City of Ecomajor
It's funny sometimes, when we think of what a city might look like in the future. We often think of wild and fantastic ideas. Often they are based on fantasy, or even more drastic are the paranoid ideas of what the future worlds climate would allow. Although it is fun to think of such elaborate concepts and visions, it is not what this is about. This is about a near future fantasy city. A city designed to be practical, efficient, and comfortable. A city which will bring out the natural beauty and style brought on by functionality.
This is not a city which a capitalist society could ever create. Capitalist societies don't create well planed out dream cities, but rather they go which ever way the money leads them. This city, could only be created by a society like Conceivia.
Imagine what it'd be like, if you could order anything you want and have it delivered right to your home in a matter of minutes. For example, say you're thirsty for milk. There's no milk in the refrigerator. No problem. You ask for a bottle of milk. A bottle of milk is delivered fresh from the bottler to your home, in a matter if minutes, via micro mass transit. That's right! Micro mass transit, and it's in every home in the city.
Say you're really thirsty and the milk's really good and fresh, so you drink the whole bottle. You put the bottle back, and it's carried from your home back to the bottler where it's washed and ready for use again. No waste! No extra work or inconvenience.
The micro mass transit recognizes the milk bottle from the little microchip on the bottle. You simply push the return button, and it then knows that it's empty, and returns it to the bottler. It's that easy!
When it's that easy to reuse or recycle, everyone will do it. Not because they have to, but because it's that easy. Because it's just plain inconvenient to actually carry something to the trash bin. Waste will be all but eliminated.
Reduced waste means increased efficiency. Less man-hours involved in your bottle of milk, 'cause we don't make the bottle every time. No wasted time mining materials, refining materials, manufacturing bottles and caps, and then afterwards no wasted time dealing with the waste. The whole process can easily be automated. The only man-hours involved is in collecting the milk.
We can even eliminate air pollution. This city makes this easy.
It is not just a place to live. It's a place to really live! It is a place that is comfortable, and safe, with low environmental impact. A clean and safe place that is efficient and doesn't cost a lot, yet offers much more.
It is a city with an incredible amount of city park space. More than 200 square feet of park space per person. That's enough space that if everyone in the entire city went outside at the same time, they could stand 14 feet apart in both directions. 'Course, everyone in the city won't be outside at the same time. Doesn't sound very crowded does it?
Ok, maybe that sounds like an excessive amount of park space, but that includes gardens that the people are allowed to use, and other things. Still, with this much park space, I imagine that a lot of the park land will take on sort of a natural look. Which is nice, you don't want all park land to be well groomed.
The parks would be full of fruit and nut bearing trees, vines, and shrubs. There would be vegetable and flower gardens everywhere. If you feel like a snack, go ahead. Its there for the eating. Conceivia doesn't seek to charge you for every little thing.
For the children, there are animals in many places. They stay off the sidewalks, and never go where they aren't wanted. Automatic invisible fencing keeps them to specific areas. Robotic grounds keepers collect their droppings so we never have to worry about stepping in it. 'Course it is only the gentle animals in the city, creating a sort of farm zoo. Those which are not so gentle are shipped out to regular farms.
There would be many different kinds of animals. Not strictly farm type, but many zoo type animals as well. Nothing dangerous of course.
As you can imagine, with all these gardens and animals, it would have an almost wild or country atmosphere to it. Not everywhere of course. Some areas would be strictly city type atmosphere.
Yet with all this park space, the city maintains a quite respectable population density of 103,900 people per square mile. If the city were 12 miles by 12 miles in size, it would have 14.9 million people in it. If you lived in one corner, and worked in the opposite corner, it would take a maximum of 30 minutes to get to work, assuming the mass transit traveled at 50 miles per hour. That's absolute maximum! There is never ever any transportation bottleneck!
If the city was the size of the state of Kansas, it could hold the entire population of the world.
Ok, sure maybe it's not the highest population density in the world, but who cares? It's designed to be comfortable. There's plenty of space on earth. We might even lighten that a little, make more space for gardens and relaxing.
Why is population density important? With people's homes close together, the cost of connecting them to everything which needs connecting is greatly reduced. For example, a well for one house can cost $20,000 or so. When we connect them to a joint well, we save enormous amounts of money. Mass transit is far to expensive for houses spaced far apart, but in a densely populated city, it becomes cheaper than roads and cars.
Comfort level is not a factor of population density, but rather a factor of efficiency. When a cities transportation system and other systems are pushed to the limits of their capacity, the whole system becomes uncomfortable and stressful. A simple act of crossing the street becomes a nerve wracking experience.
This incredible level of comfort can be accomplished easily, by eliminating two things. Both of which are more of a hassle than they are worth. People live in the cities because the like city life. They like to be close to the action. Not needing to drive long distances to get to things. We don't need to bring that part of rural life to the cities! We'd be much better off enhancing city life.
So let's do away with those two annoyances. Let's do away with individual housing, and let's do away with roads. They're both gaudy, inefficient, and uncomfortable. Without them, we can make the ultimate city. I've lived in both kinds of cities, and I can tell you, there's a huge difference! The comfort level is amazing when there's very little traffic on the roads and no individual housing. Without individual housing and individual cars, it's very easy to come up with 200 square feet of park space per person.
I currently live in a city with about 2,500 people in a city block area, which would equate to 700,000 people in a square mile if the whole city was this density. The whole city I live in now has 200,000 people in about 6 square miles, but much of that area is individual homes. In spite of this population density, it feels like living in a park. There is usually about 10 people in visible range walking, but rarely any cars, so it feels very peaceful.
That is a population density of a third of what I'm talking about. It is actually fairly similar, as it has animals in many places, often with somebody herding them, and fruit bearing trees and shrubs. It has a cheap but very effective mass transit system as well.
This dream city could easily end up with that population density as well. It could have areas of additional park land and garden space, if needed or wanted. These things aren't set in stone.