Social Capital - one pillar of resilience
I recently moved from one of the densest inner city communities to the burbs and the move has made me reflect on how place/geography determines our resilience.
For me, my bikes have been mothballed as I'm now on a one hour each way bus commute, the seed bombing/scrumping has stopped and my access to a rich vein of social capital has disappeared. Gone are the local family owned stores open 18-24hrs a day with warm friendly staff- I've now got an overpriced service station selling CDs, 10kg bags of ice and dicounted bulk detergent or a big "citadel" shopping centre where no one speaks. I no longer meet people in the street and more time/money is spent on shopping and travelling than before.
My domestic energy use has risen as I'm in a larger, older, less insulated apartment and not outside as much.
The main impact is that I've gone from a community full of ideas, high social capital energy and on the surface lower resources ( as traditionally defined) to one of higher resources, less social capital and devoid of obvious energy.
Whilst my temptation has been to consider moving, as many boomer sea and tree changers have done, the bigger opportunity is to grow social capital and develop local resilience. Writers on sustainability and resilience such as Richard Heinberg state that we could stay where we are at see http://richardheinberg.com/the-end-of-growth-exclusive-supplemental-materials and many of us really have no other choice.
In staying, we have a wonderful opportunity to develop community resilience and social capital starting at our back door and avoid plundering some grass is greener neighbourhood. I let you know how I get on and welcome your ideas. See my experiment for comments.