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 The Clean-Slate City-State

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Mike
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PostSubject: The Clean-Slate City-State   18.04.07 4:41

Here is my particular proposal for a Clean-Slate City-State:

It could be located somewhere along the pristine white beaches of South Australias south-western coast. This is a temperate region, and the surrounding land is very flat and barren. Perhaps this region is similar to that of Los Angleles or Dubai.





There are several reasons why this might be a good location.

The proposed site is a ecologically-barren isolated area. This is important, as the construction of the city should not impact on the biodiversity of the region.

The land I am looking at straddles about 100km of white sand beach; one the longest unbroken beaches in the world.

In the top image, I have called the proposed clean-slate city-state "Esperance City" after the similarly isolated WA town of Esperance, which is french for 'Hope'.


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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   18.04.07 5:16

Although I imagine such a clean-slate city-state will rely on nuclear power and desalinization plants for the majority of its drinking water, if the idea of transporting antarctic ice is shown to be feasible, the southern location of the city could be an advantage for this method.



Here are a few links about the utilization of Antarctic ice:

http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/ESLINGHM/

http://www.abc.net.au/science/expert/realexpert/watercrisis/12.htm

http://www.abc.net.au/news/features/antarctica/

In the future, with an influx of needed population, Western Australia might see some of the highest water prices in the world. This should provide the economic incentive to developing such Antarctic ice utilization schemes. Not only can the water from the ice be used to supply Esperance City, but it can also be piped and sold throughout australia.


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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   18.04.07 5:31

I think the temperatures of this location are much more comfortable year-round than that of Los Angeles or Dubai, hopefully requiring less energy for air-conditioning.

What is most striking about this location is its extreme isolation, flatness, and barrenness.

The latter point is perhaps most important. By creating a bustling metropolis in the middle of a desest, the biodiversity of the area may be actually increased. Currently the area is surrounded by more than 100 square kilometers of desert shrub. It is unlikely that the city would ever spread into this enormous space, and therefore the few species that live hear would never be threatened.

The extreme isolation of this city may be seen both as an advantage and a disadvantage. In my opinion, its isolation should provide incentive for the city to remain compact and efficient. It is also an advantage when security and the like is considered. The city-state will have its own laws and government, and as these will take time to be proven effective, the Australian government will probably only approve of the city-states construction if it is kept well away from settled areas.

The flatness of this region may be seen as an advantage from a construction/planning point of view, and would also reduce transport costs. However, I personally enjoy a bit of scenery, and the lack of hills might have to be compensated by the city skyline and artificial parks.

In short, this region represents an ideal clean-slate; quite literally.


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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   18.04.07 9:12

Now that we've picked a preliminary location, lets look at some of the finer aspects of this self-sufficient clean-slate city-state.

The ideal demographic comprising this city has been discussed elsewhere, I think. To recap:

This should be an internationally representitive city, with citizens of all nationalities. The government will aspire to an adaptable representative democratic-republic hybrid.



The city will be self-contained, with a combination of next-generation nuclear power plants, and alternative decentralized power sources such as solar and wind power.

Where the economic disadvantage is not too great, much of the cities waste will be recycled.

The urban plan of the city will be not be too idealogical or expansive. Instead, it will incorporate as much diversity of thought and design as possible; hopefully integrating many sub-designs into a coherent whole. The architecture and feel of many regions will take inspiration from the best of the historical cities. Some degree of urban sprawl might even be purposely integrated into the design.

Whats important here is that all areas of the city will be designed and simulated in a virtual environment before construction is begun. This should allow more coherent and therefore cheaper infrastructure, including improved transportation networks throughout the city.


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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   18.04.07 9:26

Initially, funds for the city will come moslty from external investment, but over time the city will become economically productive on its own. I imagine the city will grow relatively quickly, with a constant buzz of construction around its continually expanding periphery. Depending on the success of the city, its population may reach 20 million or more within 20 years or less. This would put it on par with great cities like Tokyo or New York. However, in order for the city-state to have a significant economic influence, the size of the city should not be restricted. A population of up to 100 million should be considered as part of long term planning.



Conceptually, this city may share many parallels with Dubai. Indeed, large scale developments such as the Palm Islands and the like will probably be seen in time in Esperance City.

Most of the immigrants to the city will have come from other cities. By this time, these other cities might be economically stretched, due to congested roads and over-stretched water resources. The increasing price of oil might also make cities which have good mass-transit systems for public and freight transportation more attractive. Not only this, but Esperance City will be an attractive location for expanding internationally operating businesses which have outgrown their original sites. This is because new sites can be designed and integrated into the virtual version of the city, and presented to the prospective business without requiring their commitment.

Local business needs can then be predicted and planned for in the virtual model, ensuring everyone is kept happy. Predictability will also help attract continued international investment in the clean-slate city-state as a whole.


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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   20.04.07 2:09

Also of crucial importance is the fact that this area is free of natural resources. This is an advantage, because the Australian government would be more willing to allow the existence of the city-state if Australia has nothing to lose.
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   20.04.07 12:41

Now keeping in mind that one of the pillars of this new philosophy is to be alert to the perils of idealogical designs, lets look at what the city might look like.

The city should try to remain as energy efficient and pleasant as possible; achieving a balance between an urban utopia and a free development which caters to businesses and industry.

