A Framework for Progressive Policies
Most of us do not want the world our society has become. It is too frenetic, too stressful, too superficial, too unequal, too acrimonious, too violent, and getting worse. Surveys show we want more time with family, friends and community1. More than 90% of us would prefer a greener, more stable society2, where the emphasis is on cooperation, community and family, more equal distribution of wealth, and greater economic self-sufficiency3.
Many studies now show that for a more fulfilling life, and to restore the planet to health, we need to restore connections with each other and with the natural world. Our emotional and physical wellbeing are best served by a small, supportive community and by regular connection with the living world around us. Caring for the natural world requires us, or some of us, to know each locality intimately4.
Local communities can only be stable and healthy if they have a viable local economy. Many studies show local businesses recycle a large fraction of wealth within the community, whereas businesses owned nationally or globally drain wealth to a distant few. For our physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing we need to tilt the balance back from global to local5. We will still want many national and global activities, we do not need to be isolationist nor 100% locally self-sufficient. However we do need to be in control of the larger-scale activities, and they need to be supportive of strong and healthy local communities.
Many people are already moving their lives in this direction. They are defecting from the dominant system. They may buy locally-grown food or products made nearby, and choose to patronise locally-owned businesses. Up to 25% have “downshifted”, sacrificing some income for a slower, more satisfying lifestyle6.
As well, benign agricultural and industrial methods are already well developed. Highly productive farming methods are being practised7, methods that build soil fertility, moisture and carbon, minimise or eliminate harmful products like pesticides and antibiotics, and produce healthier food8. It is already feasible to recycle the materials in many industrial products indefinitely, and many more could be recycled9. Some countries already have policies aspiring to near-100% recycling of materials. Clean energy is here, and energy storage is advancing rapidly.
It is, in short, now feasible to make a transition over coming decades to a more human and fulfilling lifestyle that maintains a healthy natural world around us.
To bring this about we do not need revolution so much as defection-plus-reform. Defection will be more of a personal and social process, whereas reform will need to be overtly political, though not necessarily in any traditional political manner. A proportion of us have already defected from the dominant system to some degree. We can encourage more to do so. We can promote reforms so that the larger system supports healthier living, rather than subverting it. As more defect, so support for reforms will grow, the process will snowball, and change can come more easily. There is sometimes a debate about whether it is more important to change our attitudes or change the system. We need to do both.
The system to be changed is, most immediately, the current neoliberal ideology of “free” markets and hyper-individualism. It’s an ideology of fragmentation and homogenisation. But much of our larger culture is also about domination and extraction, an attitude going back possibly to the beginning of agriculture. Both the neoliberal ideology and the culture of dominance are incompatible with the living world. We can only survive and prosper long-term by working with each other and with the living world around us.
Many of us already know, in our hearts, that we can’t keep on living like this1. We know we need a more fulfilling life. The change in attitude is already nascent within us, even if we haven’t acted on it. We hold back from acknowledging and acting on our real hopes because we think the system is too powerful to change, or because we fear being ridiculed. But the system is close to collapse anyway. As more of us defect, it will crumble.
So we need to think about a different system. Below are some of the things we will need to change if we are to create a system that supports strong local communities, healthy living and a healthy planet. The ideas are presented more fully in Sack the Economists10 and a new manuscript Desperately Seeking the Fair Go11.
Returning purchasing power to people – a necessary preliminary
We do not pay for the full production costs for many products, because of excessive cost-cutting driven by hyper-competition. Before we remedy this we need to ensure people will have enough disposable income to pay for properly-priced goods.
Much so-called cost cutting is really cost shifting and cost hiding, which creates a fundamental market distortion. An immediate example is groceries. The excessive market power of Coles and Woolworths is used to drive down prices paid to suppliers. Farmers are going broke, our primary industry is being driven into the ground, the land is being degraded and foreign suppliers are used more and more12.
To rectify such abuse we need not only to limit the market power of companies but to put purchasing power back into the hands of ordinary people. There are some straightforward ways to do this.
All subsidies of fossil fuels, direct and indirect can be quickly eliminated. Where this may cause hardship, for example to family farmers, transition arrangements can be made, but the result still needs to be that we pay a fairer, higher price for those products affected. Roughly $7-10 billion13.
