Cities are grown on opportunies. Whether it was a bussy harbour or a rail hub or a river or a place people would choose to rest. Once established they would attract people based on the activities. LA is for aspiring moviestars, NY is for aspiring stock traders, Amsterdam for aspiring potheads (only joking). But cities are traps if you can’t find a place in the economic mechanism, and the economic mechanism that has grown into existence the last century is all fossil based. It’s run to create cashflow (this is the basic and only goal of banks). Fossil always causes cashflow because you buy it, burn it and have to buy it anew.
To fix ourselves for the hot future we need to fix cities. Either fix them or abandon them. Reasons to fix them are that they can be (sometimes) easily adjusted to deal with extreme heat. You can cover streets so for example. Reasons to abandon them is because banks make them extremely expensive to live in, because you can’t grow food, because the banks prevent radical changes or even utilitarian repurposing of for instance building walls to grow ivy against. You’re constantly stuck between the frustration of home buyers who can’t afford homes and the home sellers who insist on getting the maximum out of their sale. It constantly leads to paralysis of the market that is then fixed by giving banks even more power and freedom.
Dense cities will need power plants to exist. Now you have a power plant and you buy the energy with the money you earn by being usefull to the city economy, usefull to the cashflow desire of the banks. It is much smarter for a city to won its own power plants, especially renewable ones, because then it can make the city an attractive living environment. It can grow crops underground with LED light to keep the citizen alive. It can still maintain a free market for homes, but those homes will be much more attractive. Now because of bank cashflow hunger, homes are like islands, not intrinsically connected, usually in highrises because people don’t like the needy crowd they are faced with at street level. Needy because of banks! The city should make people less needy and now, with super cheap renewable energy it can.
We should rate cities based on public beauty, and then not apply a standard that is defined by Mies van der Rohe. The extreme of barren architecture has relaxing qualities, it’s like sitting on a slab of rock, enjoying nature and solitude, but this does not comfort people who are already fighting to exist. It does not inspire them with hope or make them thankfull for what they recieved. Architecture used to be more of a gift to the population, something that became less relevant when we all became dependent on money and banks.
I guess we should rate cities on a couple of indicators
- How much do tourist like it
- Can you enjoy it in summer or is it too hot
- Can you grow food close by
- How many animals do you find in it besides rats
- Do you feel comfortable at street level
- Does the city own its own power station and is it renewable
What are your suggestions? You can tweet to use at climatebabes