A start on the Future City
Why don't we start a dedicated website for the Future City?
We could have a group for Senior Citizen Free Learning Resources to start with
There is so much available there
Let us CoCreate a more elaborate plan and post it
We could have groups for energy, transportation, education, habitat, industry, entertainment, innovation, nutritious free food, expert systems for self health care
We can locate free resources for all to prosper
It does not cost us anything to start except our enthusiasm
Looks like all the members are on a sabbatical :-)
No one is stirring the pot
Just completed reading "Three Cups of Tea" and extraordinary chronicle of Greg Mortenson
Mission to promote peace..One school at a time.
Some things I learnt in the process are in my blog http://dancrissco.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&p...
No problem, join in when you have time. Glad you stopped by :-)
I have been having some interesting discussions offline with another TedFellow on similar subjects
Have fun in your projects and don't let deadlines get the better of you :-)
One new piece of information has caught my interest that could make for great discussion/collaboration material:
India has approximately 1.2 Billion inhabitants.
How can designers enable India to effectively utilize its large population?
I personally think that designers can aid the country in building/reforming the supporting infrastructure (culture, education, electricity, access to communication platforms such as the internet, etc...)
One issue that I've previously mentioned is about rural dwellers heading to the city directly from villages. I see a large chunk of investment being directed towards larger cities with smaller towns being ignored. From my point of view, a country with only metropolises and farm villages is an unbalanced system.
To ease the flow of new entrants to current cities, India urgently needs to encourage the development of townships (ie. a dwelling with its own power plant, hospitals, factories etc.) Cities have limits on the number of inhabitants they can contain. While technology can increase the maximum population limits of cities, India's population growth rate seems to outmatch improvements in technology.
A more balanced system of Metropolis sized cities, large/matured townships (with leisure and convenience facilities that are equivalent to a city,) emerging townships (primarily focused on industry) and villages seems more viable than only developing the large cities while leaving towns and villages relatively undeveloped. Private investment organically flows to metropolises and matured cities so it is important that governments focus on investing in emerging townships and their infrastructure until they mature to the point that private investors are interested in them as investment opportunities.
There are multiple benefits from fueling the growth of townships: villagers don't face culture shock on entry to cities and homesick villagers who have currently moved to cities (because the work they are most suited for previously existed only in large cities) have the option of working in an emerging town that is much closer to home thereby potentially reversing the flow of villagers to large cities.
A town can easily emerge around a hospital or large clinics strategically situated to cover health care in rural areas. Rather than increasing the number of hospitals in cities to handle new entrants, a hospital built in a previously undeveloped part of the country not only improves health coverage but also increases the likelihood of supporting industry developing (private entrepreneurs setting up shop to cater to both hospital workers and villagers)
I think it is a great idea. Your model of an industrial township focussed on villages is the key to emerging India.
I have visited townships in India in the 70's which were built by industrialists, Tata's, The Indian Railways, DVC and others to house their factories, employees and employ the local villagers in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra & Bengal. Many of them had captive power plants, schools, hospitals and excellent recreational facilities
Is there any data to show how these cities have fared? This could be a foundation from which the new townships could be built.
One question is how do we get input from a sampling of Indian society? How can we reach them?
How can we engage them? We have to crowd source concepts to get it going?
Would welcome your thoughts on this
Tata's approach could have been profit driven and dependent on market economics to succeed.
The last paragraph of my last post ended up with the final paragraph half saved while editing the original post. The paragraph was meant to include that additional benefits of emerging towns centered around government provided health care is that Hospital staff (or visiting government workers) could also provide education and spread educational materials for adult workers as well as school children. A well designed building could have multiple functions such as health care provision, educational facilities (white screen, projector,) accommodation for visiting government workers and aid relief for natural calamities such as earthquakes or floods.
From my personal observation (I haven't visited an Indian village for almost a decade,) one of the primary reasons villagers visit large towns is to seek health care and they do so when their ailments are beyond their ability to bare. Is their lack of health care affecting their performance while working or learning? I would postulate that the answer is yes.
Some may argue that towns should only exist where railroads already link to. I would favor initially building the required health care and support facilities within closer proximity to multiple villages (whether near or distantly located from railroads) and then provide more advanced infrastructure such as railroad links, academies and local power plants. The ultimate goal is to effectively increase the spread of infrastructure across India (instead of clumping facilities in larger towns and cities) and thereby reduce the population load on existing large towns and cities.
As of now, nominally sized cities that I've been to in India have significantly more skilled labor than 'thought workers.' There are issues such as poorly located sea ports being within proximity of residential areas with more educated inhabitants instead of near less educated inhabitants that are more suited for industrial activity. Cities should have infrastructure focused on support for thought workers while emerging towns focus on less advanced (yet skilled) industrial activities. Designing a car and the design of the factory to assemble cars should happen in cities but the manufacturing of car parts can take place in emerging towns.
Workers capable of advanced work organically move to cities and large towns but current country city/large town planning seems to retain rather than re-distribute workers with less advanced skills thereby taking away resources for building the infrastructure to support more advanced commercial/financial/technology related activities within larger towns and cities.
I believe you have built a very good case. Yes, your Township of Emerging India could very well profit from the supply of essential services for major manufacturers including sub assemblies and components. I also like your suggestion about multi use facilities & resources.
Here are a few links which may trigger our thoughts further on the subject http://wp.me/pI4fG-59 (About resources to built the townships) http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/9/view/9406/hugon-kowalski-wat... (About s township design with a similar purpose)