Tuesday 20 February 2018


 In the past small villages were founded around workable social arrangements for sensible living in a formation for the survival goal of a sustainable community in a favorable geographic settlement area.

 Small-scale settlements of agrarian family groupings began together for wise hunting and collective safety adjacent to streams of water. Cattle, horses, sheep and goats grazed on a common green; the natives fed and basically clothed themselves. There amusements were music, dance, worshipping and story telling.  As more families joined the social unit began to unravel.

 Transition Cities movements are attempting to re-socialize and introduce this sustainable awareness amongst present settlement patterns. The cadre of people with their educational backgrounds, religious beliefs, long standing separation from sharing with one another also carry respective social standing baggage are difficult to assimilate. Associations between families can be confrontational on many issues of understanding interrelationships. However cooperation can be achieved without severe compromise.

 There are tipping points in the number of families working peacefully together thus enabling the sorting out these social relationships. This begins with re-designing some relevant golden rules of survivorship toward combining head and hand assets that engage positive allied community strengths. Town Hall meetings become the local exchange for discovery and discipline in human growth and change. Constantidies Doxiades  founded a sequence of people numbers that defined a social knit for village, town and city to ecumenopolis. They are as follows. One – A man, two a room, 4 a dwelling, 40 a dwelling group, 250 a single story small village, 1500 a single story large village, 9,000 a small town, 50,000 a town, 300,000 a large city, 2,000,000 a metropolis. If each population increase if done by means a contained social village identity family familiarity is somewhat maintained in some form of coherence. Density and footprint with multi story buildings now becomes important incrementally in relationship to land use supported by agriculture and forestry.

 The present economic formula for urban subdivision design is the smallest rectilinear parcel with single or double story houses built only for car service. All earnings are collected by individuals for an insular commute to support home purchasers who are mortgaged to the hilt for survival. Subdivisions herd these homebuyers according to their economic ability to subscribe for the monthly payments. So economic standings for these side-by-side homeowners are similar, thus establishing a “economic class of families” who are seduced and placed into tailored square footage homes, These rectilinear stud and stucco boxes with “lipstick facades” are therefore built for a specific economic housing market by developers for their own enlightened self interest of return on investment. One does not have to drive far to see apartheid differences. The social pursuit is therefore minimized by schedules of work where the social pursuits of simple neighborliness, conviviality, and citizenship, intellectual, artistic and spiritual growth are severely minimized. One does not have to go far to see the further workings of subdivision apartheid where the show of clustered homes are revealed adjacent to golf course or other amenities for the ostentatious wealthy and then subsequently downgraded for the middle and poor classes with a distant “park” with few parking spaces for neighbors. Ratios of park amenity standards to subdivision might only be 2 acre for an 80 acre subdivision. The windshield drive by in any American city provides clear evidence of the variant magnitudes displayed by house square footage, appurtenances, number of garage doors and landscape trim.

 The “roman camp” subdivision layouts whether on straight or curved streets the home buyer has limited choices that are no different from visiting a car sales mall where vehicles are lined up in neat rows but display only different colors. According to Claude Lewenz unseen yet economic neighborly teamwork is necessary to “enable people and communities to provide for their social, economic, and cultural well-being while protecting and persevering the environment and the life giving forces of earth, water, sky, and ecosystems for now and for the foreseeable needs of future generations.”

 Claude Lewenz defines the village as  “a self-supporting economy is one in which you don’t increase GDP, you increase wealth to a certain point, and once you’ve gotten to that point, you maintain the wealth. So that’s the economic foundation”. He forgets the need for placement of soft earth nearby for agriculture but rather focuses on hardscape for happy walks to reach the pub of old mediaeval villages.

