Aliasghar Abbasi

Teaching Assistant and Student, Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic)

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Bringing your work, school, etc HOME. Is that what decentralization mean?

Nowadays many people work at home, many study through The Internet, what if we could make a city in which you didn't need a private car at all?
You had all you needed near your home, in every neighborhood there were parks, branches of companies, malls etc..
The farthest distance you needed to go was 10mins walk from your home.
Is this possible? Will it happen in the future?

  • Jun 3 2014: I think we all have to make decisions based upon what we consider important. Keith has given several examples. Family and lifestyle are of prime importance to me with a secondary point being the work or problem I am working on. And note I said problem and not career.
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    Jun 1 2014: Here is a short list with photos of seven car-free cities:

    Many people, like Keith below, have for years placed a very high priority on being walking/biking/or bus distance from the places they most want to frequent. This choice typically comes at a cost, as close in living, or living close to public transportation, tends to be more costly- often exorbitantly so- than living far away with a long commute. In some cases, living close in to things means living at higher density.

    It kind of depends what you feel you need to live close to in order to be most fulfilled.
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      Jun 2 2014: Amazing, it's hard to believe that there are still car-free cities out there!

      I agree with what you said, it's all dependant on the needs.
  • May 28 2014: I don't think it's possible. I would LOVE it, but I don't think it's possible. The good research labs are either in bad neighborhoods or in places far too expensive for mere technicians or coordinators to afford living in, and there are no affordable stores therein.

    (And you're usually not allowed to keep chickens or goats in most American cities, and I really like having chickens.)
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      Jun 1 2014: Right.
      But what if we were to build a city anew? Like a town located in a city. And this city/town had its own regulations and design?
      the city I am from has several towns in it, and I am witness of the process of building it. This town (which is more like a city of its kind) has a special line of bus for itself, people take those buses if they need to go downtown. And really you don't need a car to live there, a bicycle will do that. If authorities were thinking of making it a sustainable city, with a reasonable amount of budget of course they could make it happen.
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      Jun 2 2014: for me, bryan, I'm thinking if the conditions surrounding working in a research lab meant having to have a car, I would look for some other sort of job that was more local for me. I hope something intellectually stimulating, even if not exactly a research lab. Personally I dislike cars that much, the smell, the carsickness.
  • May 27 2014: I live in Las Vegas and for several years I drove taxicabs. During that time I moved close enough to the company so I could walk to work. I found that not owning a car saved me a huge amount of money, car payments, maintenance, insurance, gas and tickets(parking & violations). With the internet I could virtually travel the universe and seek out knowledge in any field. The entertainment is stunning: movies, music, social and scientific knowledge, news anything you can imagine.
    I am retired now and still do not have a car, instead I picked a place that is quite, cheap and a couple blocks from everything I need: College, Home Depot, City Park, Banking, food markets, health club & bus route.
    I can also work from home and although I am retired, I still teach computer classes and am in the process of redeveloping approximately 150 websites that highlight my interests. Plus I have over 70 videos published and am moving toward the next step which is full production movies using Lightworks software. I work as hard as I ever have except now I use my head a lot more. I am learning Spanish because I want to tour South America and document there withdrawal from the NWO which will be my first movie.
    Aliasghar the further is now, I have been living that way for years and a lot of other people are also.
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      May 31 2014: does going to South America somewhat contradict the idea of only living locally?
      • May 31 2014: I want to "tour" South America. USA is my home and I like it here, however if South America is breaking away from the NWO I want to see first hand how it is working for them. Maybe they can teach us how to break away also. America is full of energetic, smart and beautiful people but they are slaves to the NWO and because the media, government and corporations are part of the plan it is hard to imagine the image of the America dream has been part of the propaganda all along. The evidence is everywhere. The giant elephant in the living room has been their so long that most people now firmly believe it belongs there, the elephant has become a member of every family. The NWO stripping away our freedoms, our wealth, our land, our food, our water, our housing and our heritage (That is the Elephant) and if you cannot see it, then you are already dead.

