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  • The handcart man made it across the street before I dared to even step off the curb. He was seemingly oblivious to the traffic around him, like he operated in a different dimension and the heavy trucks couldn't possibly do him damage.

    All over the city, the human scale perseveres in the face of new and fast. I'm pulled into it everyday when I leave my house and reluctantly released when I enter the lifeless steel and concrete structure of my office tower. Will these handcart deliveries, vegetable hawkers, cargo bicycles, and oxen remain essential parts of the modern city? I hope so. They need to be celebrated and gratefully integrated as part of the sustainable way forward. Post oil. Post unfettered growth.

    On weekends I immerse myself in the markets, avoid the malls. I try to absorb the hand-made tools and processes that are such a credit to human creativity, strength and resourcefulness. I came home one day last week to a coconut walla sharpening his machete on my stone front step. He apologized, I grinned.

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