A Future City: Daily Living, Part 6

Glitzy and exciting, but  urban sprawl has major disadvantages.
Glitzy and exciting, but urban sprawl has major disadvantages.

Daily life in a mature culture — now that we have looked at the possibility of a Victory City, what would daily life actually be like in such a city? As noted, I am proposing that the high-rise buildings would consist of a large number of village-like settings, where people would actually live much of their day-to-day activity.

Let me flesh it out a lot, with a bit of imagination. I’m in a dilemma though — I want to provide details of my vision, mainly to have something to bounce against, but I am also fearful that I will lose the reader if I get too detailed, too utopian, to hold interest. But I do so because such visioning is what I am encouraging in our society — we need a sustainable vision so as to more forward to what we want, not away from what we don’t want. Such is life!

Here is an overview. I strongly value Herman’s characteristics of individuation, relationship as primary, face-to-face democracy, and the need for a mythic narrative. So, for me, the needs are:

  • personal development of individuals,
  • relationships that maximize diversity and cooperation,
  • village life as the source of interaction,
  • the ending of consumerism, and
  • the sustainability and resilience of our planet.

To accomplish this, I suggest we must maximize both:

  • modular production of consumable products (minimizing footprint and waste while preserving effectiveness of function), and
  • individual creativity and expressiveness.

A tall order. Utopian in many respects, but still for me a vision of a creative life. There could be a lot of uniformity in the mundane areas of life (extensive modular design would keep the industrial impact to a minimum), and there could be much creativity and diversity of the smaller aspects. For example, buildings throughout the world could be quite uniform, but the manner in which they were decorated, externally and internally, could be incredibly diverse.

I am assuming that, if:

  • the basic needs of food, shelter, education, and health were provided, and
  • people throughout the planet were orientated to a balance of diversity and community, placing high value on personal development and creativity rather than consumerism,

then there would be little need for money and private property, and a large need for individual creativity.

Suppose, then:

  • the planetary population was one billion (1,000,000,000) people
  • there were 5000 cities of 200,000 people each
    • each city would occupy about 10 square miles (much smaller than current cities today), with extensive wilderness surrounding.
      • the wilderness areas would be available for exploration, provided the human impact was well managed.
    • each city would specialize in a limited number of activities (in modular fashion) required by the world population.
      • these might consist of some kind of industrial production, or some kind of artistic production such as film or theatre, all of which could be distributed to other cities, either in physical form (industrial) or virtual (artistic)
    • each city would consist of 40 high-rise buildings of 5000 people each
      • there would be another 40 low-rise buildings for such activities as food production, transportation, maintenance, et cetera
        • all buildings would be green buildings (see the Manchester Retrofit of the previous post)
          • most mundane activities would be automated to a major extent, but activities enjoyed by human personnel (e.g., garden care and cooking) would be encouraged
        • each high-rise would be 90 floors
          • 15 floors for high-rise common area, such as schools and hospitals, and/or industrial activity.
            • full medical and educational facilities would be present in each high-rise, with advanced facilities located in some of the out-buildings.
            • most industrial activity would be automated, requiring only limited supervision and/or the equivalent of sophisticated machinists. Much could be done under remote control with sophisticated electronics.
          • 75 floors of village-like living groups
            • every 3 floors would be a village of 200 people
            • each village would consist of 2 floors living area, with 1 common floor sandwiched between
          • connections within high-rises and between buildings would all be by high-volume, high-speed elevators and walkways, minimizing travel time within the city, and almost eliminating the use of personal vehicles.

I will continue next post with the characteristics of these village sandwiches.

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