Is it possible to convert an existing city into a Urbanate? - Politics | PoFo

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What it says on the tin. In my opinion, I think it would be quite depressing if let's say New York City and Manhattan was bulldozed to the ground for new potential urbanates. Such a huge part of America history, flushed down the toilet. And I don't just mean historical architecture or monuments or so on. I mean the experience of navigating New York.

Yes, living in NYC is pretty bad and would seem like hell compared to a urbanate but I think there's a certain atmosphere or experience to be gained from living in NYC. The amount of interesting, exciting, or vibrant places you can find by just walking around a big city is something to behold. I assume many technocrats live in or have lived in a city (just like most nerds or writers in the world) and I think that many technocrats and people who frequently visit this forum would sympathize with.

So this leads me to my question, is it possible to convert existing cities into urbanates and is it possible for urbanates to capture the same magic of old fashioned cities without the inconveniences they would bring?
I agree, it would be a shame to lose so much history and culture. Converting modern cities to urbanates would not really be possible I think.

That is why I envision some of the cities not being torn down, and instead converted into what would basically amount to theme parks and museums. People could go there, spend the day, or weekend, or even live and/or work there if they wished, much like some historical recreation parks do today, with some people "acting" like historical citizens. Naturally these cities wouldn't be nearly as populated as they are now; perhaps that could be offset somewhat with automation, such as self-driving cars, or later things like androids or holograms. And they would have to be updated with better technology "behind the scenes" as time goes on, both to reduce the burden of maintenance, and make them safer and more environmentally friendly. (Imagine perfectly harmless 'smog' covering the city some days!)

As to which cities would be preserved in this fashion, that would be up to the populace, but I imagine that the popular ones such as New York, Los Angeles, and New Orleans would be likely candidates. Perhaps some other cities could be built or converted that represent different eras, like say Chicago of the 1920s or '30s, or Berkeley in the '60s. Perhaps different sections of a city could represent different eras as well (this is done in Fort Edmonton Park in the city in which I live, and would be a great example of this whole concept).

But how can urbanates simulate the adventure, variety, and thrill of a city? The way a city never stops moving, the way the flow of ideas and projects are everywhere. You don't see this level of dynamic creativity anymore but I think that urbanates can revive such dynamic creativity. The question is how which is something I can't seem to answer. However if an urbanate would have to attempt to do so, this urbanate would be organized based on communities rather than strict organization.

Something like this ( combined with the standard functions of an urbanate.
But how can urbanates simulate the adventure, variety, and thrill of a city?

That would be what the city 'theme parks' would be for.
The way a city never stops moving,

:lol: Sorry; what do think happens in an urbanate, that everyone stays in their rooms and just sits all day? If anything, urbanates would be the ones that "never stop moving", because the Technate runs 24/7, whereas cities grind to a halt after sundown because everyone sleeps and works at virtually the same time.
the way the flow of ideas and projects are everywhere. You don't see this level of dynamic creativity anymore

Exactly what happened in cities at any point in history that leads you to believe that the same couldn't be done in an urbanate? If anything, cities impede these things, with all the inefficiency, traffic and other difficulties travelling, crime and danger, and needing to pay for luxuries that allow one to participate in the "flow of ideas and projects". Whereas in an urbanate anyone could participate in virtually any project anywhere, and information would be far more easily found and shared, unhindered by the burdens of scarcity, inefficiency, proprietary practices, misinformation, politics, and advertising. I know that it's difficult to compare things you already know (cities) with something you have seen yet, but this is why all the parts of Technocracy work together to create these fantastic effects on human society.
The question is how which is something I can't seem to answer. However if an urbanate would have to attempt to do so, this urbanate would be organized based on communities rather than strict organization.

