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Index » Entertainment » Books » Let's build a city Page: Previous  1, 2, 3
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meower

meower Avatar

Location: i believe, i believe, it's silly, but I believe
Gender: Female


Posted: Aug 26, 2008 - 1:32pm

can we kick out the asshats
Servo

Servo Avatar

Location: Down on the Farm
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 26, 2008 - 1:30pm

Transportation

Graduated Size Limits on Vehicles

I don't want gigantic, noisy, dangerous, road-punishing long-haul semi-trailer trucks in my city.  Those who insist on operating them can unload them at depots outside city limits.  In general, if there's a cleaner, safer, less intrusive way to move cargo within the city, it gets priority, and the GM/Big Oil behemoths would be taxed heavily to subsidize the better ways.  This would be based on the types of neighborhoods and the types of uses, to be fair.  Exceptions for things like furniture delivery would have special permits, but would be encouraged to use cleaner, quieter propulsion methods.

Pedestrian Safe Zones

As a pedestrian, I don't want what could be a delightful walk ruined by the constant specter of being killed or maimed by fast moving vehicles.  Chicago has some wonderful lakefront paths that have become very unfriendly to pedestrians.  The #1 threat is the fast moving bicyclists who often outfit their vehicles with knife edged "bull horns" to menace pedestrians, forcing them to yield their right of way.  Other high kinetic energy threats, such as skateboarders and inline skaters pose similar threats.  I would create areas that are off limits to all vehicular (wheeled) traffic, so that pedestrians can walk without fear.

Advanced Bike Lanes

The existing bike lanes that run adjacent to automotive parallel parking spaces are one example of terrible urban planning.  What idiot thought this was a good idea?  The people who must get in and out of those cars don't need to be mowed down by fast moving cyclists who are hidden from sight in blind spots.  Neither do pedestrians.  My city would have its bike lanes in the middle of streets, where the bikes (and other human powered vehicles) can be seen easily.  It's safer all around.

Very Light Rail Systems

The 19th century visionaries who constructed the first underground utility rail system in Chicago had the right idea.  Back then, the public didn't need to heed that call, but today that's all changed.  With the current advances in automation, remote control, robotics and telepresence, VLR could replace nearly all of the current cartage systems that currently use big, heavy, road hogging trucks.  Businesses and homes alike would receive their supplies, from mail to parcels, to food and virtually anything that can be placed in an automobile, via VLR.  Same thing with what comes out.  The same rails that carry new goods to homes and businesses could carry away refuse to be recycled.  No more noisy dump trucks waking you up at 4AM!  And the familiar UPS truck would be replaced by a robotic train that delivers parcels to your home automatically.

Light Rail Systems

Now that crude oil is over $100/bbl., probably for good, existing light (passenger) rail systems are in high demand once again.  My city would utilize light rail and similar technologies as the primary means of moving people for distances between 1km and 100 km.  Where current American cities have their major arteries in the form of highways, designed for automobile traffic first and foremost, my city would use that land for light (and very light) rail service, first and foremost.  There would still be automobile lanes, but the priorities would be reversed.  During rush hours, there would likely be fewer car lanes, not more, with the paved lanes going to the exclusive use of express busses, both public and private.  Many large corporations offer shuttle bus services for their employees; my plan would take that to the next step.

Heavy Rail Systems

Heavy rail systems are the least expensive, most efficient method to move freight over long distances.  Even trains that use Diesel-electric prime movers are 50 to 100 times more efficient than OTR semi-trailer trucks, and that's not even taking into account the cost of road maintenance, collisions and other accidents, or other human factors.  Clearly the heavy rail roads are every bit as vital to a national (and international) transportation infrastructure as they ever were.  And because cities are the natural terminal points for heavy rail services, any good city would have a robust heavy rail system as part of its infrastructure.  And my "blank page" city would put a lot of that heavy rail traffic underground from the get-go.  Freight does not care about viewing the scenery.  By planning a local heavy rail system from the start to not have railroad crossings and other intrusive rights of way, a more efficient and less costly heavy rail system could move goods to and from my city better, faster and with less impact on the environment than any other heavy rail system.  And it would all but eliminate the need for those nasty big rigs.

