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  • Jul 15 2011: Even though I have previously responded to the question you are asking, upon reflection I have to say the real issue is not how to cope with that scenario, it is how to change it.

    I simply cannot imagine how bad the quality of life will be for the overwhelming majority of people in the megalopolises you are speaking of.

    I believe we need to move to highly sustainable local communities, to follow the Cuban model. That is, local commmunities with enough space to grow nearly all food, generate nearly all power, catch their own water, deal with sewage and provide employment and empowerment in the provision of these services.

    There are many challenges, family planning not least among them.

    Do we really want cities with hundreds of millions of people living in high density accommodation, most of them in slums?
    • Jul 15 2011: ok i agree that that may be the most efficient model and there have been studies saying that it is the most eficeint way at least with food... and how big are these communities going to be? you no what this reminds me of is that book The Giver... everything set and no freedom...
      • Jul 16 2011: Kevin,

        the only experiential evidence I know of is Cuba, where they did it for their entire population because they had no choice. So it can definitely scale to that level. The Cubans had to overcome many difficulties and each region or area will have their own challenges.

        I haven't read the Giver. There are videos and books about Cuba.
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      Jul 15 2011: Ken - rather than copy paste the same response perhaps you could have a look at my comments to Richard Moody Jr below.

      I think we may have our analysis of slums all wrong. I am not trying to say that the current model is perfect - least of all in human health terms. But I would argue that many of the things which are needed in sustainable cities of the future particularly in behavioural terms - like conservation of resources, recycling, density of development, are the basis for many slum dwellings.
      • Jul 16 2011: The slums I have seen are unhealthy environments in every sense. Perhaps we need some new terminology to describe different levels of amenity?

        I continue to refer to the Cuban model because it's real and because an entire society was able to make it work, because the input of resources to realign an entire culture was very low, and because both the process and the results were/are empowering to people and their communities.

        Adam, I think the difference between our sense of things may be that you are speaking from a perspective of enhancing slums and I am speaking from a desire to design a future in which there are no slums, just empowered self-sufficient communities.

        I don't think we're worlds apart when it comes to ways and means of operating in a low energy low resource environment.
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          Jul 16 2011: I think you are right, you and Adam are on common ground.

          As long we talk about us and them there will be two different mindsets on two groups of people ( the haves and have not's). This is what children learn in school. At the same time we talk about a number 6.6 million city dwellers.

          The projections are - what I read - based on the assumption 'continents' like India and China will go through the same industrial process of labour and so urbanization as the 'West'. At the same time, like the Cuba example, there are other/better ways for personal/communal prosperity. Computers and internet connectivity also help a lot for a huge amount of people do not physically need to be downtown for basic earnings.

          As simple as in Romania where I am at, all villages slowly run dry, youth moving to the city. The first reason for that is that parents tell them to do so, it is simply the thing to do. No serious thought given on possible (collective) countryside futures.

          To create these more spatial communities, I think we need to get around with youth from 5-15 the sooner the better;

          phase 1 : advocate the real differences between 'cityside' and 'countryside' in primary schools, so children can have a open minded mindset on both. (Now it is shiny buildings/brands vs exhausted farmer family)
          phase 2 : at least half of secondary school education should be solutionist education. (Zoe Weil at a Tedx :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5HEV96dIuY )
          phase 3 : In 10-15 years from now when the first 'fresh' kids are working on solutions in the classroom, a ring of support can be in place to show interesting local/regional community ideas/companies/innovations get the support to sprout and flourish.

          Larry Page once said something like this; "In the past people only had to work hard in the summer on the fields. We invented machines for doing this work, yet today everybody is working on yearly basis more than ever. Where did we go wrong?"

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