Here is an example of the sort of urban development that I have in mind for the city:



Mixed development; high density; pedestrian friendly.

In order for the city to appeal to international businesses and the like (and later as a means to allow continued economic growth) within a world of high petrol costs, the city should rely heavily on zero-emissions vehicles. These might include vehicles powered by electric batteries, fuel cells, electric-steam hybrids, and the like. Starting from a clean-slate, the support infrastructure needed to operate these vehicles on a large scale can be easily built. This is an important benefit of the clean-slate approach, as the difficulty of installing this sort of infrastructure in current cities is inhibitory to the adoption of zero-emissions vehicles, even if the price and performance of these vehicles is on par with conventional vehicles.

Whats also important here is that the city will cater for the type of car-based transport that we are familiar with. Surface streets and freeways will remain the backbone of the transportation system, where efficient mass-transit systems will serve both primary and complementary roles.

Allowing only zero-emissions vehicles, which are quieter and non-polluting, into the city presents an opportunity to radically improve the aesthetics and function of the road network. Freeways and other roads will no longer require great amounts of ventilation, allowing long stretches of freeways to be covered with parkland and the like. Starting from a clean slate allows these greenbelt freeways to be built inexpensively by first building the covered freeways above ground, then covering them with landscaped parkland. I can imagine an expansive network of 'greenbelts' of parkland emnating through the city; each with a freeway hidden underneath.

Also, petrol fueled cars may use the system if their numbers are kept in low proportions; so that classic car enthusiasts and the like can indulge their passion for driving.


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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   20.04.07 13:25



While the above may work well for zero-emissions passenger cars and the like, heavy trucks will probably continue to rely on polluting and noisy diesel engines. There are several ways in which this problem can be dealt with:

The trucks themselves can use a hybrid system where their conventional engines are shut-off and pre-stored energy is used to power the truck through a long tunnel or around sensitive residential streets. Alternatively, an alternative electrical power source might be provided by a network of overhead cables along specific routes, in a similar manner to trolley buses.

Something like this might work around residential neighborhoods and inside the covered freeways, but probably wouldn't work so well in busy industrial areas where there is a higher density of freight traffic. In these areas, conventional uncovered road networks will be the norm.

Both of the above systems should work well together to allow an efficient low-pollution road network that is not too dissimilar from the ones we are used to. This should be Esperance City's major point of difference from other idealogical designs: that it is not too dissimilar from proven systems; only drastically reducing pollution and reliance on fossil fuels.


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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   20.04.07 13:46

Successfully developing such a vibrant and efficient city from such an isolated and barren location will demonstrate the power of human creativity and our ability to completely transform the land.

This city will function in the same manner as thousands of established cities. It is the benefits of the clean-slate approach which enables this city to do this while being almost pollution free and nearly entirely independent of fossil fuels.

Similarly, it is the benefit of virtual modelling and planning from day one which allows the city to be more economically efficient, and to grow indefinately without major infrastructure problems usually associated with over-population and urban sprawl.
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   20.04.07 14:12

In order to reduce the need for transportation, thereby further reducing the need for transport infrastructure, most of the city will utilize mixed zoning where it is appropriate. The likes of manufacturing and other heavy industries will be concentrated in a single interconnected industrial zone, which will have a surface freeway running through its middle, connecting it to the port which will reside where the industrial zone meets the water. The greenbelt freeways and mass transit systems will serve to cross-link this industrial area with the rest of the city.

Keeping industries together in a concentrated area should help improve their operation, and at the same time keep them away from the residential areas of the city. A large container port will directly link to exporting industries, and a train depot will allow manufactured goods to be sent throughout australia itself. Only a single port and train depot will be required, as all internal transport needs will be handled by the cities own network.

To further reduce the load on the cities transport networks, many high-density residences will be scattered throughout the industrial zone to house factory workers and the like. These will be built in designated areas where the immediately surrounding areas are less noisy and polluting (such as manufacturing plants).

In summary, the large primarily residential part of the city will contain scattered buildings of suitably quiet and clean industries, while the smaller industrial zone will contain scattered buildings of high-density residences. This balanced level of zone-mixing should help reduce the peak traffic flows during daily commutes to work and back.
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   20.04.07 14:47

Another way to reduce peak traffic loads, and thereby make the transport network more efficient throughout the day, is to introduce staggered working start and finish hours.

A more extreme, but highly efficient, method to smooth the loads on roads, and at the same time make traffic highly predictable, is to introduce staggered work start times which extend throughout the day and night. Having the whole city operate 24 hours a day will ensure that all infrastructure is used to its fullest capacity, and will greatly increase the economy of the city, especially manufacturing industries and the like.

By having the whole population operate over 24 hours through the use of staggered start and finish times, delays due to store closures and the like will be virtually eliminated, and businesses can operate continually at their maximum pace.

In order to do this though, there will have to be many changes made, not least of which will be psychological. Office workers may be inclined to share their office space when they have finished their working hours. Much brighter lights which will attempt to approximate daylight conditions will be installed in all occupied spaces.

This system will not be enforced by the government, but at first large incentives to use this system will be used. Once enough businesses adopt this system, other businesses will follow in order to compete. Eventually, the system may be self-sustaining, and will no longer require government incentives.

