Walking, Commuting and Communities of the Future

The other day I decided to walk from my house to Draycote Water, a local reservoir, to chill out by the water and enjoy one of the last days of sunshine we might get before winter. I think of it as ‘just around the corner’ since it takes us about ten minutes to drive, but at six miles it took me two hours to walk. Granted, I wasn’t exactly pushing myself, but the distance still surprised me. It got me thinking about what life was like before everyone owned cars. It’s no surprise that 150 years ago a lot of people could live their whole lives within fifteen miles of the village they were born in.

Modern transport methods make Britain seem a lot smaller than it would have done to somebody whose only method of getting somewhere was walking, and that’s reflected in our lifestyles. It enables me, for instance, to live near Rugby when I work in Oxford.

Anyway. On my walk I started to wonder what the communities of the future would look like, when people can no longer rely on cheap fossil fuel to make the world a smaller place.  Will we all have to work where we live? Or work from home? Perhaps to adapt we’ll all be living a more agricultural life again, with everyone tending a small-holding to support the food needs of their community? The internet guarantees we’ll stay connected, but will virtual friendships over twitter become more common than driving to a coffee-shop for gossip?