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Mindful : August 2018
Mindful: You’ve been meditating since you were a teenager. How would you say that your contempla- tive practice has informed the work you do and your dedication to “greening the built environment”? Jonathan Rose: I’ve been interested in environ- mental science since I was a small child, and have considered myself an environmentalist all my life. But through my contemplative practice, I began to see the environment as an extraordinarily beautiful, interconnected, co -evolving, grow- ing realm of life—a life infused with sentience of which humans are only one part, even though we think we have an outsized role. It’s given me a much deeper capacity to connect to an under- standing of the science while maintaining a sense of sacredness and awesomeness and making a pledge every day to protect it or help it. → ABOUT THE AUTHOR Kelle Walsh is a contributing editor to Mindful and is based in Colorado. She profiled Jewel in the October 2017 issue. “We need an entirely different mindset—one that can marry humans and nature.” J onathan Rose has spent a lifetime thinking about how to make urban communities better. It’s no small task, as he outlined in his sweeping treatise on the history and potential of urbanism, The Well-Tempered City, a book that Ford Foundation presi- dent Darren Walker called “mandatory reading” for anyone who cares about the cities of the world. The guiding mission of Jonathan Rose Companies—the firm he founded in 1989—is to develop green, affordable, mixed-use housing, and, through its real estate fund, to acquire and preserve affordable housing throughout the country. Mindful spoke with this native New Yorker, son of a developer, passionate environmentalist, and longtime student of Buddhist and Jewish contemplative traditions about his work, the need for equitable solutions for many of our social ills, and the healing power of great urban design. August 2018 mindful 67 society