All subsidies to the mining industry can be quickly phased out. Several more billion $.
A minimum tax rate can be imposed on corporations, the “Buffet rule”, to stop tax avoidance, mainly by foreign-owned companies14. $60 billion?
Immigration rates can be slowed. Each immigrant requires something like $500,000 of new “durable assets” (infrastructure, housing, shops, etc), according to a little-noted study15. Cutting the immigration rate from over 200,000 per year to, say, 70,000 as it was not so long ago, would save around $70 billion. This would still leave room for family reunions and compassionate treatment of refugees. Many calls for high immigration are simply calls for cheap labour, or claim a bogus “skills shortage”. We can educate and employ our own people.
Thus something like $150 billion of unjustified market distortion can be readily identified (there is probably much more). That would free around $6,000 per person. The minimum wage, pensions and other support payments could be immediately increased, and the balance spread equitably among others.
A “fair deal” can be presented: unfair market distortions eliminated and the proceeds used to offset the higher costs we ought to be paying for many products. It could be arranged so most low- and middle-income people would still be better off.
The emissions trading scheme could and should have been presented this way, but Gillard and the Greens were too stupid to see the need. Some new carbon pricing scheme could follow, once people saw the benefit of the “fair deal” approach in other areas.
This is one of the major loci of discontent. Making employment insecure has been a neoliberal focus, to enhance the power of big money. Some neoliberal changes can be rolled back, such as the restrictions on collective bargaining and restored rights to fair treatment. Much of the change in employment conditions is commonly attributed to globalisation and automation, but they could be managed so as to be less harmful, even beneficial. The reach of global companies can be limited (see Sovereignty below). The effects of automation can be shared as a benefit to all, rather than used narrowly to enhance profit at the expense of society.
A more powerful way to enhance income security is to promote collective ownership, by employees, by communities, and even by customers and suppliers. Many forms are possible. One of the best examples is from the Basque country in Spain, the Mondragón Corporación Cooperativa, which is a multi-billion dollar network of cooperatives active in finance, industry, retail and knowledge16.
Sovereignty and trade deals
“Free trade” deals do little to enhance our prosperity17. They mainly give giant foreign corporations the right to over-ride safety and fairness regulations, and to wield their excessive market power to our detriment. In other words the deals sell off our soverignty over our own affiars. We can quickly withdraw from all such deals. The sky will not fall.
Fair trade, done well, is of benefit to both sides. We can continue to be a major trading nation, but guided by clear understanding and relevant information, instead of by nonsense ideology. We have every right to manage our borders, as our present leaders have no trouble understanding when it comes to desperate people in leaky boats.
The amount of trade is subsidised by under-priced fossil fuels and excessive market power of some companies. It makes no sense to both export and import similar foods, for example. So a substantial reduction of trade is possible.
Promote quality, reduce quantity, move beyond mindless “growth”.
Step 1, phase out the GDP as the end-all of national “accounting”. It is not accounting, it is a crude tally of activities involving money, many of them harmful. It’s a great way to pretend deforestation, pollution and excessive building promote general wellbeing, and that caring mothers at home are a wasted resource.
Step 2, use some of the available measures that actually have some relevance to wellbeing, and that actually use a balance sheet and subtract the bad stuff. Triple bottom line accounting, measuring economy, society and environment, might be a bit approximate in some aspects, but at least it will move us roughly in the right direction, instead of rapidly over the cliff.
The biggest political reason for wanting an ever-increasing GDP (apart from hordes of ignorant and hysterical paid economic commentators) is that if GDP growth slows unemployment goes up in the short term. Address that problem directly with better employment policies (see Job security above). In the longer run other factors are much more important: our GDP has grown three-fold or more since the 1960s but unemployment is around 6% now versus 1.3% then.
Increasing GDP has, under present policies, strongly correlated with increasing use of the Earth as a mine and a dump. So we have to escape the GDP growth obsession if we are to save the planet. Less quantity of stuff, more quality of life. It’s quite feasible.
Financial system – serving, not dominating
The financial system trades around 50 times faster than it would need to if it just served the productive economy10. In other words only around 2% of trades are useful. The rest are about siphoning money away from productive activities, through speculation and arbitrage. Worse, the frenetic activity destabilises the markets and greatly impairs the efficiency of the productive economy. It caused the Global Financial Crisis. It is also one of the major mechanisms pumping unearned wealth to the wealthy, promoting inequality. In other words the present financial system is parasitic and destructive.
