Dear Mr. Nader,

Thank you for sending me How Smart Growth Can Stop Sprawl by David Bollier. I am impressed with his research and ways he sees the smart growth movement can and has curbed the devil of sprawl.

The New Urbanism is inspired by a more traditional way of life when there were fewer people and less technology. I feel that as an environmental Presidential candidate, futurist thinking is required of you to visualize a way out of the environmental crisis. We need to envision an entirely different value system that creates a new archetype in architecture, what architect Paolo Soleri has termed an arcology (fusion of architecture and ecology), a pedestrian city which uses bikes, elevators, moving walk ways, light rail, to move people throughout the arcology. Meg-lev trains transport people from arcology to arcology throughout the continent.

Such a project could galvanize and unify creative geniuses using cutting edge ideas in every field of human knowledge, a new symbol of compassionate spirit and conscious technology that could lead to applying the prototypal ecological city all over the world. Addressing the American public with such a radically creative project is similar to what John Kennedy did with the Apollo project and the race to land a man on the moon.

Building an arcology is a transformation, moving from one pattern of design to another more complex pattern. Soleri indicated that continuing to build under the current model of development-- even with green technologies such as hybrid cars--is "a better kind of wrongness.” Era making times require epic making change.

Mr. Nader, I’m one of the 25 million people who get their water from the Colorado River. It is drying up and the water that is left is polluted with perchlorate, a chemical used in Cold War rockets and from 12 million tons of radioactive uranium tailings. What could be more unsustainable to our life support system? In the Southwest, business goes on a usual as the people are so set in denial that water concerns go without significant media coverage. Our present cities have no positive future unless we can convince people that a revolutionary design, or what I call lovolutionary design, is necessary for social justice, individual happiness, and for our very survival on Planet Earth.

Selling the idea, of course, would be that the money we are putting into the war and such programs as the Missile Defense Program would be rechanneled into this model of evolutionary design. Converting military might and brutality to peace time activities of construction work would be a goal as well as to bring in United Nations resources and labor to make the project a world-wide event. Oil money from Iraq could partially go into to funding the arcology project especially research needed to energize the arcology using alternatives to nuclear power and fossil fuels, perhaps even micro waving energy from Outer Space through the use of solar powered satellites.

Soleri has a piece of the arcology puzzle. But he doesn’t have a social architecture that could make his city function. Neither does he have an economic plan.

Futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard does have such a plan. She has built a network of futurists from around the world who might be able to envision life in an arcology and make it happen through her idea of “cocreation.”

She feels that the two-party system is adversarial. What we need is to repattern our dysfunctional system to make it work for everyone using a whole-systems approach to solving global problems. To do this repatterning, she sees a team of the best and brightest hearts and minds who know what is emerging in all branches of knowledge. This team would be connected with people in their fields of interest who are working in experimental projects.

The role of the team is to be educators, who through connecting with each other form the synergy needed to shift time, to move us into a green era. Consider this group as whom Thomas Jefferson called a natural aristocracy and the group, the founding spirits of the meritocracy part of a democracy. Democracy can’t work without its visionaries, mythmakers, and social architects guiding cultural evolution. These are the people who through their good works and virtuous deeds merit power to influence positive change. The Presidential candidate becomes, then, an entire cabinet, a design science team.

The team would go to every region of the country and set up town meetings with the purpose of introducing Americans to the design concepts, blueprints, maps, and simulated computer models. The arcology design gives a physical structure to one’s imagination in which a dialogue process can begin. The dialogue allows the design team to receive feedback necessary for a cocreative experience to arise with the public. Also, interactive Internet technologies form a global feedback loop to surface so that no genius who has a role to play in the transition is not left behind.

Barbara would be an excellent resource for you, and perhaps an interesting V.P. Her organization is found on the Internet at: www.evolve.org. Her audio programs on Wisdom Radio will give you an ear full of futurists who have worked their whole lifetimes on this transformation of society.

You can find out about the basic vision of Soleri’s arcology at: www.arcosanti.org. He told me once that it would take a political genius to build an arcology. Perhaps, Mr. Nader, you are that someone who could be a catalyst for archetypal structural change we are in dire need of manifesting.

Sincerely,

Libby Hubbard

 
 



 
 
Human Extinction or Lovolution?