Utilities

Electrical Power Generation and Distribution

The primary physical structure of most cities was quite literally set in stone before the advent of utility electricity.  In a city where urban planning can form a symbiotic relationship between various infrastructure systems, I imagine that the face of the electrical utility in my city would be a radical departure from the norm.  Just as there are major arteries for transportation in a big city, so must there be the same for electricity.  While nobody knows for certain how most electricity will be generated 100 years from now, my guess is that it will still make more sense to place the power plants that take advantage of the economies of scale outside of the metropolitan area.  And that means that there will be a need for large, high capacity conductors to bring that electrical power into the heart of the city.  But instead of having separate rights of way for each and every utility and other service, I envision more unified rights of way, saving precious space, easier to secure and maintain, and quite possibly interoperable.

The metropolitan rail services for my city would all use utility electricity to power their prime movers.  While Diesel locomotives do not disappear from America as soon as in other places, they will not be allowed in my city.  As with Diesel OTR truck tractors, any Diesel burning locomotives would be swapped for electrical ones for the trip into or through my city.  Rail yard automation already makes this not only practical, but potentially more efficient, since train cars could be sorted in the same facilities.  It wouldn't take much to retrofit the existing sorting yards to include locomotive sorting as well.  But if the railroad right of way into a city was used to carry high capacity electrical power lines into that city, it only follows that the electrical power needed to convert from Diesel-electric to pure electric could be used to electrify our intercity rail lines.  The same holds true on the smaller scale.  The electrical conductors that carry power to homes and businesses would be the same ones that electrify the rails inside the city.

When it comes to generation, there are very important reasons why a city needs to be able to generate most of its electricity internally, at least on a temporary basis.  Natural (or man-made) disasters or warfare could cut cities off from outlying generation facilities.  But even a momentary interruption in electrical power for an entire city is catastrophic.  So, like every other city, my city would have the capacity to generate its own electricity.  Precisely how this is done is unclear.  For the near-term it would most likely be mostly by conventional methods, namely burning fuel of one sort or another.  Cities that have natural resources that could provide tidal, photovoltaic and other natural means would have an advantage.  But I'm going to assume that my city has none of these, in order to foster a new generation of local power generation.  I imagine that by combining many small public and private generation plants in a cooperative manner, that my city could hold its own in an emergency, without having to resort to building large coal fired generation plants within city limits.

Other Utilities

I'm lumping together the rest for one very good reason.  That reason is because I would physically collocate the infrastructures of the various public utilities, including, electrical, gas, water, sewer, communications, VLR etc. wherever possible.  I'm imagining a city that has large and uniform tunnels running underneath every roadway.  These large tunnels would be shared by every utility, and have the advantage of being able to be reconfigured as needs and technology change.  All electrical service lines would be underground, safe from the elements, trees, squirrels and other natural hazards that currently make local power distribution in America expensive and relatively inefficient.  Natural gas lines could be expanded to support technologies like cogeneratin.  And one day, the methane gas that we use might be replaced by hydrogen gas.  Don't worry about explosions, though.  Since these tunnels would be completely automated, humans would rarely visit these places.  As a safety feature, the tunnels would be filled with an inert gas, leaving no oxygen, and thus making fire all but impossible.

Communications

The same tunnels that provide space for utilities and transportation would obviously carry a state of the art communications infrastructure.  But there will always be a need for above-ground radio communications.  My city would include building codes that provided for the placement of the necessary radio facilities on and in privately owned buildings.  Instead of needing to negotiate a separate contract for each and every cell site, wireless carriers could plan and construct entire metropolitan systems, based on a single radio communications right of way tariff.  Building owners would get paid a fair rate for access to their facilities, and their radio tenants would have standardized leases.  This would allow for more, and more distributed radio systems than previously imagineable.  Commercial radio and TV stations that once relied upon high places and high powered single transmitter sites might deliver their programming using the same basic technology as for cellular phones.  New HDTV sets could operate without cable service, and without those awful "rabbit ears" antennae.  By providing a legislated RF infrastructure for the 21st century and beyond, the possibilities would be limitless.


duchamp

duchamp Avatar

Location: Florida Panhandle
Gender: Female


Posted: Aug 26, 2008 - 4:32am

rosedraws wrote:

I like Zepville.