Similarly, days off work need not be saturday and sunday. Instead, they will be similarly staggered. In order for workers to collaborate socially with friends, they will pre-calculate their days off to coincide with others. The 7-day week can also be eliminated, with days on and days off work organized by the employer in response to the workers desires and needs.

Edit: Businesses might still have consistent periodic days off, to accomodate regular maintenance and the like, but any additional days off can be intelligently planned; to coincide with factory shut-downs and the like.


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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   20.04.07 15:06

As one can imagine, such a radical system will not be without problems. Traffic noise and the general hustle and bustle of city life will continue throughout the night, while half the population is still sleeping. Quieter modes of transport (electric vehicles etc.) will go some way to alleviate this problem, but it is likely noise insulation measures will have to be increased throughout the city, and in every dwelling. The latter will be a necessity as those in apartments may have neighbors on different sleep times. Also, those who have worked through the night will have to sleep through the day. Bedrooms will have to have the ability to be completely blacked-out from sunlight.

However, the economic advantage to such a scheme would be unprecedented, as most of the cities infrastructure, and businesses, will increase their operating efficiencies by huge amounts.

In addition, many smaller benefits will arise from using this system. Security will be increased as people continuously occupy all areas of the city. Shops will be open 24 hours for anyones convenience. Peak power demands will be eliminated. Nightlife may continue to exist, but will have to evolve. Most of the negative aspects of nightlife will be eliminated.

However, although such a system will have great economic benefits, the pschological cost might be high, and in the end, not worth it. More thought needs to be put into this.
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   20.04.07 15:18

A big problem might be caused by the fact that people will not be able to enjoy the outdoors. Street lighting might be brighter, but the atmosphere will probably never be attractive. Many businesses will still depend upon the daylight.

Using a standard shift-based system will not work, as the psycholgical pressure of changing sleep patterns every few weeks will be too high. As I see it, a 25 or more hour day will have to be adopted instead. This would work well with the system of staggered start and finish times.

So that normal social and work dynamics are maintained, those sharing a place of work will be organized to be on the same start and finish time. If 25-hour days become the standard, collaboration with people in other businesses (who may be on different start and finish times) will be consistent and predictable.

With a 25-hour day system, many days off will not coincide with normal daylight hours, and the time off will have to be enjoyed at least partially during the night.
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   20.04.07 17:55

Note: I've started a dedicated thread for the 25-hour day system and have copied the above information there:

http://cleanslate.editboard.com/topics-f2/how-the-25-hour-day-might-work-t21.htm


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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   21.04.07 5:53

The vast flatness of the chosen site would also help to decrease the cost of road infrastructure. For example, bridges will not be required in the city. Large artificial rivers and lakes may be easily built throughout the city to allow for recreation and to add to the city's beauty.

Another benefit of the clean-slate approach allows for false ground levels to extend throughout the city. This allows underground space to be more efficiently utilized. Subways will easily run under the false ground level, as will the freeway network. Utility pipes will also be contained within this expansive underground space; allowing easier access for maintenance, or new installations. The area will also be used for storage, and can perform many other roles. Although this underground space will be quite extensive, it will not exist under all of the land, and will only be built where it is advantageous.

Also, the underground level will not be permanently habitable, as the waste water pipes will be higher than its floor. To accomodate the potential for flooding of any part of the underground space, there will an interconnection between them, and the floor of underground space will move progressively downgrade slightly as it moves toward the sea, which allows the water to gravity feed into the ocean.

A quote from CarFree.com:

Quote :
"While building a heavy-rail metro in an existing city is a very expensive proposition (although quite reasonable when compared to some recent urban highway construction projects), the costs can be controlled in the construction of a new city. The ability to combine the installation of water, sewer, power, communication, and transport infrastructure without having to work around existing installed infrastructure is a major simplification and probably cuts costs by half or more. The tunnels can be built using simple cut-and-fill techniques, work can proceed around the clock without disturbing residents, and considerable use of prefabricated concrete components should simplify and speed the process. False-work, the bane of construction projects within cities, is nearly eliminated if unrestricted cut-and-fill operations are possible."


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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   21.04.07 22:21

A few links to other material:

Songdo city is a clean-slate city currently being built in Taiwan. Since the initial proposal, over $25 billion dollars from private investments has been given to the project.





http://www.songdo.com

Here is an interesting article from an interesting site, 'The Next American City' organization:

http://www.americancity.org/article.php?id_article=116

The Ten Prinicples of Intelligent Urbanism:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principles_of_Intelligent_Urbanism


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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   22.04.07 4:45

The land within Esperance City will be extensively re-developed. As previously mentioned, artificial lakes and rivers will be prevalent throughout the city. There will be grand parks, with artificially created hills, and transplanted trees. Many parks will be interconnected with pedestrian and cycle-ways.

Whole sub cities might exist within the city. Theses might be themed, or be designed with different urban models. There may be a Venice themed city; complete with canals. Artificial islands may be built off-shore, like those of The Palm islands in Dubai. Many parts of the city will reflect each designers individual preference and taste.

Whats important here is that no single theme will extend throughout the whole city. Rather, the city will be built up of a variety of designs.

There may be a few major differences which will impact on the whole of the city, however. As previously mentioned, zero-emissions vehicles allow most of the freeway network to be built under parkland. An efficient mass-transportation system will allow the road network to take up less space, allowing more room for public spaces.

