MIMIC THIS! When you get invited to events 3000 miles away (or 20 of them just across town), use COPY & PASTE with the really interesting events to seed your own community's plans for similar events. Why start from scratch.... Beg, borrow and mimic! More....
One of my original intents, was to try to learn more about how others see the Transition movement taking place in the Cascadia bio-region. How will cities change? How will they get their food? Can we develop regional systems to share resources with minimum transportation fuels? What transportation modes will we use? What sort of electrical power systems will be used? Other power systems? Schools, Hospitals, government, and other public services. How will they be handled?
There are many details needed to support a society. Start with basic needs, think of others that may be needed.
I would like to know the views of others in the Cascadia group. I exchanged several e-mails with you, Mike. We have our different views of how transition will take place, but many similar goals for community sustainability.
can we start with the presumption that none of us has already got all the answers, and try brainstorming on them together, as if it were an open field for ideas? Would you be willing to outline, briefly, some of your ideas on these questions, rather than just referring us to "your work"?
I feel my own understanding is far from complete enough to comment on all of these great questions, but I do have one suggestion regarding how cities will feed themselves: I think we need to be growing food on every available inch of urban space, and doing it in a low-energy, labour-intensive, closed loop manner. We also need to develop much stronger local food storage and distribution networks; we may be able to grow some food year round in this region, but there's sure less quantity and variety in winter than in summer.
Maybe this is already obvious to whomever might be on this list...
I agree, we all need to become urban farmers in cities and towns. I would like to become more proficient at growing my own food supply, and better at preserving our harvest to last through the winter months. I would still need to rely on local farmers and ranchers for milk, eggs, and meat that I enjoy in my diet. As we restructure our community, I hope there would be a fair-trade return service that I could provide for the farmers and ranchers.
Kathy Jacobson at Transition Ohio has a lot of great information about self-sufficiency, community healthcare, midwifery, radio communications, and other necessities of life.
What I will challenge is a "closed loop manner" to bioregional sustainability. I'd would like to hear a deeper discussion of what that means. I believe there are some great advantages to an open marketplace if that is the proper opposite. We can talk endlessly about what we need to do like "growing food in my garden," but that is only a beginning. What is the impact of that on our economies, regions, bioregions? If we're all developing "closed loops" and one year we all grow tomatoes, how do we get potatoes? Do we continue to invite new species to the Pacific Northwest, or do we finally start learning about the local, native foods the bioregion already produces? What's the impact of that choice? My concern is "closed loop" is too centric.
An interesting vision for Cascadia is merging urban and natural worlds. How could we do this? METRO, the regional government for the Portland Metropolitan Area produced the "Disappearing Streams" map. The map only measured slope, so it only gives you a guess where streams might have been at one time in Portland. This is sadly an example of how far we have moved away from the natural world. So many streams are now running in pipes and culverts and as a result, our natural areas are devastated. Please listen to the following KBOO interview: http://wholecommunitiesradio.org/june2006/june2006.html.
I am excited about the direction of these conversations! It feels like we are moving forward by creating different discussion areas. Forgive me for not understanding how to organize what we are trying to do. Also, it looks like you have to click "follow" to stay in the discussion.
In earlier times, the country folk would travel to the city to sell their goods in a market, and buy other items that they could not make themselves. What might be exchanged between city folk and country folk in future Cascadia? Will we trade food for computer hardware? Raw materials for manufactured items? Cows for cars?
I think we will go back to many traditional ways of living, but will keep some modern technology. I don't think we will be sending these messages via telegraph, for instance. Farmer's markets seem to be increasing in popularity, especially with more interest in fresh, organic foods. I hope that Americans will go back to manufacturing more goods rather than buying Chinese imports, especially clothing, toys, and so many items that unemployed American workers could be earning a living producing.
I think it is good for us to think about what our condition is informing us. I don't want to blast back to the past. I want a new future that is sustainable and includes technology. Yes, reskilling is necessary, but so is interactive and collaborative technology. We are truly at revolutionary times in human evolution. Our experience has informed a new way a life never before realized. Howard Rheingold focuses on this emergence in this Ted.com video.
Collin: Rheingold is one of my hero's. He understood the implications of the Internet and so much more. And it was in the early 90's that he started the Well in San Francisco. Thanks for the TED referral.