Solutions for Self-Reliance

What If We All Lived in Paris or Houston?


What if we all lived in one single megalopolis?   Would resilience be possible?

First, here’s a graphic that shows how big that city would be.

One City

As you can see, the density of the city matters quite a bit.

If we lived in a city like Paris, we would all likely be in apartment buildings, with central squares, like this (satellite pic of downtown Paris).


If we all lived in Houston, we’d mostly have suburban lots like these (satellite pic of downtown Houston):


Production in Dense Urban

In the case of dense locations like Paris, the only personal access to the sun needed to grow food and generate solar energy would be through a window/balcony.  That’s not much.

The only other form of potential production is biogas generation from kitchen waste.  This biogas could be used for cooking/heating (with the waste used for fertilizer).

The remainder of the productive capacity would be on common areas from the central squares to the rooftops, from rainwater harvesting to solar power generation to makerspaces/public greenhouses/and much more.  The capacity of these areas to generate meaningful levels of production would be limited by the ability of the community to cooperate.  If yes, quite a bit.  If not….

Production in Suburban Sprawl

In an endless sprawl like Houston, most families would have access to a small fractional acreage (2/10’s of an acre or so).

That’s enough unused and underutilized space to produce a significant amount of food as well as all of the energy/water a family would need.  Community production and facilitation would be gravy.

However, we are becoming more capable….

There is one twist.   Some good news.

With each passing day, it’s becoming easier, better, and less expensive to produce everything at home or in your community.

But, in order to leverage this wave of innovation and the prosperity it provides, both you and your community need to actively access the sun, rain, land, and community spaces you currently have available.

Transform them from barren spaces that merely box life… into productive, living spaces that actively and meaningfully support it.

Stay Focused,



JR Small


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