The city might have tougher zoning laws to help prevent inefficient sprawl, but it will still be a free market. The virtual planning model should help to achieve the best compromise, and keep everyone happy.

Low-density subdivisions and the like will be limited to the outskirts of the city, as these will not be able to be re-developed once built. Most of the city will be medium and high density. Much of the city will be low-rise, and where there are high-rise buildings, they will have more open space between them than is common. There will be many areas of closely-packed private urban plots, such as those seen around Newport Beach in LA.

Most of the cities residents will be medium and high income; reflecting the demand to live and work in the city. However, there will be some relatively poor income residents, brought in to work in the service industries, and these will be appropriately accomodated for.

Other major differences might include an expansive canal network to serve the industrial areas. These will allow large and heavy objects to be transported between industries, or sent to the port to be loaded onto a ship. Accomodating the transport of massive objects througout the city will assist the market for the pre-construction of large items that would normally be constructed on-site. Large scale pre-construction will speed up the construction of Esperance City.

The initial construction project will be massive. Immediate self-sufficiency should be the goal of the initial construction project, and this might require enough residences to house nearly a million citizens. We'll call the result of this initial stage of development the 'Bud-City'. As the bud-city will be self-sufficient, the design will complete and coherent on its own.


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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   22.04.07 5:28

The first industries to be built will make construction materials for the continual construction effort. Later, the construction equipment itself will be manufactured here. Raw materials will be supplied by ships and trains from the mainland.

It is preferred that an expandable Nuclear power plant be built to serve the bud-city, but if this is not possible temporary coal-plants may be built far away from the city. Construction equipment will be powered from a combination of diesel and electric power from the mains supply.

One of the first things to be built will be the port complex. This will be built after service roads and rails are layed to connect with those that pre-exist on the Nullarbor plain. Once the port has been constructed, and the entrance to the port is adequately dredged, large ships will be able to deliver materials and supplies. Freight trains and ships will be the main source of supplies to the area.

An initial airport wil be constructed to service the area. By the time the bud-city is completed, the airport would have to be of international size and quality, to accomodate the massive influx of residences upon the bud-cities opening. Small areas will be opened up to residences at a time, while other areas will be closed off. This is to give the residents the impression that the city is full and vibrant while it is still being filled up.

It is likely that the construction workers themselves will offered residences within the bud-city, as their work will always be in demand during the continual expansion of Esperance City.

The initial construction project will not be done lightly. The bud-city should be completed within a year of the start of construction. The project will be massive.
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   23.04.07 17:29

Here are a few notes I made about a 'Supercell' design philosophy, along with a bitmap. Using supercells ensures that the city remains sustainably coherent as it grows, and the design has many other benefits as well.



In the above picture, each white circle represents a 'supercell'. The supercells encompassed by the river may be part of the 'bud-city' described earlier. The half-cirlce next to the beach may be reserved for parkland, the one with a G is for government and civic buildings, while the one with a C might be the city centre.

Each supercell may be about 4 square kilometers in area, and house around 100,000 people. This is about the same population density as Paris.

Each supercell will be surrounded by freeway, subway, and main utility pipe connections, which will all be beneath the surrounding greenbelts.

Each will have the potential to be mostly self contained (except for industry and supplies etc.)

Each cell will be constructed as a whole, so that it is entirely completed at the same time, before the residents move in.

Surface streets will connect cells, either running through, over, or under the seperating greenbelts.

Personal rapid transit systems and subways lines will have connecions dotted throughout every supercell; providing intra and inter connections. Likewise: surface streets.

A few supercells will be left as vacant land, so that extra, perhaps more dense, supercells can be constructed later. They might be left as open fields for recreation, racing tracks, golf ranges, etc.

Perhaps 10% of the space in every building may be purposely left vacant, so that the space can be reserved for needs that may become more apparent as the city settles down after a few years. Likewise, there will be the provision for extra buildings, vacant lots, etc.

Much of the infrastructure within a supercell, and in the greenbelts, will be designed to be expandable so that it can adapt to unforseen demand.

Each supercell will be designed and marketed as a complete package.

A few cells may be set aside as free development zones where development will be unrestricted, perhaps allowing land to go to the highest bidder. The city centre may be one of these.

A central cell will be for government and civic buildings, like 'The Strip' of Washington D.C.

Each supercell may be of differing shape and proportion, and there may be smaller free development zones between cells. (this means the picture at the top is a guide only; the actual design may appear to be a lot more dis-organized with supercells of various shapes and sizes)

To ensure that the cells are filled upon completion, the construction of the cell will not be authorized until all the potential inhabitants have pledged to move in. The virtual model will cater to this.

In medium-rise residences, there will be more elevators than usual so that each floor can be serviced by a dedicated elevator. Measures like this will improve privacy and make high-density living more pleasant.

The capacity of each freeway or subway line will be roughly predicted by the demographic of each cell. Residents may have the propensity to commute to the industrial area, to the city centre, or they may work within their cell and will not commute via the interconnections at all.

As each supercell will have the potential to be self-contained, most residents will find that they are within walking distance of their place of work, at least initially. As residents change where they work, they will start using the transport networks more.

