We engaged in a review of existing sustainable living futures and discovered that the majority of sustainable futures can be broadly categorized in terms of four tendencies:
- Smart green techno-living – with an emphasis on technology, efficiency, gadgets that support daily living, and high consumption lifestyles.
- Sustainable urban and rural design – literal greening through trees, plants and living walls; a focus on green buildings, mobility, energy systems, urban farming and industry clusters; often for the rich and elite, and unclear about daily living.
- Eco-communities – alternative ways of living including alternative housing such as co-housing and earth houses; walking with some bikes and transit; gardens; and social connectivity and sometimes diversity.
- Living Green Expos and Trade Show – a focus on the gadgets and products of daily living rather than practices; emphasizes the separate domain of consumer goods; and focused on individuals rather than collective solutions.
Here are four examples of these tendencies:re.
There is value in these tendencies. Each of these approaches have key elements of sustainable futures. Sustainable futures will certainly require the smart technology systems of Smart Cities, the focus on greening and mobility and housing of Smart Urban Planning, the innovative alternative ways of living of eco-communities, and cutting edge sustainable goods and market solutions that are displayed at trade shows. The transformation to sustainable living will need much more than this and sustainable living futures will need to stretch far beyond these current depictions.