Limits to Growth and Design of Settlements
Settlement design discourages productive local self-sufficiency, and maximises the volume of goods that must be transported in and wastes that must be transported out. This chapter argues that conventional architecture, planning, industrial and urban design must recognise the limits to growth, and design for simpler lifestyles, local economic sufficiency, and a steady-state economy. It suggests that major global problems are basically due to global market capitalism, growth and production for profit. The 'eco-village' movement is gathering momentum worldwide, going beyond theorising to building new settlements based on the sorts of principles. The basic settlement units should be small towns surrounded by natural landscapes linked by good public transport systems to big towns and small cities. An essential theme in the rapidly increasing eco-design literature is the development of small-scale, highly self-sufficient economies, especially at the town, suburban and regional level.