Imagine a significant jobs project that spanned centuries providing employment for generations. By combing concepts such as the Principles of Intelligent Urbanism as well as ideas from Constantinos Apostolou Doxiadis while enlisting the participation of building architects, civil engineers, scientists, and many other fields and disciplines, a new climate of prosperity could emerge if we put the ideas into action. With the right planning, a “ripple out effect” would occur in society in which several activities perpetuate others to produce unyielding economic progress. The result is an economic chain reaction of the sustainable kind.
The new situation is visualized at one of several macro levels. Consider the concept of the Post 21st Century City Cluster. City clusters are what some today refer to as counties or perhaps metropolitan areas. A city cluster is a collection of cities made up of Fusion Mega Cities unified by monorail both within each city and across all city clusters. Monorail replaces interstate highway and intercontinental flight. The city cluster groups cities together in order to better delineate social, environmental, and economic activity according to a higher standard of quality. Their existence produces intensified local economic activity while intercontinental monorail maintains trade in a larger context.
This is a starting point to a much larger economy and social sphere. We will explore a type of large scale activity that could be a new way of living. It involves the participation of large numbers of people, the use of all the highly developed knowledge of society, and the application of physical, biological, electronic, and energy technologies to improve the condition of people while providing an immense benefit to nature in the way of eventual massive land reclamation by living towards the sky.
Houses,, and Living
When people first began to build cities they started with single houses of made of either mud-brick, wood, or stone among other materials directly sourced in their raw forms from nearby land. The houses built thousands of years ago where adequate to the goal of providing shelter from the elements; protection from predatory animals; and securing possessions. Many of these houses were not beautiful portraits of design and often lacked measures for sanitation, cooling, and electricity. Rather, many of these houses were of a immediately practical nature. Some were round, others rectangular in shape, but most were roughly square in dimension. Houses increased in number as the population grew and became the standard foothold people used to build civilization. As cities emerged, they were composed mainly of communities of people occupying houses and buildings.
Most houses are square or square like in shape with each limited in the number of people it sustains. The design of houses mean that populations spread horizontally across the land. This horizontal expansion has taken place over centuries of time and presents a challenge. Land is not unlimited. The continued horizontal expansion across land in the conventional way could run up against population increase as a fundamental issue. No land left to house.
Other concerns of horizontal expansion entails the elimination of land areas for agriculture affecting the supply of nutrition. Reduced land areas for farming crops may translate into food shortages that could be remedied by a different approach to land development. Wildlife, forests, and other natural phenomena that collaborate to provide a healthy ecosystem. By extension, living biological ecosystems directly support the health of agriculture, air, and water.
People are generally susceptible to the elements and developed the technology known as housing to create an environment in which to operate more comfortably. Creatures such as bears, birds, and bees occupy enclosed environments so the concept of housing is prolific in nature. Enclosures occupied by people tend to be formulated rather than natural landmarks. Our landmarks are not natural, though at times composed of natural materials. Anything that people create that does not emerge out of nature by way of natural processes is a technology. Technology is designed to address a problem with a solution in a specific form and arrangement intentionally designed due to being available from nature. The structure of houses and they way they solve multiple problems for people represent one of the original technologies people devised. As a technology, it can be improved and upgraded.
Fusion Mega City
Like houses, cities are technologies that people use to structure the process of communities living together, conduct trade, and strengthen the services available through cooperation. Today’s cities are spread out horizontally across land connected by streets, city blocks, and traffic lights. Over the past few centuries, the design and layout of cities has provided an effective means for people to live together, share knowledge, conduct commercial or governmental activity, and build culture through recreation or spiritual endeavor. Much of this is activity we seek to continue. Given the way cities are built and organized however, challenges are on the horizon.
The size of cities, their layout, and the time to commute to different places are growing in their limitations. Many people have experienced the intrigue of traveling a distance spanning a duration longer than otherwise expected. Consider the daily commute for those that live quite near their workplaces yet have experiences of arriving no sooner than those traveling a longer distance over a less congested highway. Great businesses for entertainment, food, or general shopping may be located in a prime real estate location. Yet, the layout of the city may greatly diminish their clientele or limit access by different concentrations of the population. Perhaps some would like to engage in tourism, but the access to flights and the travel in destination cities possess the same layout and organizational difficulties as those cities from which the tourist originate.
A new type of city presents a new way to live. A concept I call the Fusion Mega City is one in which the traditional city is moved from a horizontal spread to a vertically coordinated assembly. A vertically coordinated assembly. It is a city building. A building that is a city. Wide and tall enough to contain millions of people. Each one. A large massive building in which millions of people live, functions like today’s cities but better, and within which are the subdivisions of various sizes and types that are the houses, offices, and other centers of activity available in today’s horizontal cities.
The following pictorial presents a rough outline of how this would appear along with some of today’s technological concepts in their more refined future forms. This is the Fusion Mega City.
