As we draw nearer to reaching the point of Peak Oil, it benefits us to imagine what our cities will look like in a world without oil. Does this conjure up images of cities turned into urban farms just to produce enough food for us all? Do we devote all our energy to growing, bartering and trading the food we grow? Or will the city become divided, with the wealthy moving to the center while higher costs of living force lower-income families to the outer-ring suburbs, where access to goods, services and transport will be limited?
If we start now, we can choose what we want our cities to look like in the future. We can make them the resilient, sustainable centers of culture, justice, art and creativity that we hope they will become.
Author and Professor Peter Newman is asking us to imagine and then get to work building these urban centers. His book and talk, both titled Resilient Cities: Responding to Peak Oil and Climate Change, ask audiences to honestly look at what will happen to our cities when we reach Peak Oil. During his 90 minute presentation last night at Seattle's City Hall, Newman explained to the full house how peak oil will soon change reality as we know it; and how if we choose to make it so, we can take this challenge as our opportunity to create a functional, just and sustainable world
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