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Relocalisation movement will revive towns, small cities


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#1 DrBubb

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 02:27 AM

Relocalisation movement will revive towns, small cities
Young people want something better than suburbs
===================================================

post_full_1271610080agriculture-new-golf

Duncan Crary, who conducts weekly interviews with JH Kunstler (author of the Geography of Nowhere and The Long Emergency), feels that he has been in a "four year intellectual apprenticeship", and Crary himself is becoming a voice for the revival of small towns and small cities.

460%3E_5449641.jpg

Two recent interviews:

KunstlerCast #185: Duncan Crary on Relocalize Vermont : source
MP3 :

C-Realm: "American Brigadoon" - KMO Interviews Duncan Crary : source
MP3 :

In the first interview, he gets a call from a British woman who asks if the suburbs can be saved by "village-ifying" them. Crary answer is: "Not all suburbs are created equal", and this might work for older (more compact and centered?) suburbs, but perhaps not for newer ones. He is also concerned about where the capital to do that might come from. Nevertheless, it is a concept that needs further exploration.

=== ===
LINKS:
Thread on KunstlerCast : http://kunstlercast....g61838#msg61838

Articles on Duncan's projects : http://duncancrary.c...t/articles.html


The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#2 DrBubb

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 02:51 AM

Imagine... a Village in the Suburbs

...he gets a call from a British woman who asks if the suburbs can be saved by "village-ifying" them. Crary answer is: "Not all suburbs are created equal", and this might work for older (more compact and centered?) suburbs, but perhaps not for newer ones. He is also concerned about where the capital to do that might come from. Nevertheless, it is a concept that needs further exploration.

I got the word wrong, a more accurate record is:
"A caller from Britain asks about the prospects of 're-villaging' suburbia."

Apparently the original model involved 200 families pitching in and financing the building of a small village within their suburban area.

There are complex visions of the future of suburbia, like this one:
Posted Image
City-in-miniature on a hill
The UniverCity project: An experiment in suburban urbanism

For the green benefits of urbanism -- walkability, transit, smaller dwellings, more efficient buildings -- to become a truly helpful climate strategy, we're going to need them in more than just cities. We need suburbia to adopt those features too, because a full 50 percent of Americans live in suburbs (compared to 30 percent in central cities), according to 2000 census data.

With that in mind, I went to check out an experiment in suburban urbanism across the border in Burnaby, British Columbia, a suburb of Vancouver. Builders there are about one-third finished with UniverCity (forgive the awkward name), a planned neighborhood next to Simon Fraser University that's borrowing some of the best traits of Vancouver's planning successes and fitting them to a challenging location -- a 1,200-foot hill.

At first approach, UniverCity looks like a medieval fortress-town. A ring of mid-rise condo towers sits atop a forested hill and you wonder why the site wasn't developed sooner -- it's the highest point in the metro area outside the mountains, and on clear days it's got stunning views of farmlands, the city, the Strait of Georgia, and the snow-capped North Shore Mountains.

Outdoor pathways link yards in UniverCity's Serenity townhouse development.Photo: Jonathan HiskesUp close, the neighborhood of 3,000 (so far) isn't fortress-like at all. The building cluster includes a variety of forms -- condo towers ranging from four stories to a planned 20-story tower at the highest point, single-family townhomes, and rental units above streetfront shops

/source: http://www.grist.org...sm-project/PALL

A SIMPLER VISION, is to simply Build a Village in the suburbs

Posted Image

This needs a change in zoning laws, but it may bring a huge increase in quality of life and sustainability for the area that supports it.
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#3 DrBubb

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 03:09 AM

A SIMPLER VISION, is to simply Build a Village in the suburbs

Posted Image

This needs a change in zoning laws, but it may bring a huge increase in quality of life and sustainability for the area that supports it.

When I went looking for an image to paste above, it was hard to find one without cars, except for those of traditional villages in Britain.

Here's an example of an image a typical American site with an image of a village:
Posted Image

+ interior parking
+ opportunity for shared parking
+ on-street parking
?? what the h-ll is with all the "parking" ??

/source: http://www.roanokeva...villagectr.html

After I while, I was frustrated, and felt like I wanted to scream:
"Don't they get it? They need to get rid of the f---king cars!"

So perhaps Duncan Crary is right after all, it may be better to start with a place that was built before everyone and his brother was driving around in cars.
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#4 DrBubb

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 04:12 AM

BRITAIN and Europe may relocalise more easily than the US, according to Dimitri Orlov (DO)

"...the European political landscape may offer many more possibilities for relocalization, for demonetization of human relationships, for devolution to more local institutions and support systems, than the United States.

