Franz Nahrada / Neue Vorträge /
Bring The Best Of The City Back Home To The Country
|Impulsreferat beim Terra Forum (Форум Развития Территорий) In St. Petersburg am 23.9.2014 https://vk.com/terra_forum
I am sending heartfelt greetings to this forum, which is based on the recognition that the future of mankind depends on the reversal of the century old trend towards urbanisation.
My name is Franz Nahrada, located in Vienna Austria and I am studying since 25 years the potential, the Gestalt and the conditions of a post industrial lifestyle. I want just to give you some points that maybe are rarely heard in the debate about rural areas.
It is important to remember that our real home, where we all stem from, is the countryside. For many thousands of years, with a few exceptions, humans lived in small communities. Cities have only grown in a very short timespan, and they are clearly rooted in a particular mode of production. This mode of production was the industrial mode, enabled by powerful machinery, that allowed for mass production and created mass employment.
This concentration of humans in cities was eventually connected to an industrialisation and mechanisation of agriculture; together with the feedback cycles within the cities - between production, administration, communication and services - this led to an imbalance of historical dimensions. In 2007, the treshold of half the worlds population living in cities was crossed - whilst these cities are chaotically expanding to urban agglomerations of unprecedented size.
For a long time, cities were the engines of wealth and productivity. They gave place to an ever accelerating economy of scale, and only recently we found out that this economy of scale is now destroying its own basics. Mankind has outgrown the growth paradigm. High volume automation brings marginal costs of good down to near zero, which means that profits from industrial production are shrinking. It also brings unemployment and lots of redundant population. These problems are even worse in the developing world.
Urbanisation nowadays poses more problems that it can solve. I could present you a long list, from resource problems down to psychological depletion
Just some of them are:
It seems that time has come for a new era in the history of human settlements.
"If we take what we’ve developed in terms of information technology and begin a shift towards decentralisation of our urban populations we can start to build a hybrid of the highly localised pre-industrial economy and associated low impact systems for producing food, energy and goods, and the highly globalised information economy." (Iain Dooley, Australia)
This hybrid form that takes the best from city and villages we call "Global Villages".
It is essential to recognize the many progresses that the city has brought to human civilisation. The sophistication of technology, the patterns of density and collaboration, the possibility for the human individual to learn from a mix of cultures - all this we do not necessarily have to compromise. We just need to bring it to a different form.