We’re a nation of suburbanites. This thought passes through my mind as I shovel the concrete shards into the skip bin. These multiple layers of concrete tell the story of this country – the vital soil of the Wurundjeri people built upon by waves of migrants. The bin is set to be carted away, washed and turned into someone else’s new floor. The old made good again.
Exposing the soil starts the healing. It’s thick with sand and devoid of the worms and roots of good health. We want to – we will – make it good once more. We have plans for a food forest lined with native grasses, shrubs and mosses. Then the thought crosses my mind – what if we all do this? All us millions of suburbanites.
We’ll soon be moving to self-cleaning, self-driving electric car sharing parked in pods 100m from every home. This will open up our streets, laneways, garages and driveways for re-wilding. Removing the bitumen, we will heal the earth by planting it with indigenous foods suitable for our ecosystem. In the process, we will break our reliance on energy-intensive, nutrient-depleted global food chains. Instead, we’ll be surrounded by the sounds and pulse of nature that we crave, all at home.
We’ve made it here by evolving how we live together. We have adopted community renewable energy and full-spec internet and digital upskilling for all. We’ve built a peace emergency response network to replace the majority of police and military roles. We’ve introduced a basic income to help people get through employment shocks. We no longer accept profit as an end in itself, so all organisations that receive public subsidies have a positive social and environmental impact.
To us, being a suburbanite now means wild, free and together.