TB: Will American collapse delay European collapse or accelerate it?

DO: There are many uncertainties to how events might unfold, but Europe is at least twice as able to weather the next, predicted oil shock as the United States. Once petroleum demand in the US collapses following a hard crash, Europe will for a time, perhaps for as long as a decade, have the petroleum resources it needs, before resource depletion catches up with demand."
. . .
DO: Europe is ahead of the United States in all the key Collapse Gap categories, such as housing, transportation, food, medicine, education and security. In all these areas, there is at least some system of public support and some elements of local resilience. How the subjective experience of collapse will compare to what happened in the Soviet Union is something we will all have to think about after the fact. One major difference is that the collapse of the USSR was followed by a wave of corrupt and even criminal privatization and economic liberalization, which was like having an earthquake followed by arson, whereas I do not see any horrible new economic system on the horizon that is ready to be imposed on Europe the moment it stumbles. On the other hand, the remnants of socialism that were so helpful after the Soviet collapse are far more eroded in Europe thanks to the recent wave of failed experiments of market liberalization."
. . .
DO: The severity of collapse will depend on how quickly societies can scale down their energy use, curtail their reliance on industry, grow their own food, go back to manual methods of production for fulfilling their immediate needs, and so forth. It is to be expected that large cities and industrial centers will depopulate the fastest. On the other hand, remote, land-locked, rural areas will not have the local resources to reboot into a post-industrial mode. But there is hope for small-to-middling towns that are surrounded by arable land and have access to a waterway. To see what will be survivable, one needs to look at ancient and medieval settlement patterns, ignoring places that became overdeveloped during the industrial era. Those are the places to move to, to ride out the coming events."

/source: http://cluborlov.blo...out-europe.html

Posted Image
A Medieval fortress-town in Greece

DO: The size of towns and cities is proportional to the surplus that the countryside is able to produce. This surplus has become gigantic during the period of industrial development, where one or two percent of the population is able to feed the rest. In a post-industrial world, where two-thirds of the population is directly involved in growing or gathering food, there will be many fewer people who will be able to live on agricultural surplus. The activities that are typically centralized are those that have to do with long-range transportation (sail ports) and manufacturing (mills and manufactures powered by waterwheels). Some centers of learning may also remain, although much of contemporary higher education, which involves training young people for occupations which will no longer exist, is sure to fall by the wayside.
. . .
Other patterns of occupying the landscape will have to emerge, of necessity, such as small plots tended by families, for subsistence. Absentee landlords (those who hold title to land without actually physically residing on it but using it as a financial asset) are likely to be simply run off once the financial and mechanical amplifiers of their feeble physical energies are no longer available to them. I expect several decades more of fruitless efforts to grow cash crops on increasingly depleted land using increasingly unaffordable and unreliable mechanical and chemical farming techniques. These efforts will increasingly lead to failure due to climate disruption, causing food prices to spike and robbing the population of their savings in a downward spiral.
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#5 littledavesab

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 05:42 PM

http://www.localis.org.uk/

Localis is an independent think-tank dedicated to issues related to local government and localism. We carry out innovative research, hold a calendar of events and facilitate an ever growing network of members to stimulate and challenge the current orthodoxy of the governance of the UK.

sort of associated with Policy Exchange

support the localist agenda and have influence with Uk local authorities, they "just" have to persuade Big Gov.
Inflation / Deflation ?? How about STAGFLATION everyone is right but everyone is wrong!
- (Update) Everyone wrong...... except Goldman Sachs apparently !!!!!!!

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#6 DrBubb

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 10:49 AM

There are complex visions of the future of suburbia, like this one:
Posted Image
City-in-miniature on a hill
The UniverCity project: An experiment in suburban urbanism

... I went to check out an experiment in suburban urbanism across the border in Burnaby, British Columbia, a suburb of Vancouver. Builders there are about one-third finished with UniverCity (forgive the awkward name), a planned neighborhood next to Simon Fraser University that's borrowing some of the best traits of Vancouver's planning successes and fitting them to a challenging location -- a 1,200-foot hill.

This received an interesting response, when I posted it on the KunstlerCast bboard:

QUOTE ===
from: worldwide on December 19, 2011:
The UniverCity project: An experiment in suburban urbanism
no joke, this is where I live. you can see my building in this picture. if you're curious about it, well then ask away.

