Exactly how communities will change in the future is impossible to know. Just as difficult is knowing how community life might change if we were to create new forms of interconnecting pathways and increase access to community resources. We do know that change of some sort is inevitable, and we could say that more access to resources is better than less access. But if we can’t predict exactly the changes that are to come, how can we plan?
This kind of thinking misses something important: it is not what we will plan that we’re first faced with, but deciding if we really need to think about it. And accepting that some kind of change is inevitable is the big first step to take.
Everyone – living in isolation, or fully engaged in community life – has always faced the challenge of managing resources for the future. Nothing new about that. What is different in our current era is the rate of technological development, and the level of environmental impacts we humans are experiencing on many fronts: social, economic, climate, resource, etc..
As the future approaches, the responsibility for managing resources may fall harder on local communities. People working collaboratively to manage local resources effectively – or resilience if you prefer – offers a path that can direct us toward healthier outcomes.