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Sunday, June 24, 2007

RSS, Geography of Hope and living Off Grid (and that's just the start...)

Just been on another online excursion - perfect way to pass a Sunday evening...
All started with me updating my RSS feeds, and setting up a document for a training session I'm doing next week, and I ended up discovering the site relating to a forthcoming book by Chris Turner called GEOGRAPHY OF HOPE, the (apparently final design for the) cover of which is shown below:

This in turn led me to the OFF GRID site, which has a range of very useful resources for those teaching issues of Sustainability and dealing with the issues...

One particularly useful article for those doing Rural Urban relationships (an Edexcel A level topic for example) is an article on EXURBIA:

Defined as an area on the urban fringe of a town or city, with at least 20% of its workers commuting, it tends to have low-density housing.
A US study said there were 10.8 million people living in the exurbs of large metropolitan areas in 2000 – that’s 6% of their total population – and the numbers had increased by a third over the 1990s. But, with a land area of, on average, 14 acres per each home compared to 0.8 acres per home in the city, the acreage needed to accommodate all those escaping the city centre is growing at a much higher pace.

The best part is, there doesn’t tend to be a ‘typical’ type of exurban resident, despite a popular misconception that only white, middle-income homeowners live there.

From a 2006 study “Finding Exurbia: America’s Fast-Growing Communities at the Metropolitan Fringe” by Alan Berube, Audrey Singer, Jill H. Wilson, and William H. Frey:

“Despite their popularization by political analysts, media, and local growth activists, the “exurbs” do not abound nor fit a single, neat stereotype. Just 6 percent of large metro area residents live in an exurb, and these exurbs vary from affordable housing havens for middle-class families, to “favored quarters” for high-income residents, to the path of least resistance for new development.”

They also ask a potent question: what will happen as exurbia continues to expand?

“The real test for exurbia lies in how our nation accommodates future growth. Will exurbs remain exurbs or become the suburbs of tomorrow?”

A UK based example of the OFF GRID trend was featured in some Sunday supplements a couple of weeks ago, and I'm tempted by the book by Nick Rosen pictured below:

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