Two days ago I put up a post in which I asserted, by the time-honored method of pulling it out of my arse, that
in the long run, more and more political action which shift to cities and thereby ‘hollow out’ the increasingly sclerotic system of nation states which governs the earth and the global level. In a century the nation states will be husks of what they are now and most of the world’s civic business will be conducted by shifting coalitions of cities and regions.
I’m interested in exploring that notion.
Anyone have ideas, suggestions for things to check out, etc.? Any relevant science fiction?
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In that post I cited, as examples,
- the Second Vermont Republic, a group of citizens who want Vermont to secede from the USofA,
- the Transition Town movement, folks who are adamantly apolitical but who, in anticipation of peak oil, are working toward local self-sufficiency in food and energy and all that that implies, and
- Mayors of Peace, an international organization of cities seeking to end nuclear weapons by 2020.
What else is there like that, where “like that” is interpreted generously? Continue reading
As the New York Times just reported, “Many young consumers today just do not care that much about cars,” as evidenced by an 18 percent drop in teen driver’s licenses between 1998 and 2008. A generation ago, Ferris Bueller said that getting a computer instead of a car proved that he was “born under a bad sign” — but the Times cites a new poll showing 46 percent of today’s 18- to 24-year-olds say they would actually “choose Internet access over owning a car.”
Taken together, these attitudinal shifts present a welcome opportunity to change everything from environmentally destructive infrastructure policies to outdated corporate investment strategies. Seizing such a rare opportunity requires only that more of us spend a bit less time in the car when possible. That, or at least an end to a political theology that always presents new roads as a panacea.
via We don’t need new roads – Energy – Salon.com.
Just as Google uses its bus system to compete with other companies, cities might do the same with theirs. But while budget constraints are one obstacle, just as often it’s a problem of perception: The bus is seen as cut-rate transit, ever inferior to rail and not worthy of attention. Even last week, when I traveled to Athens, Ga., to meet with a community group that’s promoting better urban planning, everyone I spoke to was shocked that I had taken the bus from Atlanta instead of a private shuttle.
via It’s time to love the bus – Dream City – Salon.com.