Post by Marines Pocaterra

Watching the following Ted Talk “Technology will give you the benefits of city life anywhere”, I reflected that each professional field sees the answers to world problems from a different perspective. I decided to revisit an old Favelissues post (2012) to contrast both views: Urban Propositions Before Population Boom.

Don’t believe predictions that say the future is trending towards city living. Urbanization is actually reaching the end of its cycle and soon more people will be choosing to live (and work) in the countryside, thanks to rapid advances in augmented reality, autonomous delivery, off-the-grid energy and other technologies. Think outside city walls and consider the advantages of country living with this forward-thinking talk.

Julio Gil, Logistics expert, believes approaching technologies might liberate us from the over urbanized future predicted by Shlomo Angel.

He is convinced urbanization is about to end its cycle, just as nomadic living ended its cycle when farming overcame hunting as a living hood system and later farming gave way to industrialization through technologic innovations like steam engines.

Urban cycle was triggered by people searching for living advantages condensed in 3 areas: better job opportunities, easier access to services and goods and a richer social life.

He believes technological strategies will let people live independently from the city, enjoying its advantages without suffering its disadvantages (overcrowding, traffic jams).

Also Kent Larson has some technological tricks to fit more people in cities; like folding cars, and multiple use homes fitted with moving walls and folding fixtures.

If we consider rural settings attractive and want to keep their mains features (low density, small communities) there is not enough space to absorb the estimated population growth. China alone has to house the equivalent of USA’s population in a 20 years span. Let’s also hope the increase of real estate value on newly discovered rural land does not penalize crop fields and doom their existence in the neo gentrification of rural areas into a new, unpredictable kind of suburban sprawl or expansion.

The cost of these technological solutions might not be affordable to those societies that have not been able to provide clean water or sewage to their present populations.
Sustainable urban /rural media still eludes our knowledge. But theories are just theories. To create these tech environment or prepare basic services, different planning methods: classical or techno, social or financial, must pass reality checks before being considered a possibility to reach sustainable results.

Urban history abounds in failed urban and rural experiments. Maybe a working couple will be perfectly happy in the rural setting (provided with latest techno gadgets) but not their teenage sons.

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