[extropy-chat] urban sprawl as defense

J. Andrew Rogers andrew at ceruleansystems.com
Thu Aug 19 05:36:14 UTC 2004

On Aug 18, 2004, at 10:07 PM, Spike wrote:
> Most would agree that there is a growing threat to
> western civilization of an attack by some sort of
> weapons of mass destruction: bio, gas or nuke.  We
> are developing antimissile tech, but seems to me
> another parallel defense would be to encourage
> urban sprawl.  An enormous smeared out suburbs
> would be far less vulnerable to attack than an
> enormous highly concentrated city, would it not?
> The argument is made that urban sprawl is bad for
> wildlife, but the alternative may encourage an
> attack which would be bad for both humans and
> wildlife.  Perhaps cities have outlived their
> usefulness.

The economic optimum would probably be something closer to clusters of 
dense "micro-cities" connected by very efficient transport networks.

You could sweep huge amounts of suburbia into a very small footprint if 
you built vertically such that the density was more like Chicago.  
Separate each of these so that there is 3-5 miles between any two 
micro-cities, with farms, open space, and whatever else is needed in 
between.  My back-of-the-envelope seems to indicate that this would 
work pretty well, at least in theory.  I don't know that people would 
like living in high-rises though, and it would require some adjustment 
of economic assumptions.  Much more environmentally friendly though.

j. andrew rogers

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list