If you are Concerned about the Future...
Spread the Word
For many years, indeed for many generations, it seemed that each year was better than the one before. Civilization became safer, wealthier, more empowering for more people. This sense continued up until a few decades ago, when the adults began to tell their children to expect less, to expect hardships and potentially a catastrophic decline in quality of life. This was more than just rhetoric. The 20th century built its wealth on oil. We are told that a barrel of oil has the same energy output as 20,000 hours of a man's labor. While we wasted much of this energy driving ourselves around in circles, it created a golden age of affluence for more human beings than ever before in history. Now, it's looking like the era of cheap oil is coming to an end. However, the end should come gradually enough that we can build bridges to a new form of affluence that uses less energy and produces less waste while enabling better, more enjoyable lives.
The VillageTown points to such a positive future. The VillageTown treads lightly on earth, but does so in a way that makes life more enjoyable. It gives us more time, more connection, more of what we find is meaningful in life. For example, the VillageTown has no cars within, no outbound commuters and no families driving to shop, taking the kids to school or going to a cafe to meet friends. This has the happy side effect of reducing driving by more than a quarter million miles a day. In this web site, we list 20 benefits this no-need-for-car policy brings, yet not one of those reasons mentions peak oil or global warming. Instead, no cars on the local streets means a higher quality of life - it's safe for children to play in the streets, old people need not move away when they can no longer drive, the cost of living drops by about 15% for the average wage earner, and you get a quieter night's sleep with the windows open.
Each VillageTown houses only 10,000 people, so in the scale of a world with seven billion people and growing, it may not have a huge impact on the future... unless the idea catches on. In that regard, it makes sense, it is adaptable, and it could become a major global model. It's worth considering.
For people who are concerned about the big environmental, social and economic issues of the day, the VillageTown hits all the right notes. Interestingly, it does not do so out of political correctness, but because in the long run, it makes sense. In the next twenty years, the world is expected to see an additional 2.5 billion middle-class people on the planet, mostly in Asia. Our 20th century models for the middle class will not work. The VillageTown model will work; it is a worthy alternative worth doing.
If you like this idea, we invite you to click here to spread the word.