The Winding Down of Old Ways. The modern suburbia that people have known and grown up in in the last few decades is, insofar as it represents too inefficient a means of organization, resource distribution and energy consumption, on the brink of radical changes that will begin o emerge within the next few years. The concept of suburbia is one that was founded on living centers which featured commercial food centers, like the almighty supermarket, and services grouped into a clump. This development strategy went hand in hand with the mass use of consumer vehicles, which allowed suburbanites the freedom to go into town to purchases whatever they needed whenever they wanted to.
But as the world's remaining oil deposits continue to dwindle and serve as increasingly contentious killzones, and as the lengths we must go to to access the remaining stores become increasingly difficult and risky, there will come a time in the near future when the average cost of normal gasoline falls beyond the financial means of the average consumer.
While this may seem a frightening prospect, given the degree to which we have habituated ourselves to a lifestyle of constant personal freedom of travel, what it actually means is a fundamental restructuring of our development strategies and living spaces is on the horizon.
Whereas the era of the supermarket has been characterized by consumerism, with a major company or group of suppliers producing, distributing and selling every type of food from a centralized location, the next era of post-suburban self-sufficiency will be conversely characterized by a drastic increase in self-production of foods, herbs, medicines, and utilities. With no ubiquitous SUV's to ferry around families at the drop of a hat, people will have to begin cultivating land, garden space, or indoor hydroponic areas for the production of their own fruits and vegetables. Personal and home gardens will likely become the mainstays of post-suburban living, along with an increased interest in the raising of typical farm animals like goats, sheeps, cows, pigs and chicken for additional ongoing food production via eggs, cheese, milk and meat.
Ultimately, the post-suburban era will be characterized by a large-scale acceptance of lifestyle values contrary to those which we have now found to be unsustainable in the era of oil and suburbia. An increased feeling of self-responsibility is likely to be a side effect of the massive overhaul of organizational systems and living spaces. Neighbors will likely return to barter systems in order to continue to supply themselves and each other with necessary goods and services without resorting to the wasteful, long distance jaunts to the supermarket which are soon to become a relic of a forgotten era.