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Community ideas

Looking to the future

I sometimes wonder about the future. What will it be like? What do we want it to be like? Collectively, we do have a choice. Do we want it all ultra modern, losing our historical buildings, our traditions and the English Countryside or are there some things that we should preserve and look after?


Do we want or even need a world of robots and computers? We have some challenges, we need cures for many illnesses and diseases. We need to end poverty, deprivation and social injustice. Do we need our English country gardens? Will we all live in apartments with no garden and a view over a city that has forgotten nature? Will be all become obese are we rely on takeaway food and home deliveries. Will cooking and kitchens become a thing of the past?


We can see trends already emerging. We already have calls for a more sustainable world, rather than more industrial growth. We have communication systems like never before. We enjoy more ‘services’ than ever before. We are able to stream entertainment into our homes in the form of movies that replace going to the cinema, music that replaces going to live shows and our smart televisions can take almost anywhere in the world. Entertainment is on demand and becoming more and more interactive. However, people are travelling more, not less. They don’t do the local trip to the theatre or the cinema once a week, but expect to be able to travel the world for holidays. Is that sustainable?


There are always experiments with new buildings that try to make the most efficient use of the available land. Many commercial buildings are multi-storey, but the high rise apartments blocks haven’t been that successful in the UK. The designs were poor compared to commercial premises like offices. Can Britain’s architects do better? I think they probably can design homes that make more efficient use of the land, while at the same time giving people spacious rooms that are energy efficient. We also have to consider the increasing population. Will we have to go skyward to accommodate an ever expanding population?


Could we make better use of our communication systems and adopt home working, so we need to travel less in the future. Can we develop more community resources so social contact is local and people can walk to it? Could schools be local and more multifunctional learning centres? Do we need twice yearly foreign holidays or should we consider the foreign holiday of the future as a real trip of a lifetime?

Solving problems

As a society, we have many problems. Cultural and political divisions, social divisions and social exclusion. Racial and religious differences cause problems. Should our future be based on solving all these problems? Should we concentrate on solving problems, curing disease, providing good housing, economic and social security or should we be looking for a brave new world? What is left to conquer now for mankind? For many it is space, they want to travel to other worlds. They can’t do it alone though, they want the rest of us to support their dream in a big way. Personally, I favour sorting out the problems of this world before we travel to other worlds and inflict our problems on that world too. When no child is sick, abused or hungry in our world, then perhaps we can look beyond our world to brave new adventures in space.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments box. You can also follow me on Twitter ofr updates.

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