…It´s been a long time since I´ve been involved in the environmental projects and protests, and the first that I can remember, was when I started my chemistry studies on the Faculty of Science almost 20 years ago, when I was a member of, in those times very popular Croatian “green movement organisation” called Zelena Akcija (en. Green Action), that had its headquarters in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia.
Then, 15 years later, I was once more involved in the environmental projects, this time as an volunteer in a small eco village on the slopes of Petrova Gora, in the vicinity of the big industrial town of Sisak in the central part of Croatia.
Volunteering in that eco village, mostly helping some young German folks with constructing a barn, maintaining an eco garden and taking care of the horses, I found out for the first time what eco village is really about, and for the first time I saw the practical approach to a term called permaculture (I wrote about this subject in a Croatian article Permakultura i „zelena revolucija“ – put u kreativniju budućnost (en. Permaculture and the “green revolution” – the path to a more creative future)).
So, now I´m wondering, considering a fact that more and more people, especially the young couples with children, are moving from the big cities to live in the remote villages to work on the modern agriculture principles like the permaculture, to grow and sell this “organic” or “eco” products (which is especially popular in the last few years in Europe and U.S.A.); is it possible that the near future will bring us something that we can call a little piece of counter-history, i.e. a movement back from the cities to the villages.
I wonder what will prevail, possible modernisation of the urban areas with urban gardens, IT technology, alternative energy resources, in general a better life for the citizens than as it is today, or a more “green” and relaxed life deprived of too much stress in the remote eco village zones of the future?
What is it that makes so much difference?
Today, that is pretty obvious, taking into consideration how much stressful life people are leading while living in the cities, especially the bigger ones, and all the noise and pollution that we connect with living in the urban areas.
But is it possible that the cities of the future will look more like the big eco villages with modern and advanced urban agricultural, and preferably permaculture design fields and a lot of mostly artificial “green” areas, like parks, ponds, lakes etc., where people can relax and spend their free time when they are away from their working places.
Or maybe, we will have a combination of both, one part of the population will live in the “green cities”, thus providing the basics of the industrial, scientific and other facilities and jobs that are mostly connected with the life in the city, while the eco villages will provide the cities with their daily fresh and quality food and water resources, like they did it in the past, with a slight difference that this time we shall produce food and at the same time take more care of the wild nature that is the main source of this food and water.
Maybe this time we shall finally learn from the nature and try to be more cooperative, instead of pretending that the nature is our worsest enemy that we have to destroy and conquer at all costs.
If you could live in the distant future, what life would you chose, an advanced technology of the big cities or the peacefull and stressless life in some remote and picturesque village on the slopes of the big mountain or by the big lake, or maybe both, living in a city and spending free time in a village?
What would you say if this could happen even in our lifetime?
What lifestyle would you vote for, modern urban areas or remote eco villages?