Living in Peace and Wisdom on our Planet

  My Profile  Log In   Register Free Now   
Living in Peace and Wisdom on our Planet Planet Thoughts Advanced       Click to see one of our videos, chosen at random from the database, along with its PlanetThought
 Try a video
Home   About   Books&Media   Resources   Contact  
   News   Quote   Review   Story   Tip   All   Blogs   News   Quotes   Reviews   Stories   Tips
Get Email or Web Quotes
or use our RSS feeds:
New Feed:  Fossil Fuel
 Full  Blog  News
Read & Comment:
A Solar Community In Isr...
'Let's You And Him Fight...
Paul Krugman's Errors An...
Why Climate Change Is An...

Most recent comments:
From Farm To Fork
A Simple List: Things We...
Can the affluent rest at...

Bookmark the site
Contribute $
Easy link from your site
Visit Second Life
Visit SU Blog

People can walk almost everywhere in a well-designed community

Journey two: From Danger to Going in Circles

The story so far:

Our journalist, Max, is using a method of visualisation to travel to sustainable places. It seems to be working. On his first visit he discovered they have done away with cars. And they walk everywhere.  Confounded by this observation he formulates his next quest: how can you create a city where everyone walks?

Tapescript part one

 I'm sitting on a wooden bench in the waiting area again. Behind me is some kind of succulent plant. Round the corner I see the lift I went up earlier. I see more lifts. I go over to a grey one, seems rather unassuming.

There is a red light above a button with the 'call' on it and some buttons under it. It arrives and opens. This one is different from the first, it is fitted with mirrors.

There's a guy in here I say 'Hi' to him.

He says; 'Do you want to do this?'

'Yes. Is it dangerous?'


'How dangerous?'

'There's a war on.'

I ask the guy for help, I tell him how important it is to find sustainable solutions. While I am saying this I realise two things:

1) I am in the wrong lift.

2) If you are looking for environmental- friendliness the last place you want to look is in a war-zone.

I learn something every time.

Tapescript part two

Wiser now, I get back to the lift I saw before with its beige enamel exterior. The big wheel is still there and the button with 'OK' on it. The door closes. The lift goes up. It opens at the place I was before – a foyer, to the right an airport in front of me a kiosk and stairs leading down to the park area.

They have some kind of special activity going on with placards everywhere. One placard says PORENA.

They have hung up flags, too. I turn left and walk along the corridor.

They have put up bits of trees to decorate the corridor walls. It's very nice. The decoration has a natural styling to it, bringing me close to a feeling of being in nature. The sun is shining through the corridor which forms a bridge that passes over some kind of road or walkway. I know what I expect. It's still gravel.

I suddenly get a flash of the gravel path once having been a road with many cars passing along it. Of course! I asked to go to a place that had solved the problem. So there is a historical development I could investigate if I wanted.

I walk along a bit and see that the main part of the building is one story up. I also get impression that there are many openings like the one I just passed over.

This is to not break the continuity of the natural surroundings, and so that people can walk everywhere without having to make detours around long buildings.

I come across a collection of offices.

The first one is the office of leaves, whatever that means. It contains workbenches and what looks like grey steel filing cabinets.

'We are cataloguing them', says the girl.

'Something to do with structure?'

'That's right', she says. 'It is for what we call biomimicry - finding examples of engineering design from nature to mimic in our own engineering. It is useful for engineering comparisons, calculations, explanations, mechanics etc.'

I walk on. I now see the building I am in is sort of on stilts to allow access between one side and the other - it's easy for people to walk everywhere. Precisely what my first visit told me.

Although I am surprised, because it's just too simple. It's such a simple way to reduce ecological footprint.

I am now entering an office which deals with another cornerstone of the ecologically sustainable country – planning.

I see from diagrams on the wall that the park I visited last time is actually the centre of the city. The park is surrounded by buildings placed radially.

The building I am in is used for work. I inspect the plans closer. The city looks a bit like a mandala - one of those Indian paintings. The outside rings are residential.

Residencies are located on the periphery to bring them close to nature.

There is a computer program behind all this. Everything is carefully calculated to place everything in walking distance of everything else.

But there's more. The whole calculation is based on the understanding of stress. If you know what stresses people it is easy to work out optimal proximities.

A guy offers me a green drink.

'Have a drink -it's green vitamins made from the water plant Spirogena. Go on, Chlorophyll's good for you.'

Leaves again! These guys have another feeling for nature than I do.

Anyway the Spirogena drink is minty, quite good. Reminds me of mint tea.

'So, what do you do here?' I ask.

'Town planning and architecture and radiality. Ten kilometres. Everything is 10kmor less from the centre.'

'And the plan allows food to grow everywhere. We take every opportunity to grow food.'

'It seems to me,' I muse, 'that the further you go out the harder it is to get around as the further you have to walk.'

The guy looks at me and tries to convince me that I still haven't got it and have forgotten the water.

I'm not much of a town planner myself, I was hoping for something like an invention. He informs me that the science of radiality is highly developed, with mathematical formulae underlying the practice. And books are available.


My last question: 'Do you work with radiality then?'

'Good gracious no. Work is much too stressful. It stresses the organism too much. No-one works in Porena.'

Latest Medical Invention Announcement

This product is a sensation.

Clinically proven to reduce coronaries and other heart-lung diseases.

Clinically proven blood-pressure reducing.

Clinically proven to prevent diabetes 2.

Clinically proven to help resist colon cancer.