After a few years, once the city settles down, perhaps 1/3rd will commute by car, 1/3rd by mass transit, and 1/3rd will regularly walk to their workplace. Both the road and mass transit systems may be designed to carry 2/3rd's of the cities commuters each, so that they are both operating at 50% of capacity.
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   11.05.07 21:32

As the surface of the greenbelts will be a few storeys above ground level, it might be convenient to extend this false ground level throughout the supercells which the greenbelts encompass. Using a false ground level within the city blocks will have many benefits of its own; facilitating the placement of utility and transport infrastrucutre, for example. It might also facilitate the creation of artificial hills, or multi-tiered groundlevels which criss-cross the supercell; both of which will add vibrancy to the city.

Each building may have its own dedicated underground carpark, which might be directly accessible from the adjacent greenbelt network. Commuting by car, travel will be point to point, and rapid. Other transport options would also benefit from the false underground.
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   11.06.07 1:33

Now lets examine the problem of providing food for such a large concentration of population.

Importing fresh-water ice from antarctica has been mentioned as a potential source of irrigation and drinking water, and this may be supplemented with fresh water supplied from nuclear-powered dessalinization plants. Importantly, both of these potential sources of water are not climate-dependent. Although these methods will be more expensive than simply diverting a river or drilling a well, if they are done on a sufficiently large scale, they should at least be economically viable.

So it can be seen that attaining sufficiently large quantities of fresh-water for irrigation should not be a problem. The next problem, then, is one of soil fertility. Because this area of australia has been dry for so long, the vegetation needed to develop and hold onto the top soil has never had the chance to develop; allowing the sporadic rain that the desert has received to wash away any nutrients long ago. As a result, the soil here consists mostly of salty clays, with very little organic matter, and is therefore not very suited to agriculture.

Perhaps it is possible to 'revive' this unproductive soil. 'Terraformation' schemes have been proposed before, but I will not go into details here (although I will say that the large amount of organically and chemically rich 'waste' from the city may help to enable these schemes).

Perhaps a more viable scheme is to use the water to irrigate the large areas in australia where the lack of water, rather than lack of soil fertility, is the largest factor inhibiting agricultural development. These areas exist primarily around the murray and darling rivers, but also in southwestern australia and elsewhere. Once sufficiently irrigated, these areas should easily be agriculturally productive enough to support both the population of australia and Esperance City for some time to come.

It is also worthy to note that Australia is already a net exporter of agricultural goods (80% of all agricultural production is exported). Even at the current level of agricultural development, the lands of australia are capable of supporting a considerably larger population. Therefore, it is probable that Esperance City will rely on foods imported from throughout australia for some time; until it has the economic capital to develop the aforementioned large-scale irrigation schemes from which it can be self-sustaining.

Once this has been achieved, however, there may be so much agriculturally productive land available that australia may continue to be an exporter of agricultural goods, all of which will be climate-independent. In the future, these may be sold to countries whose food supplies have been negatively affected by climate change.

Yet another option is to consider "Vertical Farming":



http://www.verticalfarm.com/


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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   11.06.07 5:58

Providing cheap energy should be one of the prime considerations given to this clean-slate city-state. Just as todays economy has its foundation on cheap energy from oil, the degree to which Esperance City's economy will have an advantage over the worlds economy will depend on how cheaply energy can be provided within the city.

Fortunately, the clean-slate approach provides many advantages to this end. Because the city will be built with a large population (up to 100 million) in mind from the outset, very large power plants can be built which will benefit from the economies of scale. This cannot usually be done in existing cities, as their comparatively slow rate of growth only allows small increments in power capacity (otherwise the investment required to produce this power capacity would be wasted while the cities population catches up).

Many power production methods benefit from economies of scale (including what most would consider 'alternative' power sources), and this will make these methods more competitive with Esperance City's main source of energy: Nuclear power.

I can imagine a single massive nuclear power plant supplying most of the cities energy needs. This power plant may consist of many nuclear cores, perhaps all of an identical standardized design. Of course, they will be state-of-the-art in terms of safety and efficiency.

Supplementing this will be many different sources of energy. Perhaps the largest of these auxilliary sources will be a few gigantic 'solar updraft towers'. More traditional 'solar farms' may be employed as well, and both of these would benefit from the extremely sunny and dry location of Esperance City. Also of consideration: 'downdraft energy towers' (the inverse of 'solar updraft towers'. They work by spraying water into the top of the tower; causing the saturated water to sink. Perhaps these can be used as part of a wider irrigation scheme), and tidal power (which can also be used to power the artificial rivers).

All of the schemes mentioned so far should benefit greatly from the economies of scale that are a available due to the expected rapid development of Esperance City.

Another benefit to the clean-slate approach is that there is no need for the costly and inefficient wide-scale energy distribution systems that are present in other countries. Instead, the distribution system can be kept compact and efficient, with less need for high voltage transmission. Perhaps even a safer DC distribution system may be used.
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   15.06.07 15:21

I found a great futuristic city painting while searching in google the other day:



Its actually nothing like what I'd imagine this clean-slate city-state to be like (those tower blocks are far too dystopian), but its the best I could find.

