if we all stayed dotted about

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safronsue
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if we all stayed dotted about

Post: # 260563Post safronsue
Wed May 16, 2012 5:06 am

towns are silly ideas. imagine we were dotted about planet. much better. don't you think?

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Re: if we all stayed dotted about

Post: # 260575Post bonniethomas06
Wed May 16, 2012 8:56 am

Yes and no...we would all have more space, but then that isn't very helpful if your space had to be in the desert or the antarctic. I thikn humans living close together is a caveman thing - safety in numbers. Although it has gotten a bit silly now.
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Re: if we all stayed dotted about

Post: # 260577Post boboff
Wed May 16, 2012 9:06 am

Delivery costs of Safron to a town is much cheaper than to individual houses.
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safronsue
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Re: if we all stayed dotted about

Post: # 260583Post safronsue
Wed May 16, 2012 11:02 am

cavemen needed to be safe from wild animals we don't have anymore. perhaps the technological age will enable us to spread out and reap the obvious benefits of not being all squashed up. yes, there are inhospitable places but there are so many great empty spaces too.

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Re: if we all stayed dotted about

Post: # 260587Post gregorach
Wed May 16, 2012 11:22 am

safronsue wrote:cavemen needed to be safe from wild animals we don't have anymore. perhaps the technological age will enable us to spread out and reap the obvious benefits of not being all squashed up. yes, there are inhospitable places but there are so many great empty spaces too.
They won't be "great empty spaces" any more if people start living in them. High density living can have a much lower ecological impact per person, simply because it takes up less of the landscape. Spread people out too much and you'll finish ruining what little wilderness we have left.
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Re: if we all stayed dotted about

Post: # 260593Post British Red
Wed May 16, 2012 1:15 pm

gregorach wrote:High density living can have a much lower ecological impact per person, simply because it takes up less of the landscape
Logically, High density living has a higher ecological impact. Food has to be grown elsewhere and transported in, water has to be gathered elsewhere and transported in, waste and sewage has to be transported out, fuel and energy supplies have to be transported over long distances. Distribution infrastructure has to be in place for all goods and services within cities.

I simply cannot see how that equates to a lower ecological impact. It may be true if a distributed population is reliant on centralised creation and distribution of energy, food, water and waste disposal. If they are living self sufficiently? I think not.
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gregorach
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Re: if we all stayed dotted about

Post: # 260595Post gregorach
Wed May 16, 2012 1:27 pm

I live in a block of flats - 17 households on the footprint of one. That makes a pretty bloody big difference, even before we calculate the reduced energy requirements resulting from shared walls and so forth. Take all the people who live in cities in Britain, spread them out in detached houses, and you'll end up covering a very much larger area than they currently do. I can't be bothered doing the sums right now, but I suspect that you'll find there's very little land left for anything else...

Nobody has ever lived entirely "self sufficiently" since the earliest days of humanity. We are a social species, we live in groups.
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Re: if we all stayed dotted about

Post: # 260603Post British Red
Wed May 16, 2012 3:27 pm

Thats a very emotive phrase Duncan "we are a social species" - very unscientific. I think you will find that for all its history before the industrial revolution mankind did in fact live in much smaller and wider distributed settlements.

I simply don't agree that living where most food doesn't have to be collected and distributed where neither does water, neither does power is less "green" (whatever that sill phrase means). Concentrating people away from where all the things are that they need is what leads to all this haulage, transport , pollution etc. It is the antithesis of self sufficiency.
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Re: if we all stayed dotted about

Post: # 260605Post gregorach
Wed May 16, 2012 4:04 pm

British Red wrote:Thats a very emotive phrase Duncan "we are a social species" - very unscientific. I think you will find that for all its history before the industrial revolution mankind did in fact live in much smaller and wider distributed settlements.
Certainly - but not individual households, and certainly based on the nuclear family, which is what seems to be implied here. And of course, there was a much smaller population to fit into the landscape...

Anyway, I seem to recall we've already had this argument a number of times back on BCUK, and I don't recall it ever being particularly productive. You don't seem to believe in economies of scale, and I'm largely unconvinced by the notion of "self sufficiency" as it is commonly understood (however odd that might seem for someone around these parts). There is also the fact that cities are perfectly capable of producing significant proportions of their own resources (food, water, energy) if we were to make the effort - and indeed in many parts of the world they do.
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Re: if we all stayed dotted about

Post: # 260610Post British Red
Wed May 16, 2012 5:26 pm

I see no implication of single family units - you may have inferred it, but there is no implication that I can detect.

Its not a question of "economy of scale" its a question of disconnection of life forms from the resources they need.

I'm intrigued by the notion of cities that can "produce significant proportions of their own resources" (even though that means that they are all net importers). Can you give me an example of a city that produces - shall we say 75%? - of its food, water and fuel from within its city limits?

As for over population - I fail to see how that affects a centtralised or dispersed population model. All those people have to live somewhere - either a city, a village, a hamlet or homestead.

