I have made a number of observations on space, after living in Italy.
You expand to fill the space available to you. You know when you first move from a small apartment into a house or larger apartment, and you wonder how you will fill the space? Then, after a few years, if you move again you realize that you have filled the space, without even thinking about it.
This is true for homes, and for countries too. I think this is why everything is bigger in the US – cars, roads, houses… We have the space, so we fill it. You don’t have to conserve space, be efficient with it, if you have a lot of it. Cities spread out, people move to the country, the car becomes required to get anywhere. The spreading out, the using of space, gets perpetuated.
Our personal space, the “bubble” of space we want around our bodies, is much larger in the US than in Europe too. You really notice it when you need to ride an elevator in Italy. A bit too close for American comfort.
|Utah, near Colorado border|
But for the proponents of denser housing and public transit, I have bad news. There is a lot of space left in the US. We are not even close to using up the space available to us. And until the space is at a premium and the prices go sky high, I don’t think behaviors are going to change.
There’s your thought to ponder for today! See you on Monday, back in Oregon, after 24 hours of driving through a lot of wide open space.