This is interesting. Last year, I took part in a research project about cities of the future, and how technology, climate change and politics might shape them. What might be a future city’s agricultural needs? What sort of external and internal transport links would be required? How might we make provisions for green spaces and safety?
A city – especially a major city – needs good structure, to make it easy for the movement of people, goods and services. To that end, I have attempted, in a rather crude manner, to draw out an initial idea for a bustling, large city:
The red lines are meant to represent roads. Yeah, art ain’t my thang.
My idea here is that industrial zones, factories etc, should be kept to the corners of a city, so as to avoid too much pollution in residential areas. Where residential zones are close to industry, the intent would be for industries that are less polluting than others.
The circular road structures are to facilitate the free-flow of traffic, with plenty of connections between the inner and outer circles. If it were possible to ‘zoom in’ on the picture, there’d be more roads, including dedicated heavy goods lanes, and dedicated bus lanes. I’d also want direct links from industrial areas to areas beyond the city, so any production intended for export doesn’t have to pass through the centre of the city.
It goes without saying that as a train geek, I’d want robust rail links to and from my city. This may include dedicated freight rail. There’s definitely be some form of underground metro system, and perhaps a circular railway around the city, in much the same vein as the roads. Ideally, maglev monorail systems would replace the standard railway arrangement in a future city, being cleaner and faster, though freight rail may have to remain conventional.
Another plan would be for infant, junior and senior schools to be clustered together, and preferably near libraries. Open green spaces would not be far away from these locations. Ideally, sports centres would not be far away from these places as well. Bus routes to easily get children to and from school would be in place.
Providing parks and recreational facilities would be of great importance to me. Children should have safe access to such places, and I’d scatter them around residential areas, but I’d also place parks in commercial areas, so that adults at work might have the opportunity to enjoy them whilst on lunch, or after work. The chance to have a change of pace, to unwind and decompress… it’s pretty important, in this meerkat’s humble view.
Ideally, there’s be plenty of police available to patrol the city, and fire stations should be everywhere, as should medical facilities, but all these things cost money. However, I am a big believer in the provision of public services, and there has to be a way to make it work. I can’t do much worse than the current lot!