        China and Russia are also taking the first steps by trading directly with each other and cutting out the middle man (NWO dollar). In those countries the State still runs the country and tells the corporations what and where they can do what they do. In America the corporations took over the government hundreds of years ago and have been cinching the noose tighter ever since. It's time to cast the money changers from the temple.
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          Jun 2 2014: How specifically in your day-to-day life is the NWO diminishing you? I worry, Keith, that people who criticize the "world order" are only using that as an excuse to avoid confronting more personal, local problems.
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        Jun 1 2014: Nowadays there are virtual tours to any famous places in the world. Like 360cities by Google.
        For those people who don't have enough time, money etc that would be a good chocie.
        But to answer your comment directly, I should say that I didn't say you don't go anywhere at all. I was just saying that we can build a city in which transportation is no more a serious challenge and threat to the city and its habitants. Decreasing the number of private cars and using public transportation will make that. Tourism is a profitable industry for cities and a need for humanity and therefore cannot be ignored.
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      Jun 1 2014: Amazing :)
      That would be great if more and more people live that way.
      • Jun 1 2014: You are worried about conserving the little bit you have and meanwhile the NWO is figuring out how to take it all. Aliasghar, your country Iran is also one of the few countries left that is not completely controlled by the NWO which is why America, Britain and Israel (the core of the NWO) are constantly threatening and intimidating (typical MO for the NWO) your country. Now that we have taken over the oil fields of Iraq and destroyed a lot of the heroin trade in Afghanistan (our only purpose there) your country is next. We don't care about your nuclear ambitions, no more than we cared about Sadam Hussein, we just want your oil profits and control. Virtually everything America and the NWO does is about oil or drugs (cheap money) and we will do anything or kill anybody to get it.
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          Jun 2 2014: Dear Keith, thanks for your comment but I'm not really into politics. Let politicians do the politics. :)
          All I can do is pray for a better future.
      • Jun 2 2014: Yep Aliasghar, I did that for forty years, now my kids are asking if you knew, why didn't you do something? Let us pray.
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          Jun 2 2014: but isn't your son some big newscaster, that means he's part of corporate america, doesn't it?
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          Jun 2 2014: You know Keith, I do what I believe is right no matter what others do and just hope for a better future.
          I am pretty sure that the future is way better than what it is today (let's be optimistic).

          We'd better do what we are able to do. We are not presidents and our power is limited but we have our own share in making the future.
      • Jun 2 2014: Answer to Greg's question: My stepson is the evening anchor in Hawaii and yes he is part of corporate America but he is well grounded, a great family man, citizen and still goes surfing every chance he gets to commune with nature. He left a great job and future in Washington DC to return to Hawaii his roots and for the surf. He has covered the Olympics, Politics and travel all over the world doing it but missed the fresh air, pure water and wild surf of the north shore.
        • Jun 3 2014: Keith

          Congrats to your stepson. We all make decisions.
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    Jun 2 2014: We don't have to make all the people living in a city act like us! We just persuade them by easing the way.
    In Tehran for example, it's much cheaper and faster if you take a bus or use subway instead of taking a cab.
    We probably will not be able to make a city like Los Angeles or Tehran this way, and I don't say we can. I believe we can make new cities this way. The way we design our cities matters. To design a city in a way that only those who really need a private car, buy it. In this city, it is the authorities' responsibility to make the city the way no one even feels the need for cars.
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    Jun 2 2014: What we are just doing is a step forward. We are supporters and we are together, no politician and government can do anything against its people's will.
    If anything bad happens we are part of that too, our societies need to reach a certain amount of maturity so that we can make the right decision and dictate that to the governments. If they are dictating any policy to the society, it's our own fault.
    Just remember that a healthy society has its own different groups and communities of people who are not necessarily in the same boat.
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    Jun 1 2014: Yeah, people at rural places live much healthier than we do in urban areas.
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      Jun 1 2014: I am guessing this is in reply to my comment. The rural life is disappearing even in the USA. Farms are noiw owned by big corporations and banks. The little farmer is being pushed out by costs and government regulations.

