A few thoughts on Emergency Management in the Reference City:
I was just playing with hospital needs, here's some good info for reference
US high average: 3 hospital beds per 1,000. (I'd think that the reference
design would need slightly less than average, with all the walking, clean
air, and accessibility).
Hospital size (IMO best size). 50-100 bed (a large small hospital), ideally
with a total staff of about 150. At least one cost study shows a lower
per-patient cost for <100 bed hospitals than for >300 bed hospitals. This
would mean that just about every other district had a hospital.
I'm not sure whether the reference city would need fewer or more ambulances
than a 'normal' city. I believe the residents would be healthier, and would
have better access to public transit, but would have less access to cars. I
am absolutely sure that the reference city would require less service per
capita than Washington, DC. A reasonable estimate is that 1 million
citizens would generate roughly 100,000 calls for EMS service. Furthermore,
with high geographical density, ambulances & paramedic units could have a
relatively high utlization. At 50% use, and roughly 1 hour per call, an
average of 23 ambulances would have to be in service. Using standard
response speed calculations (approaching 35 mph as distance approaches
infinity), and a 6 minute response goal, we have a maximum designed response
distance of 2 miles, or generally 8 nodes. This would require roughly 12
'depots' or stations, if they are used as such. Depending on EMS system
design, though, ambulances could be stationed throughout the city at
hospitals, or be quartered at one major depot and dispersed through the city
as availability dictates. If quartered in individual EMS stations, units
could respond throughout the city within 6 minutes from two stations in each
lobe: one located in the Utility areas, and one located in the innermost of
the 'loop' nodes, where the two outer boulevards join.
Fire Suppression / Brigade.
As a reference city, if built on a greenfield, building codes could be very
strict from a fire safety standpoint, possibly with positive architectural
side-effects. However, regardless of building codes, a Fire Department /
Brigade would be required. In all but the densest of US cities, Fire
Department response and coverage is dictated by geography, not demand.
(unlike EMS) I suspect that the reference city would have fire stations to
cover geography, with the availability to quarter multiple companies in each
fire station, if the need to do so presents itself. Generally, fire
department response has tighter time tolerances than EMS does, with a 4
minute response being the industry goal in the US. Such a goal limits
coverage to roughly 1.5 miles, or 6 nodes in a line from a central point.
This means 3 stations per lobe: one at the border between the residential
nodes and the utility area on the 'short side' of the loop, another midway
down the long side of the loop, and a third, near the juncture of the two
sides of the loop.
I'm under the impression that emergency vehicles would simply drive on the
pedestrian areas. Without cars, sirens could be altered, and quieted.
Strict dispatch procedures could reduce the need for loud responses as well.
Ambulances can be made from Mercedes-Benz Sprinters, which currently have
a hybrid model (meaning that an electric model is possible). Fire Trucks
would likely have to be conventional, at least for some time, though they
could be run on bio-diesel. Furthermore, the response of diesel powered
fire trucks could be reduced by equipping stations with small electric
utility vehicles, or even bicycles, with which to perform those tasks
required of a fire department that do not depend on large fire apparatus /
General Emergency Management:
The relatively high density of the reference design allows a certain economy
in using fixed chemical, biological, and radiological detectors, as well as
fixed cctvs. Building codes can reduce the effect of tornados, hurricanes,
and earthquakes. The density economizes on protective dikes and dams - I
find it unlikely that humanity will cease to build on floodplains and below
>From: "Todd Edelman" <edelman@...>
>Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Comments on "Urban Hazards and Their
>Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2006 05:10:42 +0200 (CEST)
> > I was just reading "Urban Hazards and Their Mitigation", and I have a
> > few questions/comments for Joel or anyone else:
> > "Flooding"
> > My grandparents used to live in Wildwood Crest, NJ--pretty low lying.
> > Town ordinance required houses to be built above a certain floodplain
> > level, so most houses had four-foot crawlspaces; that on dirt or on a
> > ground-level slab. While basements are impractical in many areas, it
> > would take a lot of encouragement (and a low price!) to get me to live
> > in a house without at least a crawlspace: no need to jackhammer if a
> > pipe starts leaking 40 years after construction.
