My incredible joy shattered by one plank in the platform!!!
- My heart nearly lept out of my body on discovery of this web site,
imagine a whole group of people devoted to the VERY point I have been
trying to convince people of since I was 12 years old. Carfree
cities ARE the only answer to thousands of major dilemas. I quickly
delved into the web site with tears of glee in my eyes, my life long
crusade has found companionship. Could it be that another person on
this planet has the vision that I do? Sadly the answer was only half
positive. I would imagine that anyone with the forsite to go as far
as car free cities ould see the rest of the plan as logical
steps...build closer and build UP, but then all my hopes were dashed
by this monstrosity of blindness:
Venice: a fine-grained city, four stories high
Buildings should generally be limited to a height of four stories
because higher buildings appear to be harmful to the people who must
live in them. (See A Pattern Language for a detailed discussion of
this point.)" [from the intro section of the site]
How could it be? How could any mins advocate something as radically
necessary as carless cities and at the same time be as backwords as
building 2 dimensionally??? In fact one of the most VITAL aspects of
building a carless city is building 3 dimensionally, making things
CLOSER, NOT FURTHER. How could anyone have such a contradictory
arguement based on a groundless arguement that living higher causes
harm. Well some people live in the mountains and others by the sea,
where is the damage? The most logical way to build a car free city
is cubical, with travel taking place on MULTIPLE levels, allowing for
much less congestion and the quickest path between point a and point
Your location in a city should not be designated by a mear 2
coordinate system, but also a third coordinate accounting for height
or even DEPTH, as building underground is just as practicle.
I'm sorry, but I cannot possibly condone this web site which had for
a brief moment been the boon in my crusade. There is a grievous flaw
that negates the whole arguement present and to refer someone here
would only confuse them.
- Nick wrote:
>My heart nearly lept out of my body on discovery of this web site...There are a couple of other listservs you should check out:
Urban Ecology list deals with urban issues also but is more broad ranging
than Carfree. Go to http://www.egroups.com/group/urban-ecology
Another "car free" list that deals specifically with three-dimensional
(vertical) cities is the arcology listserv.
Join either the same way as you joined carfree_cities:
Is anyone aware of other, similar, lists? Please let us know!
Continuing on subsequent comments in this thread...
>"Four-Story Buildings...I wholeheartedly agree with Christopher Alexander (et alia) that living
spaces should be kept to about 4 stories in height. Yet this kind of city
can only be characterized as two-dimensional; such a city is essentially
flat. A city that goes up 40 feet will still be out of human scale if it
spreads out 10 miles and more. For me, a car free city is desirable, but a
pedestrian city is even more so. Exchanging rail for automobile, for
instance, although an improvement, still leaves us apart. This gross
separation of people-places-events is responsible for the ecological mess
we have to begin with. Remember that the city must exist to serve cultural,
as well as commercial, ends. The more a flat city sprawls, the more
intrinsically anti-cultural it becomes.
I also wholeheartedly agree that people want and need to live close to
"ground level". How do I reconcile this (and the "4-story limit") within a
vertical city? Simple: create an arcological superstructure upon which we
build 4-story substructures. The superstructure defines a complex,
three-dimensional landscape (real estate) that supports relatively normal
buildings and patterns (housing, businesses, cultural facilities, as well
as parks, orchards, streams, etc.). In this way, we contain urban diaspora,
lessen the ecological footprint, and find ourselves within "walking"
distance of any point in the city, since it is now physically possible to
walk if one desires. We still have mechanical means of transport, but we
substitute electric motor technology (escalators, moving walk ways) for
combustion engine technology. Motors are significantly more efficient than
engines, and the increased efficiency of a compact city will more than make
up for the additional electricity used in this way. One wouldn't even need
a bicycle in such a city, but we shall plan for them on special concourses
anyway, for exercise and exhilaration!
>The most logical way to build a car free city is cubical...I would not characterize an arcological configuration as "cubical". I've
concluded (after thirty years of thinking about it--I'm 50) that such a
structure should be "invisible", contrary to all the designs for
megastructure that have been presented by Soleri and the Metabolists before
and since. While architects present BUILDINGS which glorify their
profession, I'm convinced that people will reject any scheme which makes
them feel like they are "inside" a structure/city. Handled adroitly, I
believe it is possible to create an arcological structure which gives the
impression of a hollow hill or a complex, vast, non-claustrophobic,
brightly-lit, open-air "cavern" of sorts. The structure must exist in
people's mind first and foremost as a fine landscape. It should be created
by a team of professionals: Engineering as first consideration, Landscaping
second, Architect last.
I recently published a book that discusses practical elements of arcology
design. I've put up a web page that includes the Introduction and Table of
Contents at http://www.wildapache.net/randhunt/book.htm We are discussing
particulars on the arcology listserv.
One way or another we will get to car free cities. Let a thousand flowers
(Isn't it amazing what the internet is doing for the noosphere?)