Preferable Futures

Reinventing Local


Reinventing Local


Planning for 7 Generations


Let's begin with a dramatic question:



Have we, as a Society, declared a War on Nature and Human Nature?



 Our Children


No vs YoungOld

Is it normal to isolate our children as early as age six weeks in daycare, then keep them on segregated school campuses until they become adults?

They lack role models, yet we ask why our educational system has failed to prepare them to take their place as participating, contributing citizens.


 Our Jobs and Families


Is it normal to ask working adults to leave their community, to drive long distances to jobs that separate them from family & friends?

Our families are breaking in record numbers because we have removed the normal support systems that relieve the pressures.


 Our Businesses

Roulette Capitalism

Is it normal that small to medium enterprises cannot secure financing and capital while big money increasingly gambles rather than create wealth?

Can we harness local resources to develop local funding to provide financing, capital and expertise that enable SME local businesses to grow and thrive?


 Our Health

hospital Vs SlowFood

Is it normal to concentrate the sick in places where everyone is sick, to rely on drugs & surgery and then worry about the spiralling cost of illness?

Why, in the most affluent time in history, are so many of us unwell. Why are we not building the kind of communities that would keep us healthy?


 Our Elders


Is it normal to segregate our elders in homes that are only for old people, cut off from the community, in an isolated place where they patiently wait to die?

Eldership is the way culture is passed from old to young. Elders play an essential role in complete communities. Why do we not have a place for them?



 Our Housing

A Good Life

Is it normal to have house prices that are ten times annual earning - so high that ordinary people cannot afford to live, or live well?

Affordable housing is only the beginning. We must strengthen local economies and quality of life so that people may enjoy a Good Life.



 Our Environment

Toxic vs green

During these cycles of life, most of us have not only cut ourselves off from Nature, but our industry and business seems to have declared a War on Nature

We then wonder why Nature is in crisis, as land, air & water grows toxic, species decline, climate hits new extremes, and scientists warn of worse to come.


There is something deeply wrong about how we structure our society.

But happily, restructuring is not overwhelming.

In fact, it is very simple...


Reinvent local


We can begin now
It's not expensive
It can be very attractive
It's based on timeless proven patterns of settlement that have worked for thousands of years


So we give you a new choice. How would you like to live? 


If we were pressed to point to the one, most destructive element in our society, it was when we began to build communities around cars. As Christopher Alexander wrote:  Cars give people wonderful freedom and increase their opportunities. But they also destroy the environment, to an extent so drastic that they kill all social life. The value and power of the car have proved so great that it seems impossible to imagine a future without some form of private, high-speed vehicle. Who will willingly give up the degree of freedom provided by cars? At the same time, it is undeniably true that cars turn towns to mincemeat.


Beware of Vehicles


For the last half century, we designed suburban communities to sell cars. True. Look at the history.

Trouble is, motor vehicles destroy communities. They separate, segregate, isolate and fracture society. 


We need a new development pattern

A development pattern is how we build communities. It's what the planning officials approve: Suburban housing, mixed use, high-rise apartments, shopping malls, office parks.

For 10,000 years development patterns were human scaled. But in the mid-20th century we began an experiment, making people subservient to transport. While transport brought many benefits, it was utterly toxic to human habitat. 

We can still find these human-scaled development patterns in the Old World.  Their pattern language is worth learning and then adapting to work in the 21st century emerging fibre-based economy.NoCarStreet

The Future is Fibre and it will Change the Economy Completely


Global Submarine Internet



The wonderful towns and villages of old were almost completely destroyed by the transport revolution

Now with the digital revolution, their time to thrive comes once more.

The Internet and its converging technologies change everything, including how we design communities.





First the net was email; then social networking & ecommerce. Next is the internet of things, 3D printing.

The internet and its technology convergence means the time for wonderful villages & towns is here again.

Facebook vs face-to-face

But the potential is not Facebook, but face-to-face. The potential is not social networks, but real society.

The opportunity of technology is to enable wealth-creation worldwide; anywhere there is fibre.

Wealth creation enables people to create wonderful places to live; complete communities that work.

It enables people to meet their needs & pursue their aspirations while treading lightly on Nature.


But it won't happen automatically. It requires a new development pattern.


It is called the MarketTown

 And it is about restoring balance to life

Work Life Balance


 It begins by focusing on Wealth Creation. This is the first point of difference from a conventional development


Now Hiring


Instead of a focus on selling houses, attract Head-of-Household Jobs.

If you want to read more about the creation of a Local Economy, Click Here.



The purpose of that self-supporting local economy to enable people to enjoy a good life...

a good life


A good life is understood as the social pursuits of




Artistic, Intellectual and Spiritual Growth


 For each of these social pursuits, capital investment is made in infrastructure,

Infrastructure are the places that help make those things happen.


Let's take conviviality, which is about having fun, often revolving around food and drink. Public dining is normal. People are hard-wired to enjoy dining with others. But when it becomes expensive, isolation sets in. So make a capital investment in the village-owned cafe:





The Village Cafe is an essential pattern for conviviality. It provides an opportunity for social connection. It supports health with flavourful, nutritious foods. Children learn to behave by dining among adults and observing them as role models. Ensure there are enough tables and chairs so that folks, especially elders, can sit as long as they want and not feel obligated to spend money. Include magazine & book racks, chess tables & games, make it a place to hang out all day.


In order to ensure access to the cafe is for everyone, not solely those with discretionary income, pay for the capital cost of the cafe out of everyone's mortgage. This adds about $4 a month to each mortgageLease the cafe to a private operator for $1 a year with a requirement that the food is flavourful and nutritious and prices reflects the rent-free overhead. Encourage a home-cooking menu, not the overrich foods solely for special occasions.



Design the Village-Owned Cafe to be more than a place for a fast feed. Subscribe to the principles of Slow Food: local, heritage, diverse foods, old, wonderful recipes, seasonal food and drink. Make some tables long so solo persons feel OK to sit down next to other folk and striking up a conversation. Offer work tables that signal the person wants to be alone. Instead of high-powered wi-fi, put in a wi-fi area for those who like conducting their work in cafes.



The details are many, but they all are interrelated. The key is to human scale to fit human nature.


(click below to read more)