Until the 1970s the financial system was much smaller and more tightly regulated. International movements of money were restrained. The 1950s and 1960s were a time of high growth, low inflation and very low unemployment, never matched in the neoliberal era. We can revisit and adapt policies from that time.
One new proposal is for a “Tobin tax” on financial transactions, sufficient to take most of the profit out of speculation. Something like a 1% tax on stock trades and 0.1% on currency trades might suffice, and would be a minor and justifiable impost on legitimate trading. The point is not simply to play Robin Hood, taking from the rich, the point is to stabilise the financial markets and return them to serving the productive economy.
Media – require minimal resonsibility, support local, regulate large
The media are the technological means for large societies to hold the conversations that are essential for their functioning. A society is foolish to let any minority group gain control of such a critical function. Being able to reach a large audience is a great privilege and needs to carry corresponding responsibilities.
Commercial media are a highly negative influence on society, promoting polarisation, acrimony, superficiality and fear for profit, and indulging in selectivity, distortion, outright lies and sometimes in vendettas. The Murdoch empire is one of the most regressive and destructive political influences in the world. The ABC used to provide some balance to these excesses, but it has been taken over by the Liberal Party, and increasingly the IPA.
The ABC ought to be placed at arms length from politics, as the Greens have long proposed, and decent funding restored.
An elementary code of behaviour can be required of all media. Separate editorial comment from reporting (many modern journalists don’t even seem to know what that means; it means removing judgemental words and comments from reports). Do not persistently propagate falsehoods, with well-established evidence-based findings the criterion. Do not perpetrate serious and blatant distortions, either by print (e.g. global warming, asylum seekers) or graphics (the Murdoch front-page portrayals of Zachy Mallah on Q&A). Do not indulge in vendettas. Enforcement could emphasise outlets with large audiences. Interpretations and enforcement would not have to be draconian, merely to address the most flagrant abuses, to dramatically improve on current practice, much of which is mere propaganda.
A more fundamental reform would be to promote ownership by audiences, through widely distributed shares. This would remove the motives for sensationalism and narrow self interest. Online outlets already solicit donations and subscriptions, so it is not a large step to shareholding. Print and broadcast audiences are defined more geographically, and towns and cities can own their own media, including on-line complements. Neither big government nor big money need be involved.
Markets – managed, not “free”
The best-kept secret: there is no basis for believing “free” markets are either beneficial or efficient10. They might be or they might not. The theory that makes this claim is an absurd abstraction based on absurd assumptions dating back to the nineteenth century. It is not even a useful approximation, it is grossly misleading. Abundant evidence and more sensible theory say the economy is full of instabilities that keep it always far from the holy grail “general equilibrium” of the old theory. Market malfunctions are common, and commonly remarked by those not blinded by ideology. The GFC is only one of the more dramatic examples.
It means markets need to be managed. This is done through incentives, disincentives and regulation. All those tools are commonly used, but incoherently or perversely (as noted earlier). Where the profit is, markets will follow. At present it is profitable to exploit people and trash the Earth, so people are exploited and the Earth is trashed. It is not hard to shift financial incentives so they support healthy people, communities and the Earth.
Remove perverse incentives like subsidies for fossil fuels. Tax “bads” like pollution. If necessary, subsidise “goods” like healthy food and clean energy. It can be presented as the “fair deal” proposed above, and will not be expensive, because we already waste vast amounts of wealth on counter-productive activities. We can probably work less and benefit more.
This is not utopian, it’s just that neither Right nor Left has ever thought of it. It is just using available methods in a more coherent and beneficial way. It can be done democratically, as (notionally) at present. It transcends the false dichotomy of the old Right and Left.
Banks make much of their profit from making “loans”, so it is in their interest to maximise debt in our society. Debt is destabilising, because it involves the unknowable future – “the best laid plans of mice and men …” . So the banks also destabilise the economic system. This led directly to the crash of the early 1990s (involving excessive debts of business “entrepreneurs”), and to the GFC (excessive mortgage and other debts in the US).
