This is a site for myself, Chris Bradshaw, to share ideas with others. I plan to blog, to display items I have written previously, and to share links to other places on the Net I find useful.
The name of the page refers to the place each of us feels attached to, for which I use the term, ‘hearth,’ that place in front of a house’s fireplace, where we seek warmth, not just physical heat, but the warmth of our fellow family members. More broadly speaking, our hearth is also our feeling of being connected, grounded. In fact, it is useful to think of it as our ‘heart earth,’ realising that the word is, in fact, the overlap of these two words.
In using hearth as a modifier of health, I am making the concept more complex, bringing in the idea that the place we feel connected to can be healthy or unhealthy to some degree. My ‘project’ for the rest of my life is to reform our relationship to the car by introducing an advanced form of shared ownership and use, building on my long-time vision (since 1980) and experience (co-founding and co-managing Vrtucar, Ottawa’s carsharing club) to find a solution to sprawl, poor fitness, decline of community, peak-oil, energy insecurity, road congestion and incivility, and a lack of independence for the poor, elderly, disabled, ‘simplicists,’ children, ill/infirm, and visitors (PEDS-CIVs) who are forgotten when we design our cities and towns.
I hope to have more to say also about the psychology of consumption, and its relationship to the ‘burn cycle‘ (resentment and reward) in contrast to the ‘learn cycle‘ (refraction and reflection).
And as I am a person connected to my own hearth, I will post some experiences related to mine: the northeast corner of Sandy Hill, in the centre of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada’s capital, where I live with my wife of 40 years, Maryann, in a house built in 1888, car-lite, with a plethora of human-powered wheeled vehicles filling our garage.
I am 70, retired from municipal government (public participation practitioner in the Planning Department, 1974-1995) as well as my second career in carsharing (1999-2006). I also served as leader of the Green Party of Canada (2001-2003). Today, my most significant activity is as a member of the Ottawa Seniors Transportation Committee, chairing the Older Drivers subcommittee and sitting on subcommittees on walkability, hospital parking, transit, and outreach events. I am on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and have a listing on Wikipedia. My full curriculum vitae is elsewhere in this site.