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What if instead our society reeled globalization back in a little, and we lived in smaller, closer, local communities? I live in a rural-ish area, and any time I get on the interstate, especially during the workweek, I can't help but wonder how much those people's lives would be improved if everything was in walking or bicycling distance, how much more time they would have to give to their families or their interests or even their daily needs. Maybe it's not possible for most people due to unfortunate situations society has created. But didn't we do this to ourselves?

I don't quite understand the connection to globalization or more rural communities. Urban cities, of course, generally offer the best walkability simply because of population density. In my experience in the United States, suburban communities and small towns are most literally unwalkable due to the design of the road network. In rural areas generally it's not feasible to walk simply because your place of work, grocery store, etc. are many miles away.

Before globalization, rural communities had walkable towns, maybe just a few blocks, but enough stores to fulfill daily needs without the use of a car. Now all those communities have is big box stores several miles away.

Those walkable towns are/were just a smaller version of what we have today: an urban core that most of an area's population lives too far away to reasonably walk to.

That's not true about the United States. The entire US road network has been designed with cars in mind since at least the turn of the 20th century.

Roads designed for cars didn't really accelerate until after WW2. Before then, especially on the east coast, you had numerous small, walkable towns.

How exactly does globalization play a role here? Limousine services are one of the least affected services you can imagine, you can't outsource virtually all of that labor, perhaps with the exception of customer service.

To answer your question: A "rural life" in a "tight-knit community" would be a horror scenario for me. To each their own.

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