There is also effectively a pyramid scheme driving up land (“housing”) prices. Banks give bigger mortgage loans, people bid up prices, banks falsely use the higher market price as collateral for even bigger loans. This is in addition to, and more fundamental than, the effects of negative gearing, weak capital gains taxing, “first home buyers’” subsidies, rapid population growth and foreign buyers. Australia has one of the world’s most inflated housing bubbles. It has been kept judiciously inflated, but a serious downturn (increasingly likely) would pop it and throw us into serious recession.
Bank credit used to be more tightly restrained, and we need to return to those policies. Banks have been also allowed to operate with less capital backing (greater “leverage”) which increases their intrinsic vulnerability. That has been improved since the GFC, but more would be benficial, at the cost of slightly lower returns to bank shareholders who already do excessively well.
Gee, perhaps the Commonwealth Government could own a bank as well, and break into the private oligopoly and disrupt its many market abuses (excessive fees, bullying, hasty foreclosures etc). You could call it the Commonwealth Bank. That would be radical wouldn’t it?
Another much overlooked secret: private banks are allowed to create money out of nothing. Most of the money you get in a “loan” is new money created with a few key strokes. Only a small percentage of it is someone else’s hard-earned savings.
If you loan your ladder to your neighbour, then you can’t use it to climb onto your roof until he returns it. If you loan some money to your brother-in-law, then you can’t spend it yourself, until the loan is repaid. When something is loaned, the loaner has to do without.
Bank “loans” are not loans, because no-one has to do without. Banks do not simply recycle other peoples’ savings into loans, they issue extra money. This fact is disguised because a new loan becomes someone’s deposit, and its origin is ignored. Mainstream economists exclude this fact from their theories and models, which is another reason why they are so hopeless at avoiding market crashes. It leads to two major distortions.
Banks charge interest on “loans” as if they are real loans. This is another mechanism by which wealth is pumped excessively to the already wealthy.
A new “loan” increases the total purchasing power in the economy. Paying it off reduces purchasing power. When times are good and “loans” are expanding, the money supply expands and the economy booms. When something goes wrong (as it often does), people default or pay back loans and the money supply decreases. The economy may go into recession.
This way of supplying money, in the course of financing investments, is a major destabiliser of the economy, inflating the booms, exaggerating the crashes and entangling the whole economy (Main Street), not just investments (Wall Street).
There are better ways. For example, new money could be supplied by the Government through the Reserve Bank, which could then closely monitor the total supply and limit both the highs and the lows.
Banks can be required to do only what many of us thought they do: loan peoples’ actual savings to investors. This proposal has a long history of distinguished backers and is known as 100% reserves. Even Mervyn King, recently retired Chair of the Bank of England, comes close to this proposal. He calls banks’ ability to create money out of nothing “alchemy”.
Private banks certainly may charge for the service of supplying funds, but their credit-granting should be restrained to more sober levels and fees more strongly regulated. Their profits need not then be excessive and they need not be a drain on the economy, as they are at present. (Note: such talk might well provoke strong reactions. But this is not an anti-capitalist rant, it is a discussion of how to sensibly and responsibly supply money to a market economy.)
Separate Goverment’s capital spending from recurrent spending
It used to be understood (e.g. by Robert Menzies) that government spending on needed infrastructure was a sensible investment. There was no hysteria about government debt. At some stage the distinction between such capital spending and recurrent spending was dropped. This suited Paul Keating, who used asset sales to “balance” the budget. No business would survive long by selling its assets and calling the proceeds income. It suits the anti-government right wingers, who decry any government role as “blowing out the budget”. This elementary distinction has recently found some favour among officials.
Government can obtain investment funds at lower interest rates and needs only to cover costs, so it doesn’t make sense to have infrastructure built by the profit-seeking private sector. It could even obtain funds for zero cost, for why would the Government (in the form of the Reserve Bank) charge interest to itself (in the form of Treasury).
Government “borrowing” does not “crowd out” private invesment, because it “borrows” new money. It actually increases the money supply in the private economy, thus facilitating private borrowing and investment.
Much of the reality of “government deficits” is the exact opposite of hysterical claims of debt black holes. The underlying motive is to reduce government to very few functions.
Full employment, low inflation (just like Menzies)
Government can spend money into the economy. It can remove money through taxation. It already has these powers and functions, this is not an exotic proposal18. If the government restricts money creation to itself, requiring private banks to obtain money from a Reserve Bank account, then it can directly manage the money supply.
