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My incredible joy shattered by one plank in the platform!!!

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  • worldnick@themail.com
    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
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 2, 2000
      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:

      "Four-Story Buildings

      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
      b.

      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.
    • Randall Hunt
      ... 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
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 5, 2000
        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.
        http://www.egroups.com/group/arcology

        Join either the same way as you joined carfree_cities:
        mailto:urban-ecology-subscribe@egroups.com
        mailto:arcology-subscribe@egroups.com

        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
        bloom.

        Randall

        (Isn't it amazing what the internet is doing for the noosphere?)
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