The Fusion Mega City unifies into a single large scale building structure the processes of telecommunications, logistics, life support, energy, transportation, security, and geographical stabilization. A structure of this kind makes available to it occupants all these services among others covering 100% of the society. It is tailor made for people organized into a ultra modern stage of life with basic prosperity commonplace paving the way for advances of a more exotic kind within the domain of people while greatly amplifying the opportunities for natural ecosystems to flourish.
Among the myriad benefits of this housing technology is an evolution of the condition for people to be sheltered from weather extremes by introducing a structure in which protections from hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, wild fires, blizzards, temperature extremes and a range of tectonic activity are inherent to its design. Instrumental to this aim are advanced building materials formulated of science and engineering. Not brick, concrete or steel. Materials that are super high tech and possessed of qualities of extensive resilience. Buildings made of these materials will have walls, floors, and foundations that will not warp, break, or decay from rain, wind, hail and debris of an atmospheric origin or fissures in the terrain in which the structures span.
The production of materials could potentially be aided by machines that grind stone, in the field, into stone powder. Stone or sand powder could be collected by unmanned drones and deposited into processing centers that convert the stone or sand powder through a combination of chemical, ultraviolet, or other relevant treatment mechanisms to produce the material source for construction. During this process, nano scale combines may be harnessed to transform the batch of treated stone or sand ooze melange to reliably create materials of precise durability, strength, weight, and resistance. The walls of the Fusion Mega City, it’s inner and outer frames, core supports, several levels of the foundation, and interior divisions as well as, yet to be occupied, living and business divisions would originate from this material.
The finished building structure is composed of windows that double as solar cells, visual Morse Code relays, navigation beacons for deliveries and aerially provided services, and large scale e-readers and displays. The building also supports spiral or lateral indoor monorail to navigate among major sections of the city as well as external monorail junctions to transit to nearby or distant cities. Another component of the building are fully automated shafts connected to larger unmanned drones bearing seeds for hydroponics replenishment or seasonal rotations; bulk package deliveries; and other goods or personnel transfers from either specialized cities or other special circumstances.
Capping each building is a signal transmitter and receiver engaging signals transfer with a satellite. Unlike many of today’s satellites, these project and accept a fixed, dedicated, continuous stream of plasma energy (10 or so streams) to only three targets: a set of ground buildings, the city in this case and a sibling satellites to it’s left and right. This is similar to the concept of a Plasma Antenna the plasma stream is different and goes much further. As a technology, this plasma stream is integrated with sustainable energy technologies and heightened to a greater level by originating the plasma stream from not just the sun, but the conversion of photonic energy from any sun whose energy expenditures converge in the path of the satellite. Combined with photonic amplification measures in the satellite not only are communications self-sustained but ground based solar farms or just the receptors in ground city buildings can now distribute a better energy yield.
The plasma stream is intense enough to penetrate through bad weather and overcome atmospheric distortion while accommodating several frequencies within each stream such as the traditional variety like the range expressed in today’s fiber optics, Ethernet, and wireless as well as more exotic kinds involving a much greater density of data bits per sub particle of light. The result is all television, phone, video chat, remote electronic communications for a city could occur simultaneously on a single strand of the plasma stream. Within the city, the stream is converted to either more traditional signals like wireless or fixed line of sight Ethernet or more advanced form such as when a device is set upon a table. A table in this new world, despite looking plain, is actually an outwardly elegant, inwardly refined machine capable of distributing energy latent in the floor of the room (not through wireless transmission but common connectors benign to touch) connected to the central stream. The device set on the table or in proximity of the armrest of a chair (connected to the floor) is perpetually charged during use, while optionally transmitting and receiving data.
Larger machines such as monorails, unmanned drones among others benefit from the plasma stream due to the abundance, accuracy, and frequency of information to improve navigation, coordination, speed, safety, and scheduling simultaneously and with excellent judgment. With this city and city cluster design, robotics may be receive less emphasis or become more specialized. Technological singularities may take on a different character. Transportation technology involving monorails along with building materials and communications centrally prioritize a people centered active life that balances necessary exertion and investment of time.
Not all things are technological in this environment. Some things such as tables are as described earlier. Things like beds, some chairs, some park benches or elements of community activity such as Broadway style recreation promenades are simply material. Beds, for example, do sink into and disappear into the floor when not in use. Chairs without electronics are still capable of moving a limited distance for the convenience of their occupants. Items generally are made of either a mixture of ceramic; refined environment friendly plastic; or other synthetic recyclable materials. Part of the theme and aim of this environment is clean, healthy, life extending, mind elevating living that allows new and existing people to grow, flourish and advance.