UNQUOTE =====

(My response was):
I could ask plenty, but will start with these:
=======
+ Is the area mixed use?
+ Do you need a car to get to work, ... and "play" (ie a majority of your social engagements)?
+ Does the average resident use less energy than "normal suburbanites"?
+ Is there any food grown nearby?
+ What does it cost to live there (ie price per sf) of housing?
+ How high are you versus sealevel?

(In response to questions from another, Worldwide posted):
Yeah, I got a question for WW, how many feet of snow collects on the flat roof tops in winter? - xxx

The picture only shows a little snapshot of what exists on the hill. it is taken from the village looking out to the east. head west and you will find the neighborhood high street, a large university, and really good transit connections. there is about 45 buses an hour leaving here going 4 directions. it's not hard to get around. there are a bunch of restaurants, a full service grocery store, and 2 pubs:) life ain't that bad.

As for "elite" I'm not so sure. a lot of the units were offered at a discount to university employee's. 20% i think. a lot of the units are student rentals, and the remainder of people live up here for the access to the forest. mountain biking, hiking etc, all that fun stuff. these units average around $300,000 while a condo of similar size downtown vancouver would be say $800,000, a cool mil if you get a view. single family homes that aren't 30 miles off into the boonies are also $750,000 up. I would argue that my neighbourhood isn't exactly elite, in fact it's quite affordable and inclusive. there are seniors, students, young families, and dink's

as for snow, we don't get more than a couple feet that sticks over winter. as of now there is no snow on the ground and none in the forecast. not saying it doesn't snow, but not enough to matter much.

now I don't want to sound like too much of a booster cause in reality I can see the faults in my neighbourhood. it does have more to offer than I think you guys may give it credit for, but I'm saving for my doomstead far away from the vancouver metro area where I can buy actual land for a reasonable price. I'm thinking Nanaimo Parksville area. The reason I live here is cause The condo is owned by a family member of mine and it would otherwise be sitting empty. the price is right, and at this point in my life it works.


/source: http://kunstlercast....hp?topic=5300.0
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#7 callmejoe

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 11:23 PM

http://beforeitsnews....S._Cities.html

Is Now The Time To Move Away From Major U.S. Cities?

.... What is going to happen if we see widespread rioting in major U.S. cities like George Soros is predicting? What is going to happen if the economy totally falls to pieces and our city centers descend into anarchy like we saw in New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina? In some major U.S. cities such as Detroit, looting is already rampant. There are some sections of Detroit where entire blocks of houses are being slowly dismantled by thieves and stripped of anything valuable. Sadly, the economy is going to get a lot worse than it is at the moment. So is now the time to move away from major U.S. cities? Should preppers be seeking safer locations for themselves and their families? Those are legitimate questions.



#8 DrBubb

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 12:49 AM

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1695/416/NL/Is_Now_The_Time_To_Move_Away_From_Major_U.S._Cities.html

"There are some sections of Detroit where entire blocks of houses are being slowly dismantled by thieves and stripped of anything valuable."


"This particular house is $50 right now."
"Not too many people want to buy homes in Detroit now. At this point, the median price of a home in Detroit is just $6000."

True enough.
Detroit is so broke that they city cannot afford to turn the lights on at night, or collect garbage in parts of the city. Slowly, they are bulldozing whole blocks, and thinking about building farms in the City.

Where should you be living? In a city like that, or on real farmland, with neighbors who share certain key values?

(note: Moving to the suburbs may be worse than staying in the city. In the burbs you may be needed and forgotten. If you can feed yourself, that's not a big problem. But if not, it is a huge problem.)
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#9 DrBubb

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 01:04 AM

Eminem tours Detroit in a 60 Minutes interview
xx

I think it was this interview


(Hey, I spent my first 6 years in that same neighborhood.
But it wasn't so poor and so tough then.)
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#10 DrBubb

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 05:46 AM

BOOK REVIEWS---
The Tragic Comedy of Suburban Sprawl (2011) - with Duncan Crary, and JH Kunstler

Posted Image

In November, 2011, Duncan Crary's book of interviews with social commentator James Howard Kunstler was published by New Society Publishers.

"In his introduction to the book, Crary professes to be merely a host, and sometimes a Kunstler foil, but the two upstate New Yorkers really are kindred intellects,"
Jon Rutter, Sunday News staff writer.

"Duncan Crary wrangles these free-wheeling conversations masterfully. A bracing dose of reality for an unreal world,"
Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of "Freakonomics" and "SuperFreakonomics"

/more: http://kunstlercast....nstlercast-book

Young People in America are seeking an alternative to suburban living

For those who are not regular listeners of the Kunstler-Cast (as I am), you may want to listen to this interview with Duncan Crary. Crary plays "host" in the two man conversation with Jim Kunstler. Crary is a gen-X person who has turned his interests into a career, and you get a sense that the "apprenticeship" he has had with JHK has played an important part in shaping his world views.