I've added it to the title page where I think it compliments the text to the right of it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   07.07.07 22:20

The city of Dubai is a good example of what can be achieved on barren land that would traditionally be seen as unsuited to development. The city of Las Vegas serves as a similar testament to the fact that modern cities rely much less on their local environment than they used to. Rather, they rely on their self-generated wealth, from the exchange of services and manufactured goods for food and raw materials. The economy of Japan, a country which is virtually a single sprawling city, is based on these economic principles: 98% of its resources are imported, yet it is the second largest economy on the earth.
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   30.07.07 8:33

Here's another amazing render of what Dubai might look like when it is completed:



After seeing gorgeous renders like these, I might just start calling Esperance City the "Dubai of the South".
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   30.07.07 8:45

Here is another render of Dubai, this time from further out. The scale of the construction in Dubai is just incredible...



And this is only half of it! Below is another render (not a real satellite photo, but an artists impression), this time enclosing all of the Dubai Megaprojects, including the massive Dubai Waterfront on the left, and another giant Palm development on the right. This render shows an area about 65km across.

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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   31.07.07 2:52

Although the city will have roads like other cities (the benefits of a good road system, primarily the freedom of transport that it allows, are just too great to give up), I also like the idea of car-free cities.

See http://www.carfree.com/ for some great info on the subject.

Although the city as a whole may not be car-free, large sections (or individual super-cells) may be designed to be car-free. Perhaps these super-cells may be built in a style that evokes great historical cities like Rome or Venice; with quaint canals and skinny streets that connect with a good public transport system.
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   25.01.08 13:52

Mike wrote:
Here is my proposal for the Clean-Slate City-State:

It shall be located somehwhere along the pristine white beaches of South Australias south-western coast. This is a temperate region, and the surrounding land is very flat and barren. Perhaps this region is similar to that of Los Angleles or Dubai.



There are several reasons why this might be a good location.

The proposed site is a ecologically-barren isolated area. This is important, as the construction of the city should not impact on the biodiversity of the region.

The land I am looking at straddles about 100km of white sand beach; one the longest unbroken beaches in the world.

In the following image, I have called the proposed clean-slate city-state "Esperance City" after the similarly isolated WA town of Esperance, which is french for 'Hope'.

I would have to disagree with your location. The Namib desert would be a better place. Australia is unllikely to give you that land, and would fear for something or other. Namibia is the 2ns least densely populated country in the world, but is a pretty stable republic that isn't too poor. The high unemployment rates would encourage the government to allow you to use some of the costal namib if you allow people in to work.
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   25.01.08 17:59

You make some good points.

I prefer Australia because it is a very politically stable region, and has a good international reputation among laymen. Perhaps a proposal for a clean-slate city-state in Africa might have less popular appeal than an equivalent proposal for one in the modern fun-loving country of Australia? Australias south coast also has a lot less history; meaning there might be less cultural opposition to the city's construction.

In any case though, because such a city would be largely self-sufficient, you could found the city virtually anywhere politics will allow.

All potential locations are on the table. I have considered locations along the desert-coasts of Yemen and Somalia. Perhaps you could suggest a few more?

But I digress; the location is really a minor issue at such an early stage of the project.

- Mike
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   26.01.08 14:58

I agree that the location isn't really an issue at this stage, an I'd also say that any desert coast in the world would be the same in terms of esperance only.

BTW, don't be afraid to completely disagree with me, I'm not going anywhere. cheers Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   02.02.08 16:10

Another proposal for a clean-slate city in the middle east:



http://www.taboukeconomiccity.com/
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   20.02.08 3:25

Have you considered using Solar Towers for energy and Faring? Also, if we cross-breed Wheat with grasses that can grow using Seawater we'd have our agricultural water sorted. Perhaps Solar Distillation could be used for the other needs?

When do you orsee this project taking off? I'd like to help, but I'm 13.6 at the moment sogetting to whatever location is chosen might be a problem Cool Very Happy Cool
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   05.05.08 4:46

Firstly can I second Africa, Somalia would be great but it is somewhat deadly at the moment, somewhat of a fixer upper, on the other hand that would make it considerably cheaper than Australia plus you could launch to GEO from the city's spaceport over the ocean, which you couldn't otherwise do. Also wherever it is at least 70 metres above sea level is a must.
Secondly have you read any of the recent work on crime and poverty as it relates to city geography. Areas of poorer access and mobility are prone to becoming ghetto's so you might want to rethink some of your urban planning.
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   06.05.08 0:17

I can see the potential for locations in Africa or elsewhere. However, perhaps you can understand that I am a little dubious towards the idea of placing the city in a third-world location: Not because such a location would be any less suitable, but because of the negative association 'first-worlders' might have with the location. Remember, the funding required to intiate construction of the city would rely heavily on outside investment. And there is also the need for international immigration. So the location would have to hold some appeal even before the city is built. The city would have to be seen as an absolutely desirable and peaceful place to live. That means siting it well away from nations perceived to be even the slightest bit 'unstable', or even just poor nations, quite frankly, because of the spill-over effect. It is perhaps a shame that this is how people's perceptions can function, but nevertheless I don't think it would be wise to ignore this phenomenon completely.

So that is why I prefer the location of Australia's southern coast; It is well out of the way of any other nation, except of course Australia, which is itself perceived to be a rather desirable country to live. Specifically, the central desertified location that I have chosen is well out of the way of any existing settlements or resources of significance; It is essentially barren, isolated land.

