In a recent comment Larry Gross observed:

“I’d point out one more thing about Germany’s small rural company approach.

“It can’t work without a national health care system because small businesses cannot offer affordable health care to employees.”

Larry is right about the need for a comprehensive solution to health care for ‘everyone’ be it continental, ‘national’, MegaRegional or Regional.

But that is only one aspect of Germany’s success at Job creation in the Countryside.

Before proceeding two points:

First, there is a word which Larry uses that needs to be avoided. In the first sentence Larry uses the word ‘rural.’ There are unfortunate neural linguistic connotations generated by that word. These linguistic frameworks obscure the path to creating Jobs in the Countryside. The reasons will be clear from the following notes on German success in Countryside Job creation.

Second, In spite of the favorable view of German policies in this post, EMR does NOT believe Germany has ALL the answers to Job creation in the Countryside – or in the Urbanside – but they are far ahead of the US. Germany’s strategies have positioned the nation-state – and the EU – far better than the US for Job creation in the Post ENOUGH Era. That is another story for anther time.


Jobs in the German Countryside is a topic upon which SYNERGY has first hand knowledge based on field work from the early 90s to early 00s.

The task was to understand how the State of Bavaria was encouraging employment in the Countryside and see if there was a way to transfer these strategies to the Washington-Baltimore New Urban Region.

Because of the historical forces that shaped it, the State of Bavaria has borders that largely reflect what SYNERGY would term a New Urban Region (NUR). Munchen (Munich) the capital of Bavaria, is always among the most admired and amenable places on any list of best large Urban enclaves in the world. The Bavarian Countryside is among the most amenable and most visited on the planet.

The focus of SYNERGY’s inquiry was Telework. The project started with a visit to IBM Germany. Employees of IBM as well as Enterprises and Institutions using IBM consulting services, software and hardware had extensive experience with Telework.

The next step was interviews with the staff at the University of Munchen and with Enterprises and Institutions in traditional offices (and in garages) inside The Clear Edge around the Core of the Munchen New Urban Region.

The next SYNERGY visited Teleworkers employed by the Enterprises and Institutions in Alpha Communities in the Countryside near Munchen. These Communities are large, relatively Balanced Urban enclaves outside The Clear Edge around the Core of Munchen. They have frequent shared vehicle service providing Mobility and Access to the Core. Some work places were shared (Telework ‘centers’ and satellite offices), some were free standing. All were within the Clear Edges surrounding these Communities.

In person or via air photos available on line, it is very clear that there is Countryside between the Clear Edge around the Core of the NUR and The Clear Edge around these Communities. Think Greater Reston with only farms and hamlets between the Beltway and Wiehle Ave.


The final step was to visit Teleworkers in small hamlets (places of Alpha Cluster and Alpha Neighborhood scale) and Alpha Villages in the Bavarian Countryside.

The experience was enlightening and inspirational. Roswitha was typical of the workers interviewed. She had very good computer graphic skills and wanted to live in a hamlet where her husband had grown up in a farm family. We were impressed with the level of sophistication of Roswitha’s work and her hardware. We did not see hardware like hers in front hook engineering and architecture offices in the US until half-a-dozen years later. From prior conversations we knew her employer in Munchen was impressed with her work and her contribution to their bottom line.

There were other Teleworkers in Hauslingen but they were not the only Urban job holders. As we recall Roswitha’s husband and others from the hamlet had taken advantage of German electronic component recycling initiatives and started a high-tech recycling Enterprise in a barn that was no longer needed for agricultural purposes. There were also several processing, manufacturing and remanufacturing Enterprises INSIDE The Clear Edge around Hauslingen and nearby hamlets. In the Vocabulary used in Greater Warrenton-Fauquier these Urban work places would be “INSIDE the Service District.” (NB: The Service Districts in Greater Warrenton-Fauquier are far larger and have a capacity of far more citizens and activities than hamlets like Hauslingen.)

