In their article, Small-Town Sustainability: Prospects in the Second Modernity, Mayer and Knox argue that the success of small-town sustainability is dependent on overcoming the effects of a “second modernity,” which include similar problems that small-town economies have faced in the past but now on a global, transnational level. The turn of the 21st century is marked by vast improvements on how we live our lives, specifically focusing on efficiency and ease of everyday life. However, McKibben states in order to restructure and grow local economies, “we will need to downplay efficiency and pay attention to other goals.” (McKibben, 2007, p.2) I question whether this is actually possible. It is it possible to forget everything we know about efficiency and essentially take steps backward in order to move forward? In my opinion, efficiency is a luxury that many people would rather not sacrifice if they can help it.
Mayer, H. & Knox, P. (2010) Small-town sustainability: Prospects in the second modernity, European Planning Studies, 18(10), pp. 1545-1565.
McKibben, B. (2007). Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future (New York, NY: Times Books).