Portland, Oregon has been described as the city where young people come to retire, a place that celebrates what is becoming known as the Leisure Ethic. But the Leisure Ethic is not really about retiring, but about finding a way to live more simply, quietly and slowly, in tune with nature and the cycles of life. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with writer William Powers, whose new book New Slow City: Living Simply in the World's Fastest City, is about a year he spent trying to find in the core of speed-drivien workaholic Manhattan the same connection to nature, minimalism, joy, and abundant free time he experienced living in a twelve-foot by twelve-foot off-the-grid cabin on a permaculture farm in North Carolina.
Born and raised on Long Island, William Powers has worked for over a decade in development aid and conservation in Latin America, Africa, Native North America, and Washington, DC. He is a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute and is on the adjunct faculty of New York University. A third generation New Yorker, Powers has also spent two decades exploring the American culture-of-speed and its alternatives in some fifty countries around the world. He has covered the subject in his four books and written about it in the Washington Post and the Atlantic. An expert on sustainable development, he is a freelance writer and speaker.