Here's an interview of Duncan Crary done by Chuck Marohn, the host of his own podcast at StrongTowns:

MP3:

Crary will soon start his own podcast featuring the attractions of living in a small town.


The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#11 DrBubb

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 05:56 AM

(from the KunstlerCast thread)

Quote from: marcszar on December 19, 2011 === ===

True villages, towns, and cities will continue to emerge where they are self-evidently needed. They will grow in a bottom-up manner. Going around the country retrofitting every suburb with a town center is useless and meaningless - we don't even know if these bedroom communities will have a meaningful existence in the future. Giving them a pretty town square won't help one bit if they don't have any meaningful labor pools, agricultural land, natural resources, useful geography, and transportation modes to build a local economy in a bottom-up manner. Top-down retrofits make little sense unless they're done in the context of an extant town or city with a meaningful, distinct economy (a la Haussmann in Paris).
UNQUOTE === ===

Yep. I agree.
It isn't the village set-up that matters - It is the overall context:

+ Is the Village sustainable without outside: food, energy, and finance?
+ Do the residents truly use less energy?
+ How independent is the area in a crisis (imagine a tsunami of 300-500 feet hitting the area) ?

If some small towns can really "pull it all together", they may be able to say F----- You! ("Forget You") to the collapsing Long Emergency across the Bigger County around them. And their success may also provide a positive example that could be followed elsewhere.

Any ideas of where this has really been done?

Perhaps if KMO's Eco-Village Training Center could be grown into a proper thriving village, then it might provide such an example.

Posted Image

By contrast, Hong Kong, where I live is highly secure (financially) in the current Global economy. But if the Global economy crumbles, then this place will look vulnerable pretty quickly. The 8 Million living here cannot feed themselves, nor are we anywhere close to being self-sufficient in energy. We make money by offering shopping, tourism, and financial services to the growing Middle Class from places like mainland China. But if they stop visiting and spending their money here, we are finished.
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#12 callmejoe

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 04:06 PM

http://www.veteranst...-to-the-garden/
Get Back to the Garden

#13 callmejoe

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 02:43 PM

http://www.canauzzie...ure-pt1-is.html

Saving America's Infrastructure Pt.1

Is this the platform for the next third world environment?

 

Each of these photographs below could be from just about any community within the United States. It looks innocent enough, but let's take a peak into what lies just under the surface.
 

subburg+2.jpg
 
Suburg+3.jpg


Observations about our typical infrastructure

  • First we note that this kind of suburban environment is designed around an automobile not the people who live in the community. The form giver for this design is the normal turning radius of a car.
  • True freedoms are homogenized into the same vanilla wrapping through zoning restrictions. This is our "legalized" way of enforcing economic segregation. In so doing, we neuter individual initiative in favor of more watered down and dumbed down society.

We note the complete absence of the ability to produce sustainable volume's of food. This community depends on the availability of a grocery store somewhere within driving distance



#14 DrBubb

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 05:28 AM

From Chuck Marohn:  The unprecedented Unpopularity of BIG Government

 

(This swing in public sentiment could be associated with some big changes in behavior

and preferences):

 

  • One of the best books I read last year was Nicco Mele's The End of Big, which reinforced for me the difficulty in deciding which I think is the greatest threat to mankind: big government, big corporations or big labor. For the rest of the U.S. population, for the moment, big government appears to be winning. Hopefully Mele is right and the coming years will see the end of big.

jlaajnj50uiqlfbphys0qq.png?__SQUARESPACE

That dip in 2001, can after 9/11.

It shows how TPTB like to use FEAR to stay in Power.

Let's not let them get away with it a second time.


The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#15 DrBubb

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 05:58 AM

A look at the future from an articulate young lady

 

Gracen Johnson on the Future of the Suburbs

 

= =

 

Streamed live on Dec 10, 2012

Agenda producer Mark Brosens talks to Gracen Johnson, author of the eBook "Living in the Sprawl: Ideas For a Suburbia That Gets Better with Age."

 

Improvements come from ; Walkability, and Mixed Use

 

(its the old "Cars are Last" slogan in action, being manifested)

 

URBAN Agriculture : is important for her too.

Good food, social community connectivity, sustainability

"Humans are a part of a (larger) eco-system."


The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix




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