Saturday 18 November 2017

A SINGULAR URBAN DESIGN MISSION

A simple yet repeatable reminder of new “smart cities” is building a future to live better. An obvious way is to live in a “better place.”

To secure one’s family, help neighbors’ build a biophilic network adjacent to sturdy structures in a safe neighborhood is a beginning.

A village the smallest unit of a town or city that maintains clean air, water, sufficient food, and fiber, generates enough energy, communications and provides inexpensive travel for all to live happily together with neighborly gift exchanges might be utopia.

Wherever located in “better places” means individual choices as to where one wants to live – near the sea or lake, mountains, deserts, suburbs, rural or city. One cannot argue about personal taste in matters of location.

In theory with today’s calculated private/public values all the required delivery of products rely on resources with further manufacturing and assembly processes. Each step requires transportation to build an infrastructure as well as to change the land configuration.

Capital investment primes the purchase of a small farm for example. Achievable in the U.S. for possibly $30,000.00 of one’s savings for a down payment. If one can afford the purchase, then you have an environment that one somewhat controls. If a small farm is one’s preference, these are isolated finds and requires considerable research. Natural beauty surrounds many small farms. Many have old farmhouses that can be fixed up to match one’s taste.

A small farm buyer might enhance habitability with a wood stove and fireplace, a greenhouse attachment for food and natural airflow enhancement. Planting a small vegetable garden and orchard accords seasonal discipline to preserve food by canning drying and freezing. Raising some bees and chickens is an added benefit. Keeping a good dog and buying an old pick-up truck is a necessity. Timber and gas are usually available nearby. Monthly utility costs become reduced to a minimum. The property taxes are nominally inexpensive.

Sounds idealistic only if one evaluates whether the quality of life goes up or down. This kind of life also means having a semblance of good health, abilities for quiet labor and calm routine with an Internet connection. Would a small farm become a “trade up?”

If one considers seeking such a small farm, answering the following questions with honesty is important.
• What is the smallest possible project that is worth one’s time?
• What’s the smallest possible footprint one can live in comfortably?
• What is the smallest group of people who one could recognize and make a difference for oneself, or to helping a neighbor?
• Because the smallest home space is achievable, smallest might also feel risky.
• What if looking for a little “better place” is one where people and friends can find you because of neighborly interaction?

All such things are possible in Starkore City. Housing is mixed-use. That is commercial uses are allowed at ground level. The location at this level is where the least expensive homes can also find ground. Unique fabricated structures are capable of being stacked in seven or eleven layers in height. Gaining height to reach each of these levels with stairs and elevators means the cost of spatial placement and energy supply for entry increases in both expense and assessed value. The “penthouse’ and upper levels are for the wealthy to claim.

Imagine the possibility of the poor, middle and upper-income families living near one another. No more apartheid. All homes situated within a short distance of access to a green network. Walking becomes a healthy daily habit for the young and old to rejoin an intimate association with Nature. Think about these essential ingredients for opportunities of neighborliness, health, happiness, and liberty.

Graham Kaye-Eddie
m.u.d. 12/29/16, 12/30/16 626 words

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