Building Resilience in Communities
There are currently two pressing issues afflicting our modern society and way of life, these are Global Warming and Oil Depletion. Currently, much focus has been to address the onset of Global Warming, whilst little attention is being drawn to our ever diminishing oil reserves.
We need to focus on a world without oil, beyond the consumer led, technology driven era to a more traditional, localised way of life. Thus we need to become more resilient, in other words, more adaptable to changes and less reliant on dependant variables, such as shops which utilise a 'Just in Time' delivery strategy to use of vehicles to take us to work, which would otherwise have traditionally been reached on foot.
This brings into the mix, localisation, which endears the ‘Eco Town’ model, encouraging the placement of a multitude of differing land use for commercial, industrial and residential within close proximity. By increasing our resilience we are in turn improving our independence as a society and in turn will reduce the onset of global warming; as the majority of pollution is emitted from gaseous polluting vehicles and our power plants.
A consequential move away from this decentralised society, associated with MEDC’s (More Economically Developed Countries) will in turn reduce our carbon footprint and in turn improve our resilience to oil.
It is this mindset, a more traditional lifestyle, encompassing:
- Regional and localised energy production – increasing use of Micro Biomass CHP (Combined Heat and Power) to wind turbines, Photovoltaic solar panels.
- Improved Energy Efficiency in our homes – creating more ‘air tight’ homes, increasing insulation, installing energy efficient appliances, maximising natural ventilation and daylight e.g. solar light tubes.
- Home Grown Food, Orchards, Yards – maximising use of green open spaces, including built up urban areas which may benefit from use of a Green Roof.
- Infrastructure – (perhaps the hardest to attain) designed to allow increased opportunities to walk, cycle or take other means to work. Amenities, services and other places of interest located at nearer and more accessible distances from our homes.
- Personal Transport – Government schemes should be currently in place for Electric cars, which have been repressed, research into hydrogen fuel cell technology is ongoing.
- Holidays / Foreign Travel – reduce, limit or if possible refrain from travelling by Air, as these impacts markedly on the ‘Carbon Footprint’.
- Waste- This can be minimised by a combination of Local Authority action coupled with personal motivation of individuals, engaging in recycling schemes to use of ‘community composting sites’ for organic waste.
If we are to achieve a sustainable balance, it is fundamental that we embrace the need for change; which, in doing so will further sustain the longevity of our society for future generations to come.