>NEW cities: First thing is to not build anything on a flood plain except
>parks and bikepaths, etc.
>* Basement under building for storage of things which could be moved in an
>emergency... having space between street level and bottom floor is a
>problem for access (wheelchairs, small cargo, etc) to and from bottom
>floor. It would need expensive lifts or space-intensive ramps.
>* Better flood control
>* Skip the flood control, destroy anything in floodplain, densify, build
>metro and tram freight, etc.
> > "The carfree city is nearly immune to car bombs..."
> > A large bomb can always be disguised on a shipping pallet and wheeled
> > through the city on a walk-behind truck. However, there's no real way
> > to eliminate ALL terrorism hazards--there comes a point where we need
> > to simply hope that we're not so hated that we're at risk for bombing.
> > Heck, a truly determined person could buy a 2000sf house in a
> > district, pack the whole house with explosives, and cause a lot of
>REDUCING energy demand will definately improve the "terrorist" situation.
>(That reminds me: IF anyone is interested in creating a carfree Jerusalem
>which is capital of a one-state "Holyland" with full democracy and
>religious rights (and right of return) please email me off list.
> > "With respect to the Reference Topology, I have always thought that
> > six hospitals should be built, one in the center of each lobe, where
> > they can be entirely surrounded by green space and at the same time be
> > within quick reach of any part of the city."
> > Joel--any chance you could map this into the Reference Topology? I'm
> > imagining a road four lanes wide--two for vehicles (ie, ambulances),
> > one for cyclists, and one for pedestrians and wheeled walk-behind
> > vehicles.
> > Also, since your districts are ~0.5 miles wide each, the Reference
> > Topology seems to show a roughly 1.2 by 2 mile green area in the
> > middle. The hospital would probably be relatively small--say, 10 acres?
> > Even if an ambulance has to travel two miles to reach the hospital,
> > how fast can an ambulance get going? 60 mph? Even at 30 mph, it's only
> > four minutes--much faster than what we'd expect in auto-centric
> > cities. Ambulanced placed strategically in the districts would cut
> > down on response time.
> > Finally, I'd like to know...how will the hospital's staff and
> > non-emergency patients get there? It would be a half-mile walk from
> > even the closest district, making it about 3/4 mile from the metro
> > halt. That would be a pretty long walk--especially for someone in poor
> > health. Would it be possible to have a LRT between the hospital and a
> > district? Could each hospital have its own LRT from the central
> > transfer station to the hospital? Would there be enough demand to make
> > this cost feasible?
>MUCH better than emphasizing the central hospitals is to have lots of
>small clinics for ambulatory people (the vast majority of people visiting
>hospitals) and the return of doctors (and nurse practitioners, etc) who
>make house calls.
>I even think small emergency surgeries could be located/distributed in
>this manner (in addition to ambulances in stand-by mode). Hospital
>mega-complexes seem to be built more for the convenience of doctors and
>other staff rather than patients - and in a clean, carfree city they
>wouldnt need to be like an industrial revoluion-era sanatorium away from
>the smoke and haze, so no reason to build in green areas. Also a
>mega-complex would want to be very tall in order to not take up greenspace
>which would be expensive, block the sun etc.
>The mass casualty issue is a more difficult one. Of course a carfree city
>wont have road crashes to speak of and general health will go up so there
>may be fewer heart attacks etc. But there might be a train or metro
>bombing or an airplane might crash in city (or nearby), or a biogas
>reactor might explode (?). Perhaps some kind of "emergency mode" is
>possible for rail systems, where everyone has to get off the metro and/or
>trains with passengers skip their stops so a "ambulance-metro" can move as
>possible to a hospital with its own underground station? (I would think an
>automated metro could handle a shorter than 60 second interval for one
>small train and then re-set once situation was over). Maybe the solution
>is simply more helicopters (for "real" emergencies)?
>In case you were worrying, it is very unlikely a meteorite will hit a
>carfree city because the city will spend the money it saves on car-things
>on powerful radars and a laser and photon-cannon defense system!!... in
>addition to free bikes for everyone, and bike-riding reduces aggression.
>On the Train Towards the Future!
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