As global oil production peaks in the near future (if it has not already), the transportation of people and goods will undoubtedly decline in volume. In my opinion the only question left to ask concerning community planning and preparation is how long will individual communities wait before they accept relocalization?
Examination of this inevitable phenomenon reveals benefits for small towns and cities across America. Think about how the death of big box stores like Wal-mart will help local communities. Yes, at first this will displace those who work there. But the needs for goods previously provided by these stores will persist. Local businesses that don’t rely on the shipping of goods over vast distances could regain their footing. The foreign labor formerly responsible for the manufacturing of these goods will be supplanted by this change . What will be needed is labor close to home to get the job done.
Local manufacturing of all types not to mention repair work, food production (especially food production) and other industries could see a resurgence. There will be big bumps along the way. Many businesses reliant upon the current ease with which we move great distances daily will wither and fade away. Whole industries, even local ones might not make the transition. Trucking, for example, is in for a rocky road. I believe the key will be how quickly we recognize the inevitability of relocalization and respond accordingly. Unfortunately there will be those who resist the truth of situation and force hardship upon their communities because of a lack of vision. Pick your local leaders wisely and don’t forget to educate them.
Take advantage of relocalization.