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We must design for Localisation which as economist David Fleming says “localisation stands, at best, at the limits of practical possibility, but it has the decisive argument in its favour that there will be no alternative”.(The Lean Economy 2006)

He continues “The transition to localisation from the global interdependence of today will be hard to achieve successfully, although it will be enforced by the breakdown of the world’s energy systems and food supply. Achieving it successfully will mean establishing local political economies with an intelligence and cultural existence well in advance of the incoherent, growth-dependent and locally-atrophied market economy of our day. Doing so unsuccessfully would mean failing to build local competence of any kind, so that neither the place nor the people survive the breakdown of the global market economy which the serial traumas of energy, food, climate and social deconstruction will bring”. (Lean Logic 2006)

We must plan

  1. for a post fossil fuel future – we must ‘plan out’ fuel dependency.
  2. to take account of changing economic circumstance brought by the end of cheap energy which will affect our ability to invest in capital projects in the future and the needs of our local community in a period of scarcity of traditional employment, resources, even food.
  3. an economy not based on descretionary spend but one that takes account of the hierarchy of real need and seeks to supply it as locally as possible.
  4. to beat the emission reduction curve that will avoid catastrophic climate chaos
  5. to adapt to climate change that is already in the system and is predictable
  6. to improve livability in the ‘terminal phase’ if we don’t succeed in averting catastrophe

For example:

  1. Local distribution networks like the planned TTBrixton Food Hub, a clearing house for locally produced food.
  2. Create community and living spaces as part of the commercial centre.
    1. Planning in affordable space for small local businesses
    2. Prioritise locally and individually owned businesses.
    3. Facilities for local zero carbon trades and services (a directory)
    4. Create space for local zero carbon deliveries to serve the local traders
    5. Encourage local currencies
    6. sustainable local transport.
      1. design away through traffic.
      2. Facilitate interconnections between local need and local supply to reduce the need for transport
      3. Facilitate zero carbon transport,
        1. bike use and walking
        2. bike hire
        3. (electric?) bikes, recharging at work.
        4. zero carbon local deliver, trailers, trikes,
  3. zero waste society –
    1. storage for local re-use of surplus materials must be built into planning.
    2. Community composting and local use of results in…
  4. Local food growing
    1. Estate and roof-top growing projects encouraged and designed in.
  5. zero carbon buildings (built to passivhaus or at least AECB Gold standard) that will function in a post fossil fuel world. They should:
    1. do passive warming and cooling
    2. any additional heating requirement to be provided by zero carbon means (CHP is wonderful and efficient as long as there is gas. See biogas below)
    3. be super insulated to optimum levels.
    4. Natural lighting and low energy artificial lighting
    5. Local Energy stores
    6. are designed to be able to last for ever or be dismantled and components re-used. (there will not be enough energy for demolition and rebuilding nor enough money in the economy for big capital projects.)
    7. generate power
    8. use local, sustainable, low embodied energy and re-used materials. Minimise concrete.
    9. Zero carbon building operation eg do not rely on lifts
    10. are useable as farms, growing on roof and walls, balconies and inside S aspect windows.
    11. harvest rain, grey and blackwater (for local re-use)
    12. use biodigester for blackwater. Biogas to run CHP or ground source heat pumps for heating and cooling.

On planning at the human scale we should use the wisdom of Christopher Alexander’s A PATTERN LANGUAGE which would have avoided many of the pitfalls that the Brixton Central Square development has fallen into.

We should aim for

  1. human scale social space not just transit space.
  2. Micro businesses such as food stalls, buskers.
  3. Street planting for food growing as in Middlesborough

We should build policies for employing local people

We should have operational standards which are monitored and enforced on

  1. Zero waste
  2. Building operation eg heating and ventilation operation and maintenance

We should adopt sustainability principles such as

  1. zero use of agrofuels apart from local waste cooking oils.

We should be inspired by best practice and not afraid of doing things differently

  1. Participatory planning, charettes,
  2. Participatory budgetting
  3. Christopher Alexander A PATTERN LANGUAGE for designing human scale envirnoments.
  4. Hundertwasser.

Comment: Some of the above is quite jargonistic eg charetttes, low-embodied energy. Some clarification would be good

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