I hope this explains my point of view. Of course, you are welcome to debate this further if you wish. Perhaps you could consider a location that is not even a desert coast? Contrary to popular belief, I think there are actually many places left in the world that are well suited for siting large cities, not even considering self-sufficient ones, but large, inefficient, power & freshwater-hungry metropolises of today. Even locations surrounded by many square miles of fertile ground. Sure, these locations might all be in existing countries, but I bet such a nation, if given the opportunity to host such a shining example of human progression that would be the clean-slate city-state, would jump on the chance. Although they probably would like cold hard cash for it too... ;-)

- Mike
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   06.05.08 5:13

Perhaps a little elaboration might be helpful. Clearly your role model hear is going to be Dubai, literally a city raised from the desert from shear force of money with a population %50 immigrant and an international profile already approaching that of London, Paris or New York, yet it is within a stones throw ( or a missile lob) of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia. Clearly its locality is not affecting property prices, maybe insurance levels but not its hotness.
Now if you were to wonder how this happened the answer is simple, they own the country so they can do what they want. Dubai was built by the ruling family without the impediment of democracy or any sort of opposition.
So if you're interested in accomplishing a similar feat you should perhaps start with what works there.
Just as an example lets take a look at putting a new city on the coast of Somalia. Like Dubai it would be slap bang on one of the world's major shipping routes (hence all the piracy) so with some work you could easily have an impressive deep water port.
Southern Australia is not on such a route (shipping goes round the top, doesn't it?).
Like Dubai Somalia has no real government to object and a dire need for the cash injection and jobs thats that would be created (though it'd probably be built by Indians like Dubai).
Australia would complain to high heaven, it would probably take twenty years just to get planning permission.
As a suitable narrative you could sell the development as a new capital city for the United Nations, given that %90 of its budget is probably spent in Africa it's absurd that all it's offices are either in New York or Zürich, given the rents there it may almost be cheaper to build a new city plus maybe if the POTUS had to regularly commute there more might get done.
Nobody could sell Australia for that purpose, everyone would have jet lag by the time they got there.
As I stated before it would be great for a spaceport where as I don't know if you might hit Brisbane launching from your proposed site, though Woomera does fairly well substantially north from you.
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   07.05.08 1:18

Well, I'm not sure which strategy would be best. I'm sure that this issue will eventually be debated and researched by experts, not by me. However, let me add my thoughts once again:

I don't think that, for example, Singapore completely relies on shipping trade. I think that Singapore can attribute a lot of its success on this, but I don't think that it is crucial today as it was during the past century. If its port was blown-up, for example, then 90% of its economy would continue to burble along (although perhaps only when treated as an isolated system; who knows what repercussions such an event might have when you consider the effects of jittery investors and global markets). From my research, I think that once a city has achieved 'critical mass' (which is a term I use to explain a variety of factors, mostly population but also infrastructure, industrialization, etc. i.e. internal rather than external factors), its further success is largely guaranteed. I think it all comes down to the modern power shift from land and resources to industry and services (i.e. people power). Perhaps the cities of Las Vegas or Dubai are examples of this effect: Could you say that Dubai is still dependent on its strategic location (in terms of trade) despite the massive investment in non-trade infrastructure that has occured there? In fact, I think their national strategy is for economic diversification; to ensure that they are still viable when the oil runs out.

Also, perhaps adequte isolation is a prerequisite to ensuring the success of the whole "clean-slate" idealism: If the city is too close to current markets, there is much less incentive to develop clean-slate systems. Basically, isolation drives innovation by encouraging self-sufficiency. I started this whole project after participating in discussions on the potential benefits from the future colonization of Mars, which would be the ultimate test of isolation. So perhaps that might explain my thinking a little bit more.

There is also a book, "How rich countries got rich, and why poor coutries stay poor." which I think tends to support this view somewhat. Perhaps its down to the frontier spirit.

- Mike
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   07.05.08 6:40

Location, Location, Location. It's the estate agents mantra the world over.
I rather suspect that you'd find yourself feeling a lot more isolated on the coast of Somalia rather than the southern coast of Australia just down the road from Adelaide (all be it a very long road).
Dubai is an interesting city in that it appears to have an economy based solely on money, it has been built by people with a lot of money who just wanted to build a great city, and that money has attracted other money which has attracted still more money. So mainly it is a financial and business centre, because that is where the money is. And business means trade and trade means a port.
However your main point is correct, there are two secrets to a economically successful state or city, diversification and the rule of law, of Singapore is a good example when counterpoised with say, Zimbabwe, or indeed most of Africa.
The main benefit of a deep water port will actually be the construction of the city, bringing materials and workers, and not so much about the economy per say. Which I think brings us in a roundabout way to the most fundamental question, what should be the economic basis of our city state?
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   07.05.08 14:10

If you choose a spot with a great view, there should be no problem.

I would suggest Maakhir. (map

It is loosely governed, and it will enjoy the recognition given by the CSCS. Its coast is sparsely populated.
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   07.05.08 23:41

No, the area is politically tainted. Reading through the wikipedia article on Maakhir also suggests that there are potential oil deposits here as well, so definately no. And the flat area adjacent to the coast isn't large enough to accomodate a city of the size that we want. In short, not enough of a clean-slate. Keep searching though!
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   07.05.08 23:58

lkm wrote:
The main benefit of a deep water port will actually be the construction of the city, bringing materials and workers, and not so much about the economy per say. Which I think brings us in a roundabout way to the most fundamental question, what should be the economic basis of our city state?