Many more things could exist in this city including ultra modern kitchens with food ingredients automatically delivered with people having the option to directly prepare; coordinate the preparation of food or set a schedule of in which devices automatically prepare and present food. Refined lighting conditions would be prevalent in which the art and science of interior design merges with information technology, fabrics, materials, among other disciplines to produce a living environment that place emphasis on the essentials and elevates them in their presentation in a way that simultaneously reduces distraction. There may exist dedicated display walls available at just the right angle from where people typically sit or the interior may re-adjust to accommodate different times of the day or modes of residential function.
The result is to stage a lifestyle within a common prosperous backdrop of a high quality standard. This new condition serves maximize the duration of contemplative disposition, authorship, and expression conducive to furthering the advance of art, literature, policy, science, and mathematics among other endeavors of the mind. Achieving this qualitatively propels the abilities of people in the direction of advances of greater depth, awe, and wonder. At the same time, the opportunities to go beyond basic prosperity are available to those who invest most utilizing the multiple attributes of this environment to the fullest benefit of society.
Post 21st Century City Clusters
Now that we have conducted a brief, superficial examination of the Fusion Mega City and the beginning currents of the implications of putting it to practice, let us take a look at city clusters. I have named them Post 21st Century City Clusters because while Fusion Mega Cities could be built today, the key to City Clusters is the intercity monorail. Without the intercity monorail, city clusters operate less efficiently. One would have to estimate how long it would take to build enough intercity monorail to cover an entire continent. Can it be done in 10 years, 20 years, or does it take much longer? That is a question yet to be answered. The duration depends on the interaction of involved planners, facilitators, and producers at each level.
The Fusion Mega City concept presented here allows populations to grow vertically instead of horizontally in a way that uses less land and fewer resources. Vertical structures of a certain size and density have an acceptable height level. City Clusters are the means to scale the Fusion Mega City concept and optimize it further. Several of the ways City Clusters optimize Fusion Mega Cities is through specialization.
Imagine if a single Fusion Mega City, just one, could house all of the business, governmental, recreational, and non-profit activity for a single cluster of Fusion Mega Cities. Moreover, it is possible that this single specialized Fusion Mega City could service several clusters in the region simultaneously. The benefit is that less land is required for commercial activity, and more space is available than might be otherwise for the housing of people, with an additional benefit to natural resources. In this environment, Hollywood, Dollywood, and Bollywood could each have their own Fusion Mega Cities in which people operate, visit, and conduct commerce.
You could extend this concept in which you would have Federal sectors, wild life sectors (perhaps zoos disappear), advanced bio-medical, manufacturing and other specialized sectors that have one or a few Fusion Mega Cities strategically located according to monorail routes. Depending on the economic social stratification, different Mega Cities may be organized and adorned according to the preferences, sentiments, and means beyond the basic prosperity of the occupants.
Let us take notice of how a typical City Cluster may appear.
Generally, the processes of society in the city cluster model are better optimized, widely expressed in a more rational manner across land and within communities. Pursuant to these purposes is a far better developed city grid that is an improvement over today’s structures that may remain discontinuous and inefficient in structure. As such, the system scales neatly to more comprehensively provide services, information, and new developments in society and technology. Monorail, is fundamental to this aim as is the concept of distance.
Monorail is the connecting agent in the city cluster model. Construed properly, it allows different Fusion Mega Cities to occupy locations at a generous distance from neighboring Fusion Mega Cities. This is important as distance between cities is necessary for ecological balance. Distance is the instrument of balance that allows people to exist in a way conducive to our ends while contributing to the balance of natural phenomena such as forests, tundra, tropics, arid land, lakes, rivers, oceans, and other elements of topography to serve as the operating environment for other life. Sustaining an ecosystem supportive of the long-term health and well being of people.
Environmental conservation is a strategic survival concern. Sometimes, things go wrong in the plans of people and we may make a devastating mistake a time or two. An error can perpetuate itself from the misuse of technologies or from a general misunderstanding of principles. Consider hydroponics. Investing in hydroponics may mean the realization of a technology that increases the availability of fresh items for consumption. However, errors in either bio-engineering or high tech agricultural management may mean that entire harvests are decimated. The availability of traditional land means that a fallback is available to regenerate fresh seed that is undaunted by any present or eventual errors in high-tech farming or genetic engineering that could occur. By preserving far more of nature, much more of it will be available in the event any part of it is required for research, vital use, or just plain casual relaxed gazing from the rooftop of a Fusion Mega City.
The concepts presented here provide several opportunities and reflect a huge ambition for any person, company, or collective of interested parties to pursue. Beyond those who initiate such an undertaking are the millions upon millions of people who would be required to see the realization of each part and aspect of this massive works project. Many of these ideas have been researched in depth by others to include vertical farming, sustainable city, zero-energy building, transit-oriented development, or the megacity itself. Hopefully, we can look forward in the context of today’s technological possibilities. It is a multi-layered, multi-lateral, and cross functional process whose broad goals are implied here, but in which the detailed implications are many fold. I think this is the true way forward and is surely to take society to a new level.
By Michael Gautier