 Alexander Garvin acknowledges applicability at a different scale for an  “a walkable urban downtown.” that place itself is important. “Its success shows how much can be achieved, economically and architecturally, when city government and private interests make the public realm, on a grand scale, their shared interest. Most astounding of all is that Alexander Garvin recognizes the most important relationship of all given to a specific place is that “If from the beginning, the “city” (or village) had organized all the subway entrances, stairways, corridors, shops and plazas through which pedestrians flow and into which sunlight should penetrate, this (Amtrak Station) might have been a great public space.” It is the common served spaces, which speaks to the aspirations of a society and the nobility of a small village multiplying incrementally into a city. So one principle of urban design is to first set a pattern of common multi transportation mode pathways to provide service to end spaces, primarily accessed for walking. In addition the delivery of a new transportation system such as ET3 and it’s MoPods™ reduce the require footprint and more than eliminates air pollution. Imagine a proof of the matter in economics as evidenced by Apple in December 7, 2011 by locating a store adjacent to millions of commuter foot traffic in Grand Central station!

Bruce Nussbaum writes, “isn’t just about startups and venture capitalists; it’s based on a community of makers” to begin a village with craftsman and modern tools. Bruce Nuusbaum believes that “It may prove to be the economic and social antidote to the failed financial capitalism and crony capitalism that no longer delivers economic value in terms of jobs, income, and taxes to the people of this country”. In comparison another form of exchange value that is breaking traditional boundaries of what we express as added value is “Indie capitalism is, above all, a maker system of economics based on creating new value, not trading old value. It embraces all the strains of maker culture–food, indie music, DIY, craft, 3- D digital fabrication, bio-hacking, app enabling, CAD modeling, robotics, tinkering. Making is not a rare act performed by a few but a routine happening in which just about everyone participates. Making and using tools are part of a meaningful existence”. This is what every human does in aggregating and integrating into the cooperative building of villages, towns and cities. Each individual has a specific role to play in a determined field of operation and maintenance.

Making fewer things of higher quality and utility is important. Making things more durable for a longer term is important. Using discovered intellectual resources useful for conversion wisely is important. Rediscovering, reinventing, reusing and sharing transparently a revision of planning knowledge integration amongst us for balancing human survival patterns with the forces of Nature should be a prime directive. Revealed in our urban designed movement and settlements patterns there should be an allowance for activity flow freedoms. This requires a set of interrelated indices of intrinsic values over and above economic apartheid so as to move forward into a better future.

 The futurist Paul Saffo predicted a new “creator economy” replacing the industrial and consumer economies. It’s socially focused, not technology focused, more designer/artist-centric than engineering-centric. Unfortunately the conversions of future idea/concepts to written policy then to graphic depiction for cost/benefit added value have not been substantively understood. The deliberation from analysis to prognosis to synthesis in the science of city development has not been achieved as a holistic as yet. It is however being developed by many such as Geoffrey West in terms of mathematics and scientific modeling of alternative scenarios.

 The Harvard Business Review has been running a series of pieces criticizing finance capitalismForeign Affairs has been writing about the split between robust global corporate profit-making and negative domestic job-making. Even cable TV financial journalists are publicly talking about the failure of Wall Street to do its traditional job of financing business formation. And cries of crony capitalism can be heard from both the Tea Party as well as the Occupy movement.

 There are forward thinking actions taking place in the area of economics, real estate development, finance and accounting. Mark Hewitt and MetroCore is a good example. The operational model offers assessment and visioneering, modeling and planning, construction management and operations.

 Most communities begin with an established economic plan (including jobs) for a small start in land acquisition and financial capabilities after an assessment and programmed vision. Then a reality illustration of the physical plan can properly weigh the costs and benefits. The beginning always starts with the provision of infrastructure for the flow of utilities and transportation. This utility service should support the expected population in a social context for residing, working, recreating, farming and worshipping. A mixed use variable housing and commercial density pattern has to be evident with a well defined local and regional movement system. Economic apartheid must be clearly avoided in the physical plan of urban development.

 These actions can only be accomplished founded around integrating the economics of exchange together with workable social arrangements for physical living arrangements that can then be translated into a planned physical formation for the survival of a sustainable community.

 Graham Kaye-Eddie

M.U.D.            12/12/2011        1599 WORDS



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