Known as a sense of place, bioregionalism is presented as an option that can guide human occupation of the land. As cities have grown into behemoths of concrete and steel, most people have lost touch with the natural features within their region. Consequently, they cannot identify where their drinking water comes from, or the energy that powers their home. They do not know the geologic nature of the soils, nor even where the food they purchase is grown. Many inhabitants of a region do not know the local flora and fauna, nor what was there before the advent of large cities and suburbs. Living within natural bioregions and watersheds, people will regain their sense of place.
The move to a bioregional way of living could entail the break-up of large cities, as is currently being seen in the secession efforts of several outlying regions of Los Angeles, California. This can be accomplished, not by moving people further into uninhabited regions (for this would not be desirable), but by using methods such as greenbelts to naturally subdivide sections of populous regions, thereby providing residents with a sense of intimacy and responsibility. The possibilities are as varied as there are people willing to use their imaginations.
Waterways could be unchanneled, wetlands and woodlands and grasslands restored to a primeval state, with people living in close proximity with the primitive landscape. The result will be a citizenry knowledgeable and proud of its own region. In addition, people will be more apt to take responsibility for their own behaviors if they have a true taste of the biological limits of their home.
Highly tied to bioregionalism, the ecovillage concept can guide our collective physical occupation. The cities of the near future will be hub-like, with all essential components being housed in interior collections. This minimizes the need for roads and mechanized travel within the city. Each ecovillage can be as autonomous with regard to food and energy production, political structure, water usage, et al, as its citizens desire. Each city can be particularly geared to its own unique ecosystem / bioregion. Each will respect the rights (land, water, energy, etc) of all neighbors, and anyone they could possibly effect 'downwind' and 'downstream'. There will be no sprawl, as these cities of the near future will be self-contained units, with identifiable boundaries and a respect for untrammeled, wild land.
Many intentional communities exist across the nation. However, these communities are few and far between when compared to the traditional large cities that house millions of citizens. Planned communities that adhere to aspects embodied in the ecovillage concept are to be encouraged, due to their 'light footsteps' and preservation of large portions of open land.