A simple life is hard to imagine. Here’s one way.

Lost driver: “Can you tell me how to get to Union Grove?” Roadside farmer: “No. But if I was you, I wouldn’t start from here.”

Most of us have trouble seeing from here down the road. If we ponder what life would be like with a lot less water, air-conditioning, meat, or municipal services, it’s hard to visualize. How would limited transportation, lower home values, more community conflict, and food scarcities feel? We can’t quite imagine.

I spend hours researching dangers like these and possible tactics for dodging them. But even I have trouble conjuring visions of their everyday consequences. […]

A city dying of thirst? The prequel.

At about a 30% water shortage, residents predicted the city would deteriorate. 35% reductions have just been mandated.

Santa Cruz, a county of natural beauty between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Cruz Mountains, is rated at “Extreme” risk for long-term water shortages. (400 American counties have such ratings. Another 600 are rated “High” risk.)

Way back in 2003, to involve its residents in visualizing the problems ahead, the city asked how people would feel at various levels of water rationing. Looking into the future, the predictions were scary.

At 10-20%, reduced outdoor watering, shorter showers and other small measures […]

Cohousing – designed for these times?

Cohousing can have advantages any time, but especially when energy, food and other family budget threats loom. […]

People will pay to walk

Walkable, bikeable, transit-oriented mixed-use neighborhoods are predicted to be in demand, pushing up prices and encouraging construction. […]