‘CLOSED to vehicular traffic’.

The sign at the entrance to St George Street is unexpected. In a culture given over to the automobile, where atomised individuals in their private, insulated space, drive up to cash dispensers, fast food counters, and to the heart and top of perpendicular offices and dwellings, a sign discouraging the car is unique. But then St Augustine, Florida, itself is quite a unique town.

‘It is the oldest town in the United States.’ That was Hazel Henderson, grand matriarch of a generation of Americans seeking positive change, doyenne of alternative economics, and adopted elder sister. ‘In St Augustine, past and present merge to produce a visible, contemporary synthesis. I moved here because it provides an antidote to the globalised, consumerist culture, a vision of a positive future.’

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