Absolutely; a deep-water port would be an essential requirement. I don't think the particular area of Australia that I have picked precludes this... I hope not anyway. It's unfortunately very difficult to find decent quality coastal water-depth maps of the region. The port will undoubtedly be the first thing to be constructed in the city (to bring in workers and materials, as you note).

As for the economic basis of the city? Service and manufacturing industries mostly (i.e. people power), though I guess anything (except mining) is possible. In short; a modern urban economy.

The tricky part is attracting sufficient industrial investment (both to achieve 'critical mass' and on an ongoing basis). Basically, you'd have to convince potential investors of the merits of the clean-slate approach; both as it applies to their specific industry and to the economic / government system of the city as a whole.

That sounds a bit vague so I'll probably be writing more about this shortly.

- Mike
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   08.05.08 0:15

There is perhaps another location in Australia with great potential: The area between Port Headland and Broome in Western Australia's northern coast. This was one of the first locations that I considered. Advantages are that it is closer to the equator (good for space launches), and you can also make instant use of the nearby deep-water port at Port Headland (this port is used to transport many of Western Australia's raw materials for export; to China mostly). The locations are geographically similar (large flat desert area straddling a long beach). However, the climate here is extremely hot all-year round, unlike the southern location which is quite temperate. Could still be worth considering though.

- Mike
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   08.05.08 5:29

I would suggest that climate should not really be a barrier, given that any new CSCS should be construct with the future in mind advanced climate protection should really be integral to the design anyway. Where ever it's built being able to bear the brunt of a cyclone, a 100 metre sea rise, or 45 degree Celsius heat wave with equanimity should be a priority.
Clean slate manufacturing, if ever there was an area susceptible to the CS paradigm shift it must be manufacturing. Unfortunately the one thing a CS manufacturer will not be doing is employing lots of people. The next big thing in manufacturing is 3D printing which will allow an almost entirely automated production process for most simple consumer items on identical machinery. Skipping over the technical details the end result economically will be that cost of manpower will fall dramatically as a percentage of manufacturing costs and the largest cost differential will be power and the cost of transport. So this means production will want to move as local as possible, maybe even into the home itself, supply can so closely mirror demand that retail will be transformed. The profit in this economy will come from the intellectual property as the majority of items will exist for their creators only as a computer file that is uploaded to a manufacturing network. Products that are still physically assembled by vast numbers of workers will be as rare as the products today that are hand-built with love, which was the previous manufacturing paradigm. This all means that a CS economy has really to be a knowledge economy, a centre for design and innovation to create the IP upon which everything else is based. Which in turn means a nice CS powerful education system. A whole new thread I feel.
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   08.05.08 14:13

for manufacturing, I would suggest that 3d printing, which has already become a reality, to be endorsed by the government. To do this, I would say that the government makes a semi-private, for profit company, that rents 3d printers to manufacturing plant people. Make low-no taxing on them, as compared to regular factory machines, and companies will come.
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   08.05.08 14:30

maybe the lindi region of Tanzania? Very sparsely populated, on the ocean, tanzania has little wealth, near a natural preserve, so good landscape, republican gov't etc.

I just think it will be impossible to do anything in a first world country

__________________________________________

on another matter, what about declaring Esperance the capital of The Human Nation? That would attract idealists, people who are oppressed/poor etc.
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   10.05.08 3:45

I agree that we should be looking at a third world nation as it would be far easier to gain permission, cheaper to build and have far greater potential for rapid economic growth.
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   02.08.08 5:49

just shouting out places here, but what about the Rocha district, in Uruguay?





I would put it at or near that extrusion where it says 'south Atlantic ocean'.

This is in the Rocha district. This district has about 10,500 km^2, woth a population of 70000. This gives about 6 2/3 people / km^2.

Uruguay has all of those other things as well, stable republic, good world image, not excessively bureaucratic (I think), etc etc. Not to mention it is not a member of that dumping treaty, although it is near good fishing already. I've seen pictures, I can assure you the beaches are quite nice.
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   02.08.08 6:14

Hmm, not sure. I don't see any major advantages that this region would have over others... Although I can see from Google Earth that the area is quite flat, and it does have a nice coastline...

If we're going to explore other locations; What about somewhere along the coast of North Africa? That would put it close to Europe. Building the city closer to established markets might make good economic sense; although it might not foster self-sufficiency to the same degree, and would therefore represent less of the 'clean-slate' idealism.

- Mike
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   03.08.08 13:07

I have looked into northern africa, that was pretty much the first place I looked. Most of the 5 countries on the Mediterranean have highly populated coastlines or poor human rights records.
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   22.11.08 15:31

Ireland seems to be the kind of place we would like to replicate.
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PostSubject: Re: The Clean-Slate City-State   14.12.08 9:42

Do we need much land, or in fact any land at all? That would depend on how the city is being built. It may just be a collection of Libertarian Ocean Colonies with an overriding organization keeping people's rights safe.

100 million population? Given that the population is expected to peak at 9 billion by 2050, that is quite a high number.

As for power, how about Geothermal? Perhaps building it by an extinct volcano would make tunneling easier. With cheap enough power, a population in the trillions could be supported, limited only by how much space is available in the Earth and comfort.
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