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.
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.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you want to read more about the creation of a Local Economy, Click Here.
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 mortgage. Lease 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.
First attract head-of-household jobs. Engage the buyers at the onset to lower risk and make it work.
Move destinations not people. Home, work, schools, shops, recreation: walk to all. Stop Stupid Driving.
Create a social enterprise that builds, governs, and retains profits to invest in the local economy.
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