The Irish Foundation for Sustainable Economics [FEASTA] recently published Fleeing Vesuvius, Overcoming the Risks of Economic and Environmental Collapse. 

In one chapter, architect Emer O’Siochru [pictured below] proposes that different activities should be situated beside each other to be more energy and carbon efficient. 


“In the shadow or shelter of each other, live the people” – old Irish saying. 

She notes the heavy investment in Ireland over the past 50 years in putting distance into living and working arrangements:

” We live apart from each other, work far from where we live, shop far from where we work, grow food far from where we eat and so on.

“Our support systems are all fall-flung and invisible; electricity is generated remotely, waste is processed remotely, knowledge is generated remotely to our everyday experience.

“Something profound has happened to the way we live.” 


The Proximity Principle

The Proximity Principle, Julian Rose’s theory of local production and consumption, has been featured on this site: “Local communities can produce their own food, fabrics and energy – government policies should encourage regeneration of regional economies”. 


Proximity Principle 2

FEASTA offers Proximity Principle 2. Emer O’Siochru, writing in great detail and citing several examples of good practice, believes that realising the idea of a redefined and augmented ‘proximity’ will offer tangible benefits, including greater energy and food security in the long term, and in the short term, rural jobs in waste treatment and energy generation.