Anthony is currently a Ford Foundation Program Officer and Director
of the Foundation’s Sustainable Metropolitan Communities
Initiative. He has served as President of the Earth Island Institute
and was co-founder, with Karl Linn, of Urban Habitat. He was interviewed
for A Lot in Common at his home in Berkeley in September,
"The big problem is that we have acres and acres of concrete,
which destroys the microclimate and is an assault on the senses.
...this concept of cooperation to meet not only the needs of individuals
but also the needs of the community was really a very important
concept for the Mennonites, when they had a big task that could
not be done by individual families. When they were ready to build
a barn, they would invite all the neighboring families from miles
around and they would have this huge celebration and they would
raise the barn together.
And as we looked around the world, in fact one of the things that
I found, this tradition is alive and well in Africa. I traveled,
for example, to Mali, and I saw this very same tradition operating
when people had to rebuild the mosques to meet their shared needs,
so the whole community came together.
The notion of urban barnraising is to try restore or reclaim
these traditions for people who are living in cities."