This summary is for those who do not have the time to read the detail of this book and just want to know about the concept in brief.
The concept is to create one million Eco-homes in a self-sufficient and sustainable Eco-city, with surrounding Eco-industries and businesses. It will employ the locals and anyone, at any age, who can work at least few hours a day to pay the mortgages on their Eco-homes. When the government cannot find a job for the unemployed, the welfare system should pay, at least, the interest on their mortgages, which is cheaper than paying their rent.
It is the government’s responsibility to train the unemployed in the required skills and find them a job to allow them to repay their loans, expenditures, and live a decent life. The Eco-home is pre-fabricated from timber and costs £100k. The interest rate is currently, less than 3%, or about £250/month affordable by any working couple. It is less than the rent or the housing benefits that some governments pay for the unemployed.
Any government can donate or lease public land for the Eco-city and surrounding Eco-industries, besides guaranteeing the mortgage loans’ interest for the unemployed or retired. Therefore, financing an Eco-city is not a problem if it is open to any private investor at a guaranteed and fixed interest rate of 3% maximum.
The residents will live within their means, have an Eco-lifestyle, and should accept training in new skills suitable for the available jobs to pay the interest on their mortgage or the repayment instalment.
The Eco-industries and businesses will be encouraged to move to move to the Eco-city to benefit from lower overheads by employing cheaper workers and having free electricity, free or leased land and ring-fenced net tax-free profits of 5% on investment.
The mass production of the required materials to build the Eco-city will reduce its cost and give the Eco-industries the advantage of exporting at globally competitive prices.
Each Eco-home will have an edible garden to grow their own food to prevent starvation under any circumstances. Each Eco-home will produce more electricity than it consumes from renewable sources and will have access to the internet for people to learn and work from home.
The Eco-councillors or administrators of the Eco-city must be subject-matter experts in their fields and not politicians with no relevant education or practical, real-life experience. The governance of the Eco-city is a joint venture for Eco-councillors, committees from businesses and public representatives.
The new concept of the Eco-city is a self-sufficient, sustainable, and complete human ecosystem, with an Eco-socio-economic system where residents live an Eco-lifestyle governed by a new Eco-Magna-Carta as the Eco-city’s social charter.
Building a utopian Eco-city must be cost-effective, excellent value for money and utilizes every available space on the land for producing something useful. But, should not cause the emission of CO2, N2O or any pollution to the environment.
Before we design the Eco-city, we must find the right land with sound geological conditions and structure and have a strategic location close to a big city with easy access to a seaport and airport. Obviously, it should not be next to a volcano as its eruption could destroy it. Also, it should not be close to a sea where a tsunami (a giant sea wave), could flood it, or an earthquake that could shatter its structure. It is common sense that we should not build cities on an aquaplane or near a river which may rise and flood it. In other words, avoid any disastrous force Majeure’s possibility.
Once we find the right land, then we design it to accommodate up to one million houses surrounded by a man-made river, fences, sustenance zones and Eco-infrastructure as suggested in the Eco-city book.
However, before we build, we must have a vision for a better Eco-socio-economic system and how people will live in the Eco-city as a harmonized, peaceful, and free society.
The success of building the Eco-city depends on meeting many criteria and the goal is to make it a great national project. The Eco-city should be the modern equivalence to the ancient wonders of the world, such as: The Colossus of Rhodes, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zeus at the Olympia, the Great Wall of China and many others. Only this time, it is an era of justice, peace, equality, ethics, self-sufficiency, sustainability, and high achievement in ending poverty by giving an Eco-home as a compulsory human right to each couple or family.
The primary criterion to make this Eco-solution successful is a central government or a local authority donating or leasing a sizeable area of public land, which is large enough to build one million three-bedroomed, detached Eco-homes with edible gardens, for an Eco-city surrounded by Eco-industries business centres and agriculture.