      Government programs have made it possible for people to obtain almost anything without working for it. The work ethic is gone ... education system is broken ... and big government is committed to a nanny state where the few who work support the ones who will not work.

      US politician have adopted the muslim practice of taqiyya .... their religion is wealth and power and they can lie to the constituates and smile while decieving them as long as it serves their religion ... money and power. They also use schemes and plots to achieve that goal or makara (the arabic word).

      In the US we have abandoned the things that made us great and now we see the rapid rate of decline and a government state ......

      Thanks for your answer. However, was my last three paragraphs of any benefit to answer your question.

      Be well. Bob.
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        Jun 2 2014: Sorry, yes that was the reply to your post.
        It's sad to hear that happening in the US, unfortunately it's also happening to the rest of the world. Bitter truth.
        Yeah of course, your comments were great, thanks for your time.

        Be successful for all the time, Aliasghar.
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    Jun 1 2014: I grew up in the rural midwest ... we grew almost everything we needed. The emphasis should be on "need". We went to town once a week. Sold the cash crop ... had a soda and candy ... watched a movie on the side of the drug store. There were small towns about every 50 miles that were the center for many families. There was a train that picked up the farm goods and had a passenger car for travelers. Over time we were taught that we had "needs" that could only be satisfied by owning a car ... moving to the "big city" .... no need to work seven days a week on the farm ... that was for the hicks and city people were cool.

    I saw this around the world also. Local corner markets to sell food for one meal as refrigeration and storage was not available. A simple life with few "needs".

    That still exists in some places ... but very few. Through government programs and product marketing we are being told what our needs are ... my daughter cannot go to school without the newest phone ... name brand jeans .... her own car ... ABC shoes and XYZ purse.

    In short ... decentralization means what ever our government and industrial handlers want it to mean for their advantage and profit. We have been programed. Keith Henline below figured it out a long time ago ... his "needs" VS "wants". This is more common with "older" people that the younger generation.

    Centralization and decentralization are functions of political and industrial needs based on goals, control, and profit.

    Try this .. make a list of "needs" and a list of all the things you have that are not "needs". Add the cost of each ... start eliminating and downsizing ... take control of your life. Stop being a sheeple and learn to think for yourself. You will be richer and happier when not programed by the government and industry.

    Good luck. Bob.
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    May 31 2014: I somewhat live this way, Aliasghar. I'm 54 years old. I've only had one car in my life, which I had for a couple of years. But do you think people would miss travel, is there anything to be said for going long distances and seeing, in person, how people live?
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      Jun 1 2014: Greg, thanks for your comments. To complete what I mentioned in the previous post, for long distances we usually don't use our private car and not using a private car for trips whether they are short distance or long ones will conribute to our sustainable city. :)
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        Jun 2 2014: well, you have raised a difficult topic, Aliasghar. People seem to love their cars, at least here in Los Angeles where I live. I think it's possible that people are close to their family, and make friends with their neighbors, and then their family and neighbors move somewhere else more than ten minute's walk away, and they want to continue the relationship, so they use the car to go see them. And then also people might use the car the same way they travel longer distances, in other words, some people might enjoy seeing something that is a thousand miles away, so they take an airplane; but they also might enjoy seeing something forty miles away, so they take their car. True, they could get there by public transportation, but a car is faster? But for some people you wonder if occasionally taking a taxi might be cheaper than keeping a car?

        Personally I think your idea would be good. If I had a friend move away, I think I would just make new friends locally. And I would look for a job locally, even if I couldn't make as much money. In fact, I don't understand the love most people have for their cars. I will have to look into it. Do you understand it, perhaps you could explain it to me?

        I love to walk places I want to go. In the last three or four days I've taken two eight-mile walks from my city, Glendale, into Los Angeles to see theater. Then I take the bus home. It's lovely to just walk along, seeing new neighborhoods, meeting new people. Usually I buy a gallon (3.78 liters) of milk and drink it as I go. But maybe other people don't have the energy I have.