Suburban bliss?

March 27, 2007

We live on the edge of a newish suburb in a very middle class area. It’s not my first choice of places to live but circumstances mean it is the most convenient place for now. Anyway this afternoon Chichi (my 20mth old daughter) and I went on a walk around the suburb. I usually walk the other way, towards town but today decided to do some exploring. As walks go it was very boring, but that boringness was fascinating.
We walked for about 45 minutes, starting out at my normal pace with Chichi on my back but slowing to toddler pace when she wanted to get down and be independent. During that walk we stopped and looked at things a toddler found interesting- stones, plants, cars- and I took the opportunity to check out some of the more interesting architectural styles. What we didn’t see was any other walkers, no small children playing, no animals. Just a few high school students cycling home, occasional cars and buses and a lot of empty streets. I found it all very sad really. All these beautiful homes but there didn’t appear to be any community.
I think part of the problem lies with the developers. There are no community amenities, no dairy (convenience stores), no schools no churches. There are footpaths and a bus route but they seem little used. Without places to meet neighbors, and with all activities outside the home occurring at some distance, is it any wonder the streets are empty.
The other problems is our western culture. We are happy to live indoors, or in our enclosed backyards, leaving only in our cars to drive to work, to the supermarket or mall. I have to confess to being somewhat guilty of this myself. In 9 months here I’ve only ever spoken to our neighbors a handful of times.
Whatever the cause, the result is sad. On a warm sunny afternoon the suburb appears lifeless. It must be time to move on soon. Or get active myself. I’m not sure where to start with that..


2 Responses to “Suburban bliss?”

  1. richard b Says:

    active , restoring the patches of bush out the back ?? are you by the inlet sharon
    cheers richard

  2. Sharon Says:

    Thanks for your comment Richard. It’s not the inlet but the Northern suburbs. I don’t think anyone if restoring bush around here, it’s all residential development or farmland soon to become residential development.

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