The second most important criterion is to guarantee the mortgage loans for the unemployed at a maximum 3% fixed interest rate and 0% deposit. And there should be no ‘credit scoring check’, or any other unaffordable payment conditions because the housing social benefits can pay the interest on the loan for the unemployed or retired.
The third most important criterion is for an Eco-council to organize an Eco-lifestyle for the Eco-city inhabitants where no one will go hungry or live without shelter. And it is the responsibility of the Eco-city’s Eco-council to train, educate and find jobs for the inhabitants to pay back their mortgage loans.
The fourth important criterion is that the Eco-socio-economic system, forming a tripartite governance partnership from three committees consisting of specialized Eco-councillors, businesses, and workforce representatives or committees. The tripartite governing body agrees on laws for the mutual benefits of everyone, ensuring continued sustainability, and high productivity.
The fifth essential criterion is to create an Eco-bank capable of managing more than £100bn for building the Eco-city and an Eco-commercial-bank for managing more than £100bn investment for the industries.
Building a large Eco-city of one million houses should not be contracted to the traditional, expensive construction developers or a foreign company, but it should allow self-building by the unemployed, volunteers and locals.
The Eco-homes are a standardized, prefabricated design and come with step-by-step instructions to build them in seven days by seven people to make it easy for the unprofessional to build them under the supervision of a professional builder.
The London 2012 Olympics’ success was down to 70,000 volunteers to organize it. Imagine two million unemployed building the Eco-city of one million Eco-homes! Completing the Eco-city may only take one year if we build small carpentry factories for manufacturing the prefabricated building components.
As a bonus to the volunteering work, the builders of the Eco-city will get virtual credits for their working hours to use as a deposit on an Eco-home and be prioritized for buying one. The Eco-solutions should not be a partisan project nor a commercial one. It should be a social consensus and a national motivation to build something great, such as a unique Eco-city and new socio-economic system that complements it.
Financing the Eco-city is not that difficult, considering there are £700 trillion in derivatives floating around the world and there is enough of the big cake for each participant to have a bite. The Bank of England’s interest rate is currently, 0.5% and the US Federal Bank is about the same. I am sure banks and investors would happily accept a 3% fixed interest rate or even less.
I envisage more open investment opportunities for the rest of the world, ranging from private investors, governments, all the banks in the world and anybody with enough money or equity to invest in an Eco-home for £100k to gain 3% interest, which is much better than banks are giving on savings nowadays.
The flow of investment could be overwhelming. Even industries could invest in their factories and build Eco-homes for their employees to guarantee their loyalty for many years to come. The charities that look after the elderly and physically challenged could participate in this project. The housing associations and building developers could also invest. The elderly with equities could downgrade to have a cheaper Eco-home and spare money to live better without relying on social benefits or relatives’ help.
Building one million Eco-homes might empty houses and flats from cities and other areas, but they could be converted to bed and breakfast, motels, or hotels rented as apartments for tourists, students, or business visitors. Or used for hosting guests to make even more money than the current rent’s revenue.
Even the worst government can see the economic sense in prioritizing Eco-city projects as providing the best investment and value for taxpayers’ money. The government spends billions on the welfare system for the unemployed every year getting nothing back. But if the money could be spent on building the Eco-city, employing the unemployed and training them in the required skills, the investment will be paid back through collecting tax revenues from employment and then the government can minimize spending on social care.
The government need not invest billions but must guarantee the loans and probably spend £40bn on the Eco-city’s infrastructure instead of spending on less important projects.
The social welfare cost per head is about 50% higher than it would be in the Eco-city. For example, instead of spending £80bn outside the Eco-city on 2+ million people, the cost will be £40bn. The savings will result from the lower cost of living and cheaper labour in the Eco-city, as explained later in sections of this book.
The Eco-city will not only help the unemployed, young and elderly to own a house but will also revive the industries, businesses, agriculture and the whole economy.
The politicians, under the influence of corporations, killed the national industries and outsourced them to cheaper labour in other countries. And this created the imbalance in import/export, budget deficits and more borrowing that increased the national debt.
