Food, the Real New Economy and the Small City Renaissance

 Food

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The real new economy is not about personal jet packs and vacations on Mars. It's about finding a way to live prosperously in a future where energy will be more expensive as world demand for energy spikes while supplies of fossil fuels continue to deplete. And since expensive energy will raise the price of all of life's necessities, from clean air and water to food and transportation, today's trend towards people crowding into bigger and bigger urban areas will reverse. The 20th century was about the growth of the megapolis based on cheap energy, abundant consumer goods and global trade. We all became consumers, letting someone else, often half a world away, make most of our stuff. The 21st century will be about local everything. Prosperity will be found in satisfaction rather than conspicuous consumption. It'll be less about buying and more about making, making do or doing without. We will all be producers. And when it comes to food, families will grow, cook and preserve more of it themselves. In the real new economy, where local agriculture helps America make an agrarian comeback, small cities will be the best places to live. Presented at Virginia Urban Agriculture Summit held in Lynchburg, VA in April, 2014 by Erik Curren, city councilman in Staunton, VA.
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  • 1. ERIK CURREN CITY COUNCIL STAUNTON, VA
  • 2. FOOD, THE REAL NEW ECONOMY & THE SMALL CITY RENAISSANCE
  • 3. FIRST, A NATION OF FARMERS
  • 4. THE IDEAL AGRARIAN COMMONWEALTH
  • 5. FARMS, TOWNS & SMALL CITIES
  • 6. IT NEVER REACHED ITS POTENTIAL
  • 7. THEN CAME FACTORIES
  • 8. AND FINALLY, THE SERVICE ECONOMY
  • 9. PROSPERITY CAME TO URBAN AREAS
  • 10. BUSINESS LEFT RURAL TOWNS
  • 11. HAVE WE NOW REACHED PEAK BIG CITY?
  • 12. MEGACITIES WILL NEED LOTS OF FOOD
  • 13. COULD URBAN AGRICULTURE LET CITIES GROW FOREVER?
  • 14. ARE YOU WILLING TO BET ON IT?
  • 15. IN THE REAL NEW ECONOMY ENERGY WILL MATTER
  • 16. SMALL CITIES NEED LESS ENERGY
  • 17. SMALL CITIES WILL HAVE MORE FOOD
  • 18. BUT THEY NEED TO CONQUER THEIR FEAR OF FARMING
  • 19. SMALL CITIES CAN BE AMERICA’S FUTURE
  • 20. CULTIVATORS OF THE EARTH ARE THE MOST VIRTUOUS AND INDEPENDENT CITIZENS. — THOMAS JEFFERSON
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