I really don't know what you are assuming here about urbanates. "Organized based on strict organization"? Are you picturing a Borg community or something? Urbanates are simply the best design to allow people to do what they want to do in the most efficient manner (meaning best effect for the least resources and effort). The people in the urbanates would not be "organized" at all, except where perhaps it came down to how they work with each other in regards to the Technate (i.e. their jobs). Where and how they live would be entirely up to them. They would not even be "organized based on communities" as you suggest, because that sounds forced to me. Communities would form naturally, based on locale, circumstance, and mutual interests.

So really, what specifically do you picture happens, can happen, or has happened in cities that you don't think could happen in an urbanate? Because the only things that would be missing would be things people wouldn't want anyway.

I don't really think these city theme parks should exist for those reasons.

It was more of a figure of speech than anything :D

I didn't say that. As I have stated before, it is not a matter of if, it is a matter of how. A Technate can achieve anything it wishes to achieve (you may list some physical constraints however if matter manipulation becomes possible then those physical constraints no longer exist). However you have diminished some fears I had for Technocracy as of late so I thank you for that.

Yes, you are right. You see, I have been too wrapped up in scarcity politics and trying to think of ways in which the ME could progress towards a post-scarcity society that I have simply forgotten about Technocracy so I apologize if the objections I am making may seem rather poor.

I was more or less talking about the actual physical organization of the Urbanate (i.e. it's urbanism and architecture). Basically, I reject the current mock-ups as to how an urbanate looks like or is portrayed as (which is as a resort). I have been reading a lot of Jacobs, a blog called Emergent Urbanism, and A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander. The basic idea that is expressed by these forms of media is that urban planning should be either based on or controlled by the community, with it's culture and social context, and that master plans either shouldn't exist or should be vague. Now this is obviously inefficient but I do think there is a place for some of their ideas here.

I think that there should be a significantly large, vacant sets of areas within the Technate that would be for public use. There would be no zones (not a need for them anyways, there wouldn't be any heavy industry in an urbanate anyways) so anyone could put anything there as long as it is agreed upon by the community and doesn't interfere with the efficiency of the urbanate or Technate.

In a Technocracy, at least in my interpretation, would not control housing. Since there is an abundance of resources there is no need to extensively save resources by producing such houses therefore allowing anyone to create houses of their own designs thus creating truly human communities that were not only built by individual humans but designed by individual humans.

Furthermore, as me and @Kolzene were discussing, an urbanate would also have significant amount of public use space for anything that the public wishes from houses to workshops to art studios to R&D labs to local restaurants and cafes (whose items can be also obtained through distribution centers). Thus, no such authoritarian urban planning will take place.
Ok, let me see if I can clear things up in general here. First of all, I'm not sure exactly what it is that you 'reject' about urbanates being like resorts, but remember that it is only an analogy, not a technical requirement, and as such breaks down in certain details. I had hoped that it was one that was vague enough that no one would feel threatened by any sort of authoritarian design ideas (since resorts typically come in a wide range of formats). The point of it was simply to illustrate the idea of how easy living would be there.

The second thing is to remember that an urbanate is an apartment building, not another word for 'city'. As such, there has to be a certain amount of pre-design that goes into it. There are no 'houses' so even the word 'housing' can be misleading. People are not going to just erect entirely new buildings on every whim.

That being said, yes, Technocracy does seek to allow people the maximum freedom for how they live their lives. It does have to balance this however with efficiency, because it is that efficiency that gives us the abundant resources that lead to a high standard of living. If you allow too much 'freedom' (such as people owning their own cars for example), then efficiency suffers, meaning resources are being wasted and everyone's standard of living diminishes. How does Technocracy accomplish this balance? By very complicated planning with high-level science and engineering. You and I can only speculate based on what we already know for sure.