Me, too.


rosedraws

rosedraws Avatar

Location: close to the edge
Gender: Female


Posted: Aug 26, 2008 - 4:20am

Zep wrote:
Green spaces - 1 acre for approx. every 50 residents.
Underground malls, such as they have in Montreal and Toronto.
Public transport, with reserved bus lanes and bicycle lanes.
A public bicycle and automobile program.
Discouragement of use of personal autos.
Walking streets, such as they have in Copenhagen.
Smaller neighborhood schools with reduced emphasis on economies of scale. Graduated height restrictions, with high limits in the commercial center and lower limits in the residential.
Public easement on scenic stretches of land, around rivers, mountains, lakes, etc.
Flexible historic preservation laws.

  I like Zepville.

duchamp

duchamp Avatar

Location: Florida Panhandle
Gender: Female


Posted: Aug 26, 2008 - 4:02am

trekhead wrote:


From the news story, I got that they were the old cinder block buildings that can support actual soil on roof to a certain depth. Also helped witn cooling in Summer. Not sure of heating in Winter. though, not much gardening then anyway... {#Lol}


Thanks, I was thinking of the old sod roof houses. Tilling could really be fun for those below.


trekhead

trekhead Avatar

Location: Set On FUN!!!
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 26, 2008 - 3:55am

 duchamp wrote:

That's good news. What kind of roof? Container gardens?

 

From the news story, I got that they were the old cinder block buildings that can support actual soil on roof to a  certain depth. Also helped witn cooling in Summer. Not sure of heating in Winter. though, not much gardening then anyway... {#Lol}
duchamp

duchamp Avatar

Location: Florida Panhandle
Gender: Female


Posted: Aug 26, 2008 - 3:46am

trekhead wrote:


Some places do that in Chicago and NY.


That's good news. What kind of roof? Container gardens?


trekhead

trekhead Avatar

Location: Set On FUN!!!
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 26, 2008 - 3:42am

 duchamp wrote:

I like it! ...sorta like the candy house in Hansel and Gretel gone green.


 

Some places do that in Chicago and NY.
duchamp

duchamp Avatar

Location: Florida Panhandle
Gender: Female


Posted: Aug 26, 2008 - 3:36am

trekhead wrote:
Grocery stores with their produce grown AND displayed on the roof.


I like it! ...sorta like the candy house in Hansel and Gretel gone green.



trekhead

trekhead Avatar

Location: Set On FUN!!!
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 26, 2008 - 3:33am

Grocery stores with their produce grown AND displayed on the roof.
Zep

Zep Avatar

Location: Funkytown


Posted: Aug 26, 2008 - 3:13am

Green spaces - 1 acre for approx. every 50 residents.
Underground malls, such as they have in Montreal and Toronto.
Public transport, with reserved bus lanes and bicycle lanes.
A public bicycle and automobile program.
Discouragement of use of personal autos.
Walking streets, such as they have in Copenhagen.
Smaller neighborhood schools with reduced emphasis on economies of scale. Graduated height restrictions, with high limits in the commercial center and lower limits in the residential.
Public easement on scenic stretches of land, around rivers, mountains, lakes, etc.
Flexible historic preservation laws.



lunar1963

lunar1963 Avatar

Location: Netherlands
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 25, 2008 - 11:19pm

I love architecture, huge cities, Blade Runner, neon light, old and new, industrial towns and such.

In this forum we're gonna build a city, you can add pictures, descriptions, paintings, poetry, maps, anything... Together it will form a mosaic of an imaginary city! Everything is welcome
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