Bedford 2045 – part 1

Posted in: Comment, New Publications

There will be a couple (at least) of comments this week on John Huckle's classic text, Bedford 2045.  The first (which deserves to be read without any comment from me), follows.

I'd only ask you to have two questions in your mind as you read this:

  1. would you like to live in this version of Bedford?
  2. what sort of schooling and HE would there need to be to make (and keep) Bedford 2045 possible?

Bedford 2045 ...

It is a Wednesday in September 2045 and Jane Pearson wakes early. … The solar collector on the roof has warmed the water for Jane's shower and by the time she has dressed and gone downstairs, husband Tom is giving Jake his breakfast. … Jane, Jake and Tom tuck in to their breakfast of cereals and fresh fruit from the neighbourhood orchards.  A lot of food in now grown around the town and Tom spends some of his time working at a local nursery where the glasshouses are heated with hot water from a small combined heat and power generating station which burns straw and willow. …  Over breakfast Jane and Tom talk about their plans to add another room to their house before January when their second child will be born.  Friends in the street will help them with some of the work once the prefabricated timber sections are delivered and they will engage a plumber and electrician through the town's local economic trading scheme (LETS) which now accounts for 30% of local business turnover.  They will need to get a low interest loan from the Credit Union. …  Most people now live near enough to walk or cycle to work, but there are electric bus services and some light rail links to surrounding towns which accommodate dual rail-road vehicles. …  At the tram stop Tom meets his father Bill who is disabled and needs the tram to get him to the community centre where he helps look after young children like Jake. …  It takes Tom another five minutes to reach the engineering factory where he works for twenty hours each week.  The regional government now guarantees all adults between 18 and 55 this amount of work and with a national minimum wage, it is generally sufficient to meet their needs.  They can do additional paid work but few do so.  Most prefer to use non-work time for education, leisure and voluntary work and this means that there is less stress and fewer health problems. …  The community cafe, like the community laundry, is a way of sharing domestic work and saving energy.  Some people work in them for wages which are set by the Neighbourhood Council, but most people work in them to obtain services at a cheaper rate and meet their neighbours.  All the talk over dinner this evening is about the community meeting ….

Huckle J. and Martin A. (2001) Environments in a Changing World, London, Prentice Hall.

Posted in: Comment, New Publications


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