New 'grand strategy' includes New Urbanism
The US won the Cold War at least partly through generating demand for its industries by building suburbia, but that strategy no longer works in the 21st Century, writes Patrick Doherty, Deputy Director with the New America Foundation, in Foreign Policy Magazine. Now the US is facing long-term unemployment driven by weakness in aggregate demand for goods and services that our economy is providing. Doherty argues for a new “grand strategy” based upon new sources of demand, including walkable communities. “Fortunately, due to large-scale demographic shifts over the past 20 years, the United States is sitting astride three vast pools of [demand],” Doherty writes in the article, titled "A New US Grand Strategy: Why walkable communities, sustainable economics, and multilateral diplomacy are the future of American power." He elaborates:
“Walkable communities: The first pool of demand is homegrown. American tastes have changed from the splendid isolation of the suburbs to what advocates are calling the ‘five-minute lifestyle’ — work, school, transit, doctors, dining, playgrounds, entertainment all within a five-minute walk of the front door.” The Baby Boomers and Millennials “will converge in the housing marketplace — seeking smaller homes in walkable, service-rich, transit-oriented communities. Already, 56 percent of Americans seek this lifestyle in their next housing purchase. That’s roughly three times the demand for such housing after World War II.”
"The motivations are common across the country. Boomers are downsizing and working longer, and they fear losing their keys in the car-dependent suburbs. Millennials were raised in the isolated suburbs of the 1980s and 1990s, and 77 percent never want to go back. ... Yet legacy federal policies — from transportation funding to housing subsidies — remain geared toward the Cold War imperative of population dispersion and exploitation of the housing shortage, and they are stifling that demand."
The other pools are regenerative agriculture — sustainable farming techniques —which could help bring greater prosperity to the Midwest, and resource productivity. To bring 3 billion new middle-class aspirants into the global economy requires that ... “Energy and resource intensity per person will have to drop dramatically — while simultaneously delivering on the improved income and lifestyle expectations that come with global connectivity.
“That revolution will drive ... innovation in material sciences, engineering, advanced manufacturing, and energy production, distribution, and consumption,” bringing prosperity to the middle class for decades, Doherty writes.
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