Government “debt” will only provoke inflation if the economy is running at full capacity. In that case the economy cannot easily create more goods, so you would have too much money chasing too few goods. On the other hand economies have been running well below capacity throughout the neoliberal era, with unemployment (for example) rarely falling below 5%, a serious inefficiency. Extra money will allow the economy to speed up to full capacity, producing more goods to match the extra money and thus not stoking inflation. These would have to be monitored carefully, but we know it is possible to do a lot better.
In the postwar decades unemployment averaged a miniscule 1.3%, but inflation was only 3.3%. GDP growth, by the way, was around 5%. Such performance has never been approached in the neoliberal era, and such numbers are even claimed to be impossible.
Private creation of money, and debt, is a much bigger problem than government debt. Public debt, state and federal, amounts to around 35% of GDP, whereas private debt has hovered around 160% of GDP for some years19. Private debt has fueled the housing (land-price) bubble. This is a form of inflation but, curiously, it is not counted in official measurements of inflation. Ask any young couple trying to buy a million-dollar-plus, modest house if there has been inflation.
If you borrow US dollars, you can’t spend them in Australia. You have to convert them. In other words, Aussie dollars have to be issued before you get any spending power. What then is the point of Australian banks borrowing overseas funds so they can “lend” Aussie dollars in Australia? Our banks could just issue the Aussie dollars without incurring any overseas debt.
This practice is a hangover from when money was backed (at least notionally) by gold, and from earlier times still when gold was one of the few widely accepted forms of money. Our official thinking is decades and centuries out of date.
The same goes for so-called overseas investment. Foreigners can’t spend their money here, it has to be converted to Aussie dollars. Why not just issue the Aussie dollars in the first place, again without incurring an overseas debt.
The fallacy here is to think that what we can do is limited by money. In fact it’s very easy to issue money. What we can do is limited by the skills and availability of our people and by whatever resources and technology we might need. It’s easy to issue the credit (money) to facilitate a project for which we have the skills and resources. If the project is a productive one, then it will not be inflationary.
If we need overseas technology we can license it. If we need skills that cannot easily be acquired in Australia, then we can hire skilled people on our terms. In other words we can retain control of what’s done in our country and of where the profits flow. The Chinese are smart enough to work more in this way.
We are stuck in colonial thinking, abetted by mistaken mainstream economic thinking. For our entire history our so-called leaders have relied heavily on rich foreigners of one sort or another and functioned more as colonial governors or foreign agents than as servants of our country. Indeed it seems the Turnbull Government’s only idea of economic development is to ask foreigners to do it for us.
Terrorism and clean energy
We should immediately withdraw all military forces from the Middle East. We have no business there. From the Iraq invasion back for about a century Western powers have meddled in the Middle East, and the major reason has been oil. The invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan have been highly counter-productive within those countries and as well have made us a target of terrorists. If we stop meddling in their countries and their business we will cease to be of interest to them.
Of course we need anyway to wean ourselves from oil in order to keep some slim chance of avoiding global warming catastrophe. The means to do so are developing rapidly. Within a decade many vehicles will run on either electricity or hydrogen generated from the sun and the wind20. Clean energy technologies are developing even faster than optimistic forecasts, and it is likely we can eliminate most of our fossil fuel usage within a couple of decades. Several other less-favoured countries, such as Germany and Denmark, are well along this path21.
Complementing the energy transformation, we can promote a transition to material recycling. Some prominent examples show that it can in fact save money even as it saves resources and saves the Earth9.
Land prices – retaining community wealth
There are two main drivers that keep land prices increasing, both mismanaged and one illegitimate. The illegitimate driver is speculation, abetted by banks that, under current incentives, “loan” excessive amounts of credit, as described above.
The legitimate driver of some land price increases is the value that accrues to a property because of adjacent developments, such as shops, a train station or just more homes. The increase is not due to any action of the owner, it is due to the actions of others, and it depends on proximity. It is thus due to the growth of a community of proximate properties. I have called it emergent community wealth. Other names are land value capture and uplift value and it was a key feature of the thinking of Henry George.