Thus, what I have speculated as the balance between freedom and efficiency in this case would be to design the urbanates so that as many walls as possible are moveable. You could detach one from one place and put it in another, a little bit like Lego. Power, water, waste, etc. conduits would be standardized and modularized to be able to plug into each other. The original reason I came up with this idea was to maximize the efficiency and freedom of the living areas themselves, as people will regularly be changing how many people they live with (moving out, forming families, etc.), and thus the number of 1 person spaces vs say 2 person spaces will constantly change, and keeping an adequate number of each available for these changes would be inefficient (I believe; it may turn out that in reality my idea is less efficient than doing it this way, at least at the current level of technology. Like I said, this is all just speculation and only really big number crunching can tell us for sure).

Given that idea, it is easy to see the same thing happening in the public areas as well. If any group needs a space, they send in their request along with a range of area, which would be compared to what's available, both currently and in the future, and arrangements are made that way, along with any changes in the internal arrangements of the structures themselves. Efficient, and I think that it meets your desire for "emergence" among the communities?

I think resort brings about images of the utopias found in 50s to 70s Science fiction which, after the 80s and 00s, was deconstructed and became to be seen as dystopian. Of course that is not my reasons for rejecting the "resort" metaphor however it is a reason for others to. One of the main appeals of Technocracy to many is how human the system itself is. This appeals to many artists, intellectuals, philosophers, rationalists, engineers, hackers, and scientists, people who's job is to explore humanity and improve it (it's one of the reasons why communism became so beloved among the art and intellectual community of Europe and America when it gained popularity).

To these people, Technocracy would represent freedom, absolute freedom of humanity and the potential for it's never-ending improvement. It represents the destruction of overarching inhuman systems that limit our ability to function as a species. To take such an authoritarian "aesthetic" is detrimental to the spread of Technocracy and it's popularity. According to sociology, intellectual or social movements succeed when high-ranking members of society publicly sponsor and believe in such a movement. These people as listed above, in all human societies, hold high social status and although social status as a concept is inhumane, it is what we as bringers of freedom and security must do to provide knowledge of such a human system.

No, they wouldn't. There would be a set area, probably a large ring (assuming we would be applying the circular model for the urbanate) that would be free for public use and recreation. It would certainly be regulated, I don't think anyone would argue against that (no one wants to build something next to a 100 feet skyscraper and it would be impossible for someone to build if one building complex takes up the entire ring), and such regulations would be much much more lax than they are now, even in countries with the most lax building regulations.

People, in my opinion, should be free to design their own dwellings of their own accord however within certain limits. Nothing is more human than designing your own home however that is not a reason to disrupt the lives of others and their quest to discover their potential.

Ah, you seem to be too worried by the distribution of amenities in an urbanate while I am much more focused on the urbanism and architecture of the urbanate itself. I think it would be no-brainer to have the establishment of buildings on public areas within a Technate to be institutionalized, I just want to clarify the extent of that institutionalization. On another note, I think that if two groups or individuals wish to build something on one single piece of land it would be better to make it mixed-use as data shows that mixed-use buildings tend to increase innovation in a city a commodity more important than anything in a Technate.
The fetishization of history is a tragedy that directly leads to increased housing and rent prices in these cities. Not every building is worth preserving just because its old - and entire regions of these dense urban conglomerates in Europe and the USA are doing little more than masking real estate speculation behind the veneer of historical appreciation. Ultimately the human culture you refer to in your original post can still be preserved within new and well-designed urban environments. The spirit of New York isn't in the bricks and mortar of some ancient tenement building with a Historical Plaque on it, but the people living within the walls, and they would still be around in any new city. Cities are not static museums that should be forever unchanging. There is no value in preserving 95% of the rowhouses of SoHo than some vague commitment to an "aesthetic".

Even if urbanates could be built elsewhere, I'm not convinced this is actually desirable. Ultimately, cities exist where they exist for a variety of geographic and economic reasons that makes building new cities elsewhere less desirable. They occupy the best land - best harbors, best infrastructure, etc. The aim, from an ecological/environmental perspective, should be to allow them to be as dense as possible to capitalize on their geography, and this means allowing new development. It would be inefficient to build planned cities anywhere else.

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