Local economies build real places

I’m giving a plenary speech at the Kentucky League of Cities Annual Convention in September – my topic is “independent cities” – I’ve been daydreaming about the difference between what folks were able to do 125 years ago and what we do now.  They built real places! Handsome places that rewarded both the owner and the visitor.  Work and trade was honorable – and it showed. And they did all this within a local economy. They didn’t need globalism to help them build a beautiful city.  They didn’t need huge corporations to help them build a free market economy.  They used what was at hand – local people, local materials, and local money and just made great places.

Now, look around you. Do we have any of that left today?  Who’s worse off:  those poor old fools who didnt have cars, tv, and air conditioning?  Or us?

Fortunately, peak oil, the true cost of carbon, and a shattered global economy will make being local king again.  And fortunately here, we have so many bright people who are helping us get ready.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Local economies build real places

  1. Aaron German

    I, too, am becoming obsessed with the idea of independent cities. So keep posts like this coming.

    The contrast between the pictures you posted says a lot.

    When in Sept. is this talk you’re giving? Is it open to the public?

    • steveaustinlex

      The event is the League of Cities Annual Convention – its in Louisville on Sept 15 – my thing starts at 9 – and afterward, Im putting together a panel discussion with real honest to goodness examples, like sustainable berea, seedleaf, others….

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