The other day I saw a documentary film about the planned obsolescence. Simplifying, they said that enterprises sell products that break down when expected. So, this means that we purchase stuff that does not long as much as it could. I already knew this “malicious” behaviour of enterprises, but this time I associate it with the need of society to learn how to consume fewer things. Let me explain, planned obsolescence shows us that it is possible to consume less, but not because we can have more durable things, just because we are consuming a lot of natural resources in a limited world of resources. So, it is important to understand that in a world where the emerging countries (BRIC´s) are asking for their part of the pie, we, globally, are required to learn how to decrease our unnecessary consumption.
From my point of view, planned obsolescence has an urban and territorial correspondence: the same way that we are spending many more natural resources manufacturing things, we are spending many more natural resources in cities urbanization.
In the process of urbanization we are spending much more soil than is necessary with low density sprawl, we are spending much more energy than is necessary with private transport that we mainly use, we are spending much more water than is necessary with all the little gardens in every house that are less useful than public parks, and so on.
Therefore, I dare to say that if there is a “planned obsolescence” in the material consumption world, there is also a “planning obsolescence” in the urbanism consumption world. I think that we need to learn how to decrease the way we plan cities and territories and we are required to find more efficient ways to explode the natural resources that are necessary to continue inhabiting our cities.