The land around Hauslingen is fertile and part of a viable agricultural SubRegion, however the mechanization (NOT factory farms) required less labor than in times past. One benefit of the Urban workers living in the hamlet is that they can turn to and help in planting, harvesting and in emergencies. In addition, workers can trade off between agriculture and forestry (NonUrban) and Urban jobs as demand ebbs and flows. There are also part-time Jobs for those in school.

To meet the needs of Urban workers and their Households, Urban Services evolved. A farm family starts a bakery and another gets a licence to sell meat at retail. These activities enrich the tradition of ‘farmers markets’ found in most hamlets and all Villages. Yes, a picnic grove became a beer garden. Over the years a Resilient, Balanced Urban enclave had evolved from the historic agricultural support hamlet.

Because young adults could find an Urban job close to where they grew up, it was an attractive place to raise a family. That meant that the school had a Critical Mass of children to justify a first rate educational experiences at the preschool, elementary and secondary levels within the SubRegion (district or ‘kreis’ in German). A big bonus was that there were well educated hamlet residents who did not have to spend two hours a day driving to work and so they could volunteer in the schools and keep the cost of education down. They could see the future of technology first hand in Roswitha’s studio.

The citizens of the hamlet (aka, Cluster), of the Community (gemeinde) and of the SubRegion ( kreis) took advantage of nation-state, state (Regional) and SubRegional programs and incentives to evolve the Balance and Critical Mass necessary to achieve economic, social and physical Resilience.

The majority of the work in the hamlet was by 1992 Urban. The work places were NOT scattered across the Countryside or isolated in ‘industrial parks’ surrounded by parking lots.

It goes without saying that in no way was or is Hauslingen (and similar hamlets) ‘rural.’


For those unfamiliar with the settlement patterns of Bavaria, historically the church, market, craftspersons as well as the farm homes and out buildings are all located IN the hamlet. Farmers ‘commuted’ to their fields, orchards woodlots. They still do. The same in true in parts of France, Italy and Spain. Even in SubRegions with individual farmsteads, The Clear Edge around Urban activities and thus a functional settlement pattern are the norm.

As current air photos that one can access on line document, there are a few individual farmsteads in the Countryside near Hauslingen. However, as Larry Gross pointed out some months ago vis a vis Waterloo, Iowa, The Clear Edge is very easy to see in areas that are primarily devoted to productive agriculture – and in the case of Germany – to forestry.

In fact, exc
ept for the location of farmsteads, the pattern in Bavaria is not that different from the pattern that existed in the US in 1945 and still exists in many parts of eastern Canada. The big difference is of course scattered Urban land uses – especially scattered Urban dwellings.

Larry is right that without a comprehensive heath care system these Jobs could not have evolved. But there are many other ingredients – especially functional settlement patterns and intelligent Agency programs, projects and incentives.

Our visit to Hauslingen and other places in Bavaria took place almost 19 years ago. The process of creating functional and Balanced Urban enclaves to support Urban Jobs in the Countryside had been going on for about 20 years by 1992.

The settlement pattern we saw in 1992, and that still exists today, is very similar to the one laid out in plans for the Washington-Baltimore New Urban Region in the late 50s and early 60s.

What had the US, Virginia and most Regions in the US done about Jobs in the Countryside up to 1992? And what have they done since?

Primarily build roadways for commuters and provide incentives for Multinational Enterprises to locate ‘distribution centers’ and relocate Jobs to snare subsidies. As the Era of ENOUGH comes to an end this anti-strategy will no longer be possible. As always, THE question is:

Will there be time and resources left to make the Fundamental Transformations before it is too late?

When SYNERGY returned from work in Bavaria (and from similar efforts in Scandinavia, Great Britain, France and Italy) articles on the findings appeared in national publications and were the focus of professional and university lectures. Some listened, most did not. In 2000 THE SHAPE OF THE FUTURE was published to place these and other experiences in a comprehensive context.

Having articulated what needed to evolve in the Urbanside and in the Countryside for citizens to secure a safe and happy future, SYNERGY moved outside The Clear Edge around the Core of the National Capital to a place inside The Clear Edge around a Village scale component of a Beta Balanced But Disaggregated Community in the Countryside.

