Kunstler Predicts the Future Lies in Small Cities

Some suburbs will be successful smaller towns, while others will become ruins, predicts James Howard Kunstler. Unlike other urbanists though, Kunstler thinks big cities are in trouble when cheap energy disappears.

1 minute read

June 25, 2011, 1:00 PM PDT

By Tim Halbur


Kunstler writes that big "metroplex" cities will be in significant trouble:

"Categorically, they are not scaled to the energy realities of the future. Our giant cities are products of the cheap energy era; the arc of their explosive growth since 1945 is self-evident. They're simply too large and too complex. Everything about them is designed to run on endless supplies of cheap fossil fuels and the resources and byproducts made possible by them: steel, copper, cement, plastic, and asphalt."

He predicts that large U.S. cities will contract around their historic cores and waterfronts, and that trains and boats will see a resurgence given the lack of cheap oil to fuel trucks for deliveries.

Friday, June 24, 2011 in Orion Magazine

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