My question is: How is our thinking changing, how do you as permaculture community change the way you think and relate to bring permaculture principles into the urban landscape and into urban planning? I suppose I should include myself in the debate. How do we do this. At the present time this seems to from where I am sitting as FUTURISTIC visions.
I just watched Geoff Lawton in his Permaculture Design introduction DVD. It didn't say where it was from other than that it was in the subtropics. I guess it might have been near the Channon in Northern New South Wales. The DVD showed a beautiful, near utopian RURAL living environment that really inspired me as a viewer. There was abundant space and peace and quiet. Not a person in sight. I could spot a dog and a couple of cows, ducks, chickens and lots of earth worms. I decided I'm going to have to go to the area soon and sign in for a visit tour of the institute property.
I recently spent a lot of time in South East Asia on a bicycle. Riding from village to village and crossing country borders on a bike. Poorer areas in high rain fall tropics still live very close to nature, have simple, small dwellings and a community where you still grow a lot of crops, rice, taro and have farm animals very close to your home. Most of the now 7 billion large population on the planet make $10 a day nowadays, I've read in the Unesco information. I don't know if it's accurate. How would our lives be if we had to reduce our consumption and income to become a part of the majority? This is my debate question. Can we change our thinking and our needs to the point of us being able to feel that this is quality of life? Or is this a completely silly question? Can communities of what are now looked down upon as khamphongs or 'semi slum areas' become sustainable permaculture communities with attractive low cost buildings rather than tin shacks? The same goes for our high income societies. Many of us in the developed world don't want to have to work full time jobs to have to pay for over priced housing. Will the future councils and planners have to incorporate provisions for people who choose to live a more simple existence at lower cost?
I don't know if I'm wrong, but Australia seems to have moved away from community living and community title to private ownership. It's become out of fashion because community takes time and resources to manage, and probably because it involves a degree of differing opinions which might lead to conflict and a struggle of resources. Community is seen a hippy thing. Stagnating places with lazy people who sit around and talk about what to do rather than doing and then it all falls apart especially if there are white ants eating up the dwellings. As for the individualist entrepreneurship that has come it its wake where property is assets and BIG money! Where hippy communities have become investments and quick bucks turned into BMWs and and rich Byron Bay jet set! The question is...Where is it heading? Where are the New Australian Poor in this equation and where are the egalitarian people headed at this present moment? The poorer are still poor and the money making middle class green crew are making their money from property mostly! And with that we are going to see more sub division and estates popping up that are not at all sustainable. I'd just like to see someone bringing in some debate and new ideas in this area to combat me in this fairly pessimistic debate piece. Look forward to you bringing my thinking around!