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Re: if we all stayed dotted about

Post: # 260622Post Thomzo
Wed May 16, 2012 8:00 pm

What's wrong with people living in cities if they want to? Granted, there is an impact of transporting food into the city and waste out again but most food is transported even to rural areas. People who live in the country still buy bananas.

I moved back to town from a small village and I use my car a lot less now than I did then. In rural areas public transport is rubbish, but then running a bus with one person on it is far worse for the environment that their travelling by car. Most of us have to work and, if you live in a rural area, you will almost certainly have to commute, usually by car.

I agree with Dunc's argument about footprint. Flats are a far more efficient use of land than detached houses. That doesn't mean you can't have flats in the country though.

There is, of course, the option of suburbia. Near enough to town to be fuel efficient from a commuting point of view, but with enough land to do a bit of 'grow your own' if you have a mind to.

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Re: if we all stayed dotted about

Post: # 260629Post British Red
Wed May 16, 2012 8:23 pm

There is nothing wrong with living in towns - but equally there is nothing wrong with living in the country (i prefer trees to concrete, fields to roads, village halls to rock concerts - but I accept the reverse as a preference). Personally I prefer living in the country. I object - vehememently - though to the assertion by Duncan that human beings are a social species and the contextual implication that not wanting to live in a tiny amount of space makes one in some way "sub human".

If one truly believes in "self sufficiency" I will though assert that one cannot even begin to approach it in a flat. Personally I would rather eat food I have gown, or foraged or hunted than an imported banana with massive food miles on it.

I do work - I commute to my clients, stay there until the job is done and then commute home. This ends up with less miles per year than most daily commuters. I only do this for long enough to pay things like council tax , corporation tax and to cover necessary bills ( I don't believe in letting others pay for my share of the NHS, police etc.). I gave up a very well paid job to live on this much reduced income, but it gives me the time to cut my own firewood, grow veg, shoot, make soap, vinegar etc.

I don't object to those who choose to live in flats - its not for me to tell other people how to live - my personal opinion is that human beings are a diverse species - some are naturally urban dwellers, who like urban dwelling. Others are country folk who like fields, trees, wildlife, growing veg etc.

More power wo those that like cities - all the more country for me :)
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Re: if we all stayed dotted about

Post: # 260644Post British Red
Wed May 16, 2012 11:47 pm

Been thinking about this thread a great deal.

Duncan / Thomzo,

I am at a bit of a loss here. I need to understand - and I genuinely don't understand - your perspective.

Is what you are saying that most people would be happier, healthier, and more fulfilled by living in a block of flats and working in an office or factory than living in the country, with a few acres, gadening and raising their own food?

Lets forget for a moment the economics of the argument, although I can happily debate the reasons why, as people climb the ladder of economic success they move further and further away from inner cities, I would genuinely like to hear the perspective of someone who believes that living in a block of flats, surrounded by other buildings is preferable to living in a country cottage with a garden, view of woods and streams and so forth.

Does a view of a ring road really satisfy your soul? Or is it an economic argument?

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Re: if we all stayed dotted about

Post: # 260649Post boboff
Thu May 17, 2012 4:28 am

Red, living in an issolated community makes you argumentative and prone to ponder points simply to get mental stimulation.

For evidence please re-read your posts.

Who cares?

We have to live in towns to provide labour for centralised services, and services to the the people who populate the towns.

YES Red, some people prefer towns, with buses, and schools, and shops you phone who deliver processed food for pennies in seconds, where there is a choice of Pubs, nightclubs, evening classes, museums, libraries, friends, advice, etc, all within a quick walk. And they have Bingo.

I would actually say MOST people prefer this.

With everything there are pro's and cons, flats are cheaper to heat, but the food comes further ( but what is 20 miles when most stuff comes from 1,000's of miles away)

"Satisfy the Soul" I am sorry, but that is elitist, Condescending, Grandious, Bull Plop and smacks of self justification for choices you have made. Allot of people of actually frightened of the country, it's remoteness, loneliness, quiet, spiders...........
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Re: if we all stayed dotted about

Post: # 260652Post oldjerry
Thu May 17, 2012 4:52 am

I'm not sure that every town dweller neccesarily lives in a high rise block,many seem to have gardens of their own,or allotments as well as the proximity to available foraging.(hence the 'ish).
I currently live in the rural idyll,30-40 mile views of the Malverns,nearest neighbours a quarter of a mile..blah..blah..blah..
We also spend a fortune in fuel getting the kids to school,visiting the doctors,hospital etc.etc.However self sufficient you maybe unless you have a large farm you will need to travel miles to work (or more likely sign on),and while in theory you could sit at home and make rustic furniture\design websites etc.etc.there are dozens of people doing the same thing,and to be fair,most who do it either have other income or more usually have paid off their mortgage and downsized.(good for them)(but crap for someone born and bred locally,priced out the housing market, who has to go and live in a city).
Moreover,there is a great deal more to self reliance than growing your own food,in terms of re-using etc urban life wins all ends up......anyhow enough of stating the bleedin' obvious....

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