In 2002 and 2003 SYNERGY outlined strategies to create a sustainable economic, social and physical trajectory. A few listened, most did not. On 10 April 2008 SYNERGY was invited the Fauquier Board of Supervisors to outline eleven strategies to achieve and sustainable and functional future. Apparently no one listened. Also see “The Obliviousness of Leaders Compounds the Ignorance of Citizens” at


Most of the things one thinks of when they hear the word ‘rural’ have NOTHING to do with the economic, social and physical heath of Urban enclaves in the Countryside. They have nothing to do with the Disaggregated Village of which that enclave is a component, or the District (Balanced But Disaggregated Alpha Community) in which the Village is located and or with the Region / state.

SYNERGY suggests that the number of Households involved in NonUrban economic activity will rise in coming decades from around 5 percent in 2010 to around 20 percent. That will be accompanied by a rise in the cost of food and fiber due to the end of the Era of Mass OverConsumption and the dawn of the Not ENOUGH Era.

That leaves 80 percent of the adult citizens and the vast majority of the Households dependent upon Urban activities.

An observation from the Bavarian roadside reflects on the need for Fundamental Transformation of governance structure in the US and in Virginia.

When you approach hamlet ‘A’ there is a sign with a variation on the following theme:

Welcome to ‘A!’, We are proud to be a part of the Village (or Community) of ‘B’, and to be an important component of District ‘C’, which is in the State of Bavaria, Deutschland, a founding member of the EU. Many display the flags / crests of some or all of these components.

Humans exist in an organic economic, social and physical system. The governance structure that made sense when 5 percent of the Households were Urban and 95 percent of the Households were NonUrban does not make sense when 95 percent of the Households are Urban and 5 percent are NonUrban.

When you arrived at Hauslingen the sign reads not just “Hauslingen” but “Hauslingen, gemeinde (German for Community) Wieseth, kreis (German for district or SubRegion) Ansbach. (If you look up Hauslingen on Google Maps your may be confused by the fact that there are at least two Hauslingen’s in Deutschland. References in this post are to the one near the Balanced But Disaggregated Community of Wieseth.)

The understanding of the organic structure of Urban enclaves in the Bavarian Countryside and parameters for building a viable economic, social and physical Urban enclave based on that understanding may be a refection of the work Walter Christaller did in Bavaria in the 20s and 30s. (Full disclosure: The work of Christaller influenced Constantinos Doxiadis in developing his Ekistics – the science of human settlement patterns – and is reflected in the New Urban Region Conceptual framework articulated in THE SHAPE OF THE FUTURE.)


Bavaria is not unique. SYNERGY has visited and photographed similar Countrysides with similar Urban enclaves in France (Alsace and Provence), England (The Cotswolds and Yorkshire), Italy (Tuscany and Umbria), Spain and Sweden. All these places have much in common with the northern Piedmont of Virginia – except for the scattered Urban land uses found in the northern Piedmont.

The misuse of ‘rural’ and the need for citizens to understand the ingredients of functional settlement patterns in the Countryside was placed in sharp focus by two recent stories in the primary Enterprise Media outlet in Greater Warrenton-Fauquier: The Fauquier Times Democrat.

Recognition of the value of understanding the organic structure of human settlement was is illustrated by a story in the 27 May edition of The Fauquier Times Democrat: “Calverton post office is on the chopping block: Rural community may lose identity.”

Calverton may well lose what little ‘identity’ it has left if citizens and governance practitioners continue fail to provide ‘service’ in the Service District and continue to ignore the role of organic components of human settlement including the need for Balance and Critical Mass at all scales of those components. (See the eleven strategy program presented to the Fauquier Board of Supervisors on 10 April 2008 noted above.)

Scattering Urban activities across the Countryside is the fastest way to dissipate Critical Mass. At least 80 percent of citizens within the service area of the Calverton post office derive their Household income from Urban sources. Those who would live within a functional settlement in the Calverton Service District would almost all derive their Household income from Urban activities.