This project of building the Eco-city kickstarts a major shake-up of progress, create a new Eco-industrial-revolution and fairer socio-economic systems.
The logical approach to an economy is to protect the national interests of a country first, then engage in bilateral treaties with others to exchange products second and then have other multinational agreements to reduce tariffs, bureaucracy and other trade barriers. But, ultimately, will maintain the import/export balance and encourage manufacturing and buying locally to sustain self-sufficiency.
Buying local products keeps locals employed, saves on unemployment costs, and it is a national pride to buy locally produced high-quality products even if they are more expensive and less efficient.
There are 7.5bn people on this planet, with various cultures and interests and it is difficult to unite them all as one nation in a single market following single policy for a new world order. Therefore, an Eco-solution creates a protective bubble for each Eco-city in each country first, then trade with the excess or shortfalls as a secondary measure that does not burst the bubble, but supports its very existence and keeps the balance of its ecosystem.
Just imagine if the EU isolated the UK, or if Scotland was isolated from one or both, or if the USA shut the Mexican and Canadian borders, as each depends on the other to survive. The outcome will be financial turmoil and chaos.
There is always a way for protectionism as the first national priority, globalisation as the second one and keeping the balance between them as a compromise without jeopardising either.
The USA wants to build a wall on the Mexican border to stop smugglers and illegal immigrants. Maybe, as a big compromise, the USA should go a step further, build a wall, cover it with solar cells, plant deep-rooted trees, set up giant wind turbines and create a man-made river running alongside the wall. Then build an Eco-city, allow all the Mexican illegal immigrants, the refugees and the poor in the USA to come and work on this project, then everyone will be happy.
In such a compromise, the US government can protect its border with more than a wall. The businesses and industries will move to the Eco-city on its border to use the same cheaper labour as they did before, to reduce their overhead. The Mexicans will be happy that they have a home in the USA working and paying taxes. This helps the resident Mexicans, by employing them, also helps the African-Americans and other minority groups.
Likewise, in the UK, and its thriving economy. The locals are wary of the EU workers or immigrants coming to Britain and taking their jobs. Building new Eco-cities provide jobs for everyone and unemployment becomes 0%.
In the UK, the unemployment rate is below 5% in the year 2018, but if the UK builds Eco-cities, then the unemployment rate would not become only 0% but it would employ all the EU immigrants as well and then everybody will be happy.
However, before we build the Eco-city, logic dictates we set up an Eco-socio-economic system for it. Otherwise, the same failure will happen like what happened in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and is happening in Syria. Destroying dictators and countries without a recovery plan for the aftermath creates chaos and makes the situation worst. Therefore, we must have a plan for running the Eco-city before we build it.
About the Author
I have lived in many countries where I interacted with various cultures, finally settled in England in 1988 and studied a course in Advanced Microprocessor Technology to top up my Electronics engineering. Then I had to top up my vocational education with Vendors’ IT qualifications, in MCSE, CCEA and about 15 MCP’s to get a relevant education that is compatible with market requirements.
I worked as an Information Technology Solutions Architect designing and implementing the latest technologies for banks, government and global organisations. However, it seems genetic in my family to have the ability to write about history, poetry and philosophy. I combined my abilities to design an Eco-city and Eco-socio-economic system.
I was happily working in IT, earning good money and was not interested in writing books or politics or knowing what democracy actually meant. But when the recession in 2008 hit the UK and most countries in the world, I had the awakening call. And I thought there is a better way to live, in a self-sufficient, sustainable environment providing the essentials for survival without being influenced by global economic turmoil.
Therefore, I have written this book hoping that one-day people will understand that there is a better way to live in a more secure and sustainable human Ecosystem.
My vision is to eliminate both poverty and unemployment, create a better socio-economic system and Eco-lifestyle to preserve greener planet and save it from the inevitable accelerated self-destruction.