Excessive dependence of local communities on outside services
Lack of neighbourhood technology
Communities or neighbourhoods in large cities depend on centralized services for information, energy, mass transportation, food distribution, water, sewage systems and a number of other services that are controlled from a distance. Inefficiencies due to the large-scale of such services are manifested in inadequate administration and excessive cost, while the alternative of generating some local services through the development of appropriate technologies is rarely considered, despite the potential efficiencies that this would offer. In fact, decentralization opportunities exist wherever cities have fallen behind in utilizing contemporary technology.
This might apply, for example, to centralized large main-frame computers, where small, powerful local networks might be a possible alternative. Another example is the huge private power plants required to support the needs of a whole city: local areas could utilize solar energy, high-energy producing windmills, photovoltaic batteries, or other practical means, to generate most if not all of a neighbourhood's energy requirements. Other local technology available includes: in-house toilet and waste-disposal systems; locally-produced and operated electric cars; hydroponic and other food-growing technologies for fresh fruits and vegetables; and high-production protein ponds using specially bred fish. Such emphasis on local technology could lead to the development of carpentry and bricklaying trades, and small scale manufacturing and light assembly.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
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