Urban economic, social and physical activities are far more costly and far less rewarding – based on market data over the past 30 years – when they are scattered across the countryside.

An event reported in the 25 May edition of the Fauquier Times Democrat provides a second perspective on the importance of understanding existing settlement pattern dysfunctions and the dangers of misuse of the word ‘rural.’

In a front page story, a candidate for the open seat in the 18th district of the Virginia House of Delegates was quoted as believing he was the right person at the right time to represent this district because he understands the district. The story went on to quote him as saying “When you look at the map of Virginia’s House of Delegates’ 18th District, it is immediately clear that this is a ‘rural district.”

Most of the 18th IS
in the Countryside. The district is outside the Clear Edge around the Core of the Washington-Baltimore New Urban Region (in Virginia it is The Clear Edge around the National Capital SubRegion) and the Clear Edge around the Core of the Richmond New Urban Region. A much smaller area is occupied by a number of Urbansides that lie within the Countryside.

It should be clear to all that a member of the House of Delegates (HoD) represents citizens not acres.

The vast majority of the 79,500 plus or minus citizen who live in the new 18th HoD District – as is the case with the Calverton postal service area – are in Households that derive the majority of their income and almost all of their culture / lifestyle attributes from Urban sources.

The delegate from the 18th HoD District will not have a ‘rural’ constituency. Many of the citizens of the 18th enjoy the ‘freedom’ they believe is due to separation and scatteration of Urban land uses – especially dwellings occupied by Urban Households.

However, the rising costs for energy, food and fiber means that this separation will come at an ever increasing cost in the Post ENOUGH Era. Even now the majority cannot afford a dwelling near their Job and many cannot afford to buy or maintain a Large, Private Vehicle to get to Jobs and Services that is BOTH fuel efficient AND safe to drive on the Interstate highway. Those problems will continue to escalate in the Post ENOUGH Era and they will impact every resident of HoD District 18.

It has long been the policy of Fauquier County – and should be the policy of Rappahannock and Culpeper Counties – that it is everyone’s best interest to have Urban activities take place inside Service Districts.

How does one help Urban citizens scattered across the Countryside? To date this has been seen as finding ways to ‘help commuters.’ The only help that can be provided to ‘commuters’ is to help them become NonCommuters.

Germans love cars too but the futility of trying to support commuting as an alternative to functional settlement patterns was known to thoughtful leadership in Germany 38 years ago and they did something about reality. The futility of trying to support commuting as an alternative to functional settlement patterns was known to thoughtful planners in the US and in the Washington-Baltimore New Urban Region 61 years ago and almost nothing has been done to prepare for the Post ENOUGH Era.

A delegate from the 18th district that is trapped in ‘rural’ thinking will have a problem similar to the one that recently elected congresspersons now face at the federal scale. The “small government / starve the beast” politics sounded great last November and in January but by May citizens have started to understand what implementation would really mean to them. See “GOP Freshmen Encountering Obstacles” in 29 May 2011 WaPo.

Understanding where citizens actually live and what they actually need to survive and prosper will be key to winning any election and all reelections.

The smart choice will be to help voters abandon their illusion that they live in a ‘rural’ area. Encouraging them continue to drown themselves in the fog of Ruralaphilia is not a winning formula.

In the face of rising costs of energy, food and fiber, if there is to be any hope of Job creation and of evolving the Balance and Critical Mass required for Resiliency in the Countryside there must be a better understanding of the true needs of Urban citizens and of a sustainable Countryside.

Today a Saudi Prince re-articulated his sheikdom’s strategy to keep the US dependent upon Saudi oil and Germany announced it would close down all its nuclear electrical generation facilities by 2022. And yes, 300 people got sick on German produce. Was not from Hauslingen :>)

Happy Memorial Day


Note: Comments and suggestions are welcome. Since this post focuses on human settlement patterns – the patterns and densities of land use inside and outside The Clear Edge, this post is subject to The Litmus Test found in Chapter 5 of CITIZEN MEDIA, THE NEXT STEP.

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