like?
I was actually contemplating this very notion as I was performing my household duties yesterday prior to being interviewed. That is the time (aside from showering) that I do my best thinking. The kids aren't bugging me (they're alergic to doing the dishes, didn't you know) and I'm free to let my mind wander.
I know that we are continually backing the local business wo/man and their desire to make an honest living while providing a valued service to the community in which they live. I know we are always talking about our built environment and how "New Urbanism" and traditional neighbourhood development has proven itself superior for getting to know our neighbours as well as slimming our waistlines while we walk the couple of blocks to the store to get milk. We value a quality public transportation system as an efficient way to gain mobility. We espouse the arts and our cultural heritage as a way to reinvigorate the "Main Streets" of Windsor and how lively and exciting a neighbourhood that values its artists can be. We also get into the huge waste of money that communities spend as they duplicate and triplicate their infrastructure trying to service far-flung suburbs and their 3/4 acre raised ranches.
Then it dawned on me. We're all about the pedestrian! The notion of the human being, on foot, signifies progress in all aspects of our daily lives. When we get out of our cars and walk along our streets, we bump into the people who cut our meat at the deli and dispense our prescriptions at the drug store. We interact with each other and become involved in each other's lives. We don't mow each other down in our SUV's as we race to pick the kids up from daycare, because we have cut down our spending as we cut down our car and insurance payments and are able to spend less time at work. We're not working overtime to fuel our hyper-consumer lifestyles, so we're able to spend time with our significant others as we visit the theatre or art gallery. The only peopl less than thrilled with us when we focus on the foot are the big-box stores and the weight loss emporiums.
We're more human when we use our feet.
Whether this has brought me closer to understanding the essence of Scale Down or not, I don't know. We're all these things, and then a little something else thrown in the mix to shake things up a bit. I was hoping to come out of this mental exercise with an apporpriate slogan we could use to describe our actions, but I don't know whether I'm at that point yet or not.
I had come up with "Pedestrian Powered Rejuvenation", and am going to let that sit with me a while to see if it stands the test of time.