Combined with appropriate diet, regular doses over longer period will bring about weight loss permanently.

Preventative effect on osteoporosis. Clinically proven.

Reduces pain in joints and other complaints of locomotor system.

Clinically proven to suppress worry and tension, mild depression and sleep disorders.

Dosage: once a day.

Extra dose 3-5 times a week for weight loss.

What IS it, you ask?

Where can I get it? What does it cost?

How much are you willing to pay for a month's dose?




What if I could give it to you FREE!


It is…

30 minutes a day brisk walking.

Add 3-5 times a week walking 50 minutes at hearty tempo to increase fitness and lose weight.

Tapescript part three: Trains

I wander off further down the corridor. A blue and white sign is directing me to the TRAINS. There's the C train and there might be another, an A train I'm not sure.

'Where does the C train go?'  I ask a passer-by.

'In a circle.'

I walk down the stairs and stand on the platform. First, I am struck by the look of the train. It looks kind of old and rickety. Secondly, I see an interesting principle: The separation of the biosphere from technology. They treat the biosphere as one living organism, and as far as possible keep machines away from it.

Radiality…why does that come up? I guess if you have a city-planning concept built on circles it makes sense for a train to go in circles.

I have taken in a lot of impressions, and frankly I'm feeling tired so I retrace my steps back to the lift.

I pass an ancient looking weighing machine with 'I Speak Your Weight' on it.

This time I buy one of the artichokes from the kiosk before stepping back into the lift.

Sustainable technology encountered during journey two

 •    Biomimicry.

 •    Radiality= the city planning concepts used to fulfil the ambition of everything being in walking distance from everything.

 •    Trains going in circles=see above and everything within walking distance.

 •    Encapsulation= separating technology – the technosphere – from the biosphere.

 •    Old technology= I am not sure about this one, but they seemed like they were keen to keep old stuff, the rationale I leave you and my next visit to ponder over.

 •    The organism= (maybe I met this earlier) the Porena name given to the 'animal' side of the human. I guess as opposed to the 'spirit, heart, intellect' (I am guessing wildly).

 •    Not working= work (quote) stresses the organism too much. 

Next week:
Our intrepid reporter takes the helm of an advanced transport system to discover how you can grow food for a whole city when no-one is employed in farming.

More PlanetThoughts

See the blog about "Connecting Peace and Sustainable development"

Learn about Urban Walking maps

See all the chapters of the book published online, so far.


See original blog item: Stephen Hinton  
Related reading:
  Do Urban Green Spaces Have Healing Powers? (Apr-29-2011)
  Inventing for the Sustainable Planet, Chapter 17 (Apr-11-2009)
  Kamal Meattle: How to grow your own fresh air (Apr-3-2009)
  Study: Eating Red Meat Increases Risk Of Early D... (Mar-24-2009)
  Inventing for the Sustainable Planet, Chapter 15 (Dec-8-2008)
  Inventing for the Sustainable Planet, Chapter 13 (Nov-12-2008)
  Inventing for the Sustainable Planet, Chapter 12 (Oct-22-2008)
  Inventing for the Sustainable Planet, THE MOVIE (Oct-12-2008)
  Pause for reflection on 'Inventing for the Susta... (Oct-5-2008)
  Inventing for the Sustainable Planet, Chapter 11 (Sep-30-2008)

Click one tag to see readings related specifically to that tag; click "Tags" to see all related readings
^ top
Add a comment    
  Follow the comments made here? 
  (Please log in or register free to follow comments)
Comment by:  stevehinton (Stephen Hinton) (Jul-15-2008)   Web site
what the Poreans are saying is that money and work have become so complex they cannot be adapted to be useful. there is no extra layer of taxes, technology or rules that can be added. You have to simplify to survive. This message comes too from anthropologists who have studied civilizations that collapsed. One excellent interview with a peak oil aware professor is on

^ top 
About author/contributor Member: stevehinton (Stephen Hinton) stevehinton (Stephen Hinton)
   Web site:

Member: stevehinton (Stephen Hinton) Started out as a Science Teacher, went over to management training and then Program Management. Was Managing Director of a sustainable drinking water company for nearly two years. He is now offering his services as change agent and releasing his book INVENTING FOR THE SUSTAINABLE PLANET.

Some environmental credentials:
  • trained in internal environmental auditing at Ericsson
  • Worked as specialist reporter for technical magazines, covering environmental issues
  • Familiar with GRI reporting, ISO systems in general specifically 14000 and the work environment methodology
  • Attended numerous environmental seminars in Sweden including the pivotal "After the peak of oil"
  • One of three original founders of Oil Awareness Stockholm

Visit Green Wave Email Marketing
Email Marketing for You and Your Planet

We won a Gotham Green Award for 2010, on Earth Day! Thank you Gotham Networking for this award.

See the attractive event brochure.

Recommended Sites

  Member of:
GOtham Green networking
Green Collar Economy
New York Academy of Sciences
Shades of Green Network

     Members/Affiliates *

Approaching the Limits
    to Growth
Environmental News Network
Heroin and Cornflakes

* Members of PlanetThoughts      
  communities on SU or MBL,      
  and blog article affiliates      

  Other Favorite Blogs
21st Century Citizen
Center for Bio. Diversity
Easy Ways to Go Green
Good Bags
Opposing Views

Valid my RSS feeds

We Do Follow

  Volunteer      Terms of Use      Privacy Policy  

Copyright © 2020 All Rights Reserved.
Except for blog items by David Alexander: Some Rights Reserved.