Internet-synced, sustainable, xeriscaped, solar-canopied-power-grid-contributing bike/walk/transit trails would provide training and employment opportunities to incarcerated, in-need, and skilled populations; on-line/in-the-field learning and vacation/tour opportunities to general/all populations; and begin connecting cities with fertile valley, forest, coastal, mountain, and desert communities in and across borders-- helping protect the environment, bolster economic, energy, and food/water security, increase understanding, appreciation, stewardship and enjoyment of our interdependent world.
The challenge to contribute to the creation of green corporations; green recreation and tourism; secure renewable energy; improved land and waste management; improved security of food and water; educational, vocational, and elder-inclusion opportunities; provision for mainstream, at-risk, and incarcerated/rehabilitated populations—these criteria all combined to produce the concept of an integrated opportunity to build infrastructure while improving environmental, educational, economic, energy, and earth security.
When combined with energy-harnessing technologies to capture and supply electrical power to local/national grid systems, people from all walks of life can become stakeholders in infrastructure building and sustaining green-living projects which improve the health and education of participants, enable low/no-cost entertainment and exercise options, produce renewable energy for use or donation to needy communities world-wide, encourage local-to-global connectivity, interaction and tolerance, and provide opportunities for inclusion of all who wish to participate, regardless of origin, as well as reduce pollution, slow the depletion of resources, and contribute to the health of our shared local and global environments.
Instead of enduring the flight of doctors, intellectual and corporate talent, creativity, and culture to cities or even other nations, globally-linked trails and communities can enable even “remote” local citizenry to offer highly trained specialists (in medicine, education, technologies, industry, arts, culinary arts, services, etc.) the access to dependable, high-quality resources, including energy, internet, peripheral services and supplies needed for excellent care and standards of living.
Networked bicycle/human-powered-transit (roller blades, pedal carts, pedestrian and wind/para-powered) trails would provide multi-tiered opportunities for responsible entrepreneurship, recreation, learning, energy, environment and grey-water/waste management/soil rebuilding among local populations.
Utilizing solar/valent-power canopy (evolving with technology), trails would have photo/motion-sensitive lighting for night treks; connectivity, GPS/SMS-sync capabilities; sync-links to:
- · Local amenities/products/services
- · Traditional arts/culture/education
- · Traditional healing/indigenous plants/medicinal plants, minerals, resources and services
- · Site/climate-specific trekking and survival information
- · Elder and contemporary knowledge speakers/programs
- · Inter-trail races, local-knowledge/history/game programs
- · Inter-school/sister-city, green-education/green-globe projects
- · Linked off-trail, green-key, safe and sustainable tourism activities
Trail-project solar/valent energy-systems could connect with the local/national power grid, enhancing energy access/energy security nation-wide. Wheeled transit vehicles (bicycles, strollers, pedestrian-roll-sticks, rollerblades, etc.) could “link in” by picking up a rechargeable battery/loadable-devices at start of transit on trails, and delivery of the charged battery/loaded-device at departure points (hooked into the larger power grid system) along the trail.
[Note: Similar opportunities for installing and utilizing motion-powered energy systems, utilizing small chargeable batteries on wheeled systems or in-shoe devices, utilized while in waiting areas (airports/transit, medical well-visitor waiting zones, social-services waiting zones, etc), in schools, malls, training centers, hotel exercise zones, in appropriate prison facilities/rehabilitation programs, on mass-transit vehicles (long-route bus, train and subway commuter-transport) and in airplanes and on ships, are also possible.
Person-powered grid-contribution systems could also be installed to amass and donate sustainable and renewable power from participants in corporate settings, fast-food play (and innovative “adult play”) zones, and, especially, in sports stadiums-- where fans in stadiums (and eventually, those in their homes, with sync-in connectivity) can “vote with their feet” and pedal/power to express support for their teams, donate power, play online team games (if franchises agree), enhance group dynamics, charitable and social inclusivity, and provide ownership of individual, family, community, brand-or-fan-based, regional or national/international efforts to improve standards of living, improve health, and encourage fun, win-win engagements which are environmentally sustainable, and age, gender, ability, social, political, and culturally-inclusive.]
In addition to utilizing solar-canopies and valent-energy collectors (which can also be channeled to “sweep” dust from the solar panels), these trails could incorporate hanging, tiered, and ground-level/border xeriscaped gardens which could provide food and water security for humans, pollinating bees, butterflies, birds, and related flora and fauna living within the improved environmental stability of the trail zones. Trail-zone grey-water and hydro-management programs could also be utilized, to increase water security.
Individuals/groups from trail-adjacent communities would be hired/responsible for the maintainance of local-to-global access/connectivity programs and projects, receiving multi-skill training/vocational/avocational opportunities, including:
- · engineering/design/construction and maintenance
- · agro-ecology/xeriscaping
- · connectivity/communications
- · renewable energy/power-grid establishment/use/maintenance
- · food/water/energy security programs
- · waste/sanitation
- · arts/recreation
- · indigenous-heritage-knowledge/wealth/resource preservation
- · resilient adaptation; youth-elder programs; community representation/planning
- · eco-tourism
- · service-sector planning/management/marketing
- · rest/refreshment/lodging
- · massage/hammam/indigenous-therapies
- · guides, security, translation
- · bike/equipment maintenance, mapping
- · web-page/data-sync design/maintenance
Networked-trails-projects can re-integrate impoverished, migrant, under-served, at-risk, and prison-community citizens-- enabling education, skills, and potential/available employment in all the sectors intersecting with trail use/operations. At-risk/incarcerated adults and youth joining supervised trail-programs can acquire specific skills/knowledge/training, on-the-job-experience, verifiable performance records, and employment on the trail-systems they help build and/or maintain.
Associate benefits of constructing and utilizing internet linked trails would include possibilities for regional/national/international racing (single location and multi-location or global/synced-start racing events); tourism; continual field-learning cauldrons for those using the trails and for residents; cradle-to-cradle sustainable development collaborations; daily-use transit/portage routes (excluding heavy-vehicle/fuel-burning transport)—networked-trails could enhance connectivity, access, and recognition of the intra-connected, fragile balance between the eco-climates, agro-urban-economies, and food/water/energy-security and social-inclusion/responsibility issues faced by each nation, region, community, and individual world-wide.
In Morocco, as everywhere, there are microcosms of environment, culture, economy-- and multiple issues directly impacting the survival, stability and sustainability of the kingdom’s citizens. Partnership approaches to community-based projects can improve resilience, celebrate existing heritage/knowledge, encourage more secure food/water/energy/transit practices— and inspire positive transformation within the communities and among all who participate, though tourism, project-participation, and economic involvement.
Although adaptable to any climate/topography, site-specific trail projects in Morocco can decrease erosion, diminish heat-bloom, desertification and vulnerability to drought while increasing available arable land-use, and enhancing access to (without increasing deterioration in) fragile and at-risk eco-environments. Local, migrant, tourist and other populations can utilize the trails as main arteries of connectivity and access, lessening the pollution footprints of erosion, slow/non-biodegradable waste and obsolescence.
The 7th World-Environment-Education Congress, WEEC2013, was hosted in Marrakech, Morocco. Trails, even one prototype, perhaps in Morocco’s southlands, would begin connecting cities with fertile valley, forest, coastal, mountain, and desert communities in Morocco and across borders-- helping protect the environment, bolster economic, energy, and food/water security, increase understanding, appreciation and responsible stewardship and enjoyment of our interdependent world.