[ExI] Greener Urban Environment

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Sun May 21 21:23:43 UTC 2017

On Fri, May 19, 2017 at 4:43 AM, SR Ballard <sen.otaku at gmail.com> wrote:
> So, with this information, a few things have been said, such as "well,
> then for their own good, humans need to abandon cities". But of
> course, we would want to take this the other way. Why not make cities
> conform to the psychological needs of humans? (or I suppose we could
> find a way to change the psychological drives of humans to better
> adapt to a city environment...)

Indeed.  Humans have flocked to cities since ancient times for good
reason.  Thoughtlessly driving humans out of cities because of a
half-baked analysis of one aspect will undo all of that, and wind up
making humans suffer more.  So, keep the good and fix the bad part.

> A major issue in urban areas is water-runoff, caused by the blocking
> of soil through building construction, but more pointedly through the
> building of paved, multi-lane roads. Suppose here, we were to kill 2
> birds with one stone, and develop a grass-like structure to replace
> concrete and asphalt roads.

The reest of this is a good analysis, if only the thing could be made
- and as cheaply as concrete or asphalt.  (Don't forget, economics is
ever the driver of these things.  Humans may do what's good for them
but they will, almost always, do what's most economically efficient -
and when they don't, it's often because they either can't afford the
short-term investment or simply don't know better.)

> Similarly, light posts could be re-imagined as local varieties of
> trees, the leaves gathering sunlight during the day, and emitting
> light from the underside of each leaf after dark, transmitting excess
> energy produced down through it's trunk, into the lines created by the
> grass.

There are light poles like this.  Almost all you'd need to do would be
to paint them green (or brown for the trunks), maybe dress the trunks
up with fake wood.

> Of course, solar currently has a long way to go, especially
> considering the toll it takes to produce cells and batteries, but this
> is a bit pie-in-the-sky I suppose. Comments? Critiques?

Imagine if you were to build a city for 100,000 from nothing - around
some new mining or other rich, fixed-location resource, for an excuse,
or if you were just handed design responsibilities for one of the new
cities China's popping up all over the place in anticipation of future
population.  (If you haven't heard of those, google "China ghost
cities".)  How would you plan it?

> I really should go to college >.<

Despite what you may hear from others, college is usually a worthwhile
investment of time and money - so long as you major in something you
will likely be using in your career.  (So: "fill-in-the-field
engineering" yes, "fill-in-the-human-type studies" no.)

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