Emergent community wealth does not belong to any individual. It exists because the community exists, so it belongs to the community. At present it is commonly captured as a windfall by individuals. It is one of the main incentives for speculation and one of the main mechanisms promoting inequality. A London underground rail extension could have been paid for through ecw, but instead functioned effectively to funnel tax-payers’ money, plus ecw, into the pockets of developers and landlords22.
Land value taxes have been advocated, and implemented in varying degrees, to partially recover the wealth.
Another way to retain the wealth for the benefit of the community as a whole is for the land to be owned by a Community Land Trust, which can be administered by residents. Individuals can lease the land for use, but increases in its emergent community value can be retained by the CLT and spent, for example, to provide community facilities.
This example illustrates how land (i.e. ground space) is doubly mismanaged at present because it is treated as just another commodity, which it is not. Speculators capture windfall profits that belongs to communities, and the bank-credit-land-price spiral aggravates the problem.
There are of course many other issues and policies to consider. We are wealthy enough and smart enough to deal compassionately with the modest numbers of refugees who might make it to our shores. We are wealthy enough to ensure every able Australian has access to a dignified livelihood, and to care respectfully for those unable. We can afford good public schools and hospitals, a well-funded ABC, and so on, as we used to.
I have focused here on underlying factors that are not widely appreciated, are misunderstood, or are considered too hard. However they must be addressed if our society is to have any kind of decent and enduring future.
1 Ray, P.H. and S.R. Anderson, The Cultural Creatives. 2000, New York: Harmony Books.
2 Randle, M. and R. Eckersley, Public perceptions of future threats to humanity and different societal responses: A cross-national study. Futures, 2015. 72: p. 4-16. 10.1016/j.futures.2015.06.004.
3 Eckersley, R., Is the West really the best? Modernisation and the psychosocial dynamics of human progress and development. Oxford Development Studies, 2016. 44(3): p. 349-365.
4 Berry, W., Another Turn of the Crank. 1995, Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint.
5 Dubb, S., Why Building Community Wealth is a Key Challenge to Corporate Power. Alternet, 2012, 16 May http://www.alternet.org/story/155451/why_building_community_wealth_is_a_key_challenge_to_corporate_power.
6 Hamilton, C. and E. Mail, Downshifting in Australia: a sea-change in the pursuit of happiness. Discussion Paper 50, 2003, Australia Institute: Canberra.
7 Ho, M.-W. et al., Food Futures Now, organic, sustainable, fossil fuel free. 2008, Institute of Science in Society: London.
8 Rodale, I., The Farming Systems Trial: Celebrating 30 years. 2015. Rodale Institute, http://www.rodaleinstitute.org.
9 Anderson, R.C., Business Lessons from a Radical Industrialist. 2010, New York: St. Martins Press.
11 Davies, G.F., Desperately Seeking the Fair Go. 2017, https://betternature.wordpress.com/my-books/to-parliament-with-love/.
12 Knox, M., Supermarket Monsters. 2015, Collingwood, Vic: Redback.
13 Richardson, D. and R. Denniss, Mining the Truth. 2011, The Australia Institute, http://www.tai.org.au.
14 Grudnoff, M., Closing the tax loopholes: A Buffett rule for Australia. 2015. The Australia Institute, 7 April http://tai.org.au/content/closing-tax-loopholes-buffett-rule-australia.
15 O’Sullivan, J.N., The burden of durable asset acquisition in growing populations. Economic Affairs, 2012. 32(1): p. 31-37.
17 Verrender, I., Scrapping TPP won’t make a lick of difference. 2016. ABC News, 28 Nov http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-28/scrapping-tpp-won’t-make-a-lick-of-difference/8061906.
18 Wray, L.R., Modern Money Theory: A Primer on Macroeconomics for Sovereign Monetary Systems. 2012: Palgrave Macmillan.
19 Soos, P. and P.D. Egan, Australia’s addiction to private debt. Macrobusiness, 2014, 15 October http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/10/australias-addiction-to-private-debt/.
20 Lovins, A.B., Reinventing Fire. 2011, White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing.
21 Davidson, O.G., Clean Break: The Story of Germany’s Energy Transformation and What Americans Can Learn from It. 2012. InsideClimate News, http://www.amazon.com/Clean-Break-Germanys-Transformation-Americans-ebook/dp/B00A4IEJ5K.
22 Turnbull, S., A framework for designing sustainable urban communities. 2007, International Institute for Self Governance.