I agree with your sentiments. It would be much better to build urban gardens with all that money, or to put this money into transitional economies in smaller cities or towns. But these concepts which are wrapped around with what you'd rather let happen (and or what I would rather let happen), are completely irrelevant to Bill Gates' dream city project. , because this is what he would rather do. So what if we'd rather something else? It will happen, if he wants it to, and it will happen regardless of what we would rather let happen. Unless we help him to develop it in a much, much better way, he will likely develop it in a way that is less than optimum, permaculturally. Shall we wish him success, or failure? Will we share in that success, or will we watch, passively, as he goes about his plan without permaculture design?
I'd rather let a large number of individuals and small organizations improve the cities we've got. Incremental development and repair done by locals with skin in the game and who are sensitive to local conditions makes a lot more sense to me than building a "city of the future" in the middle of nowhere, according to the vision of a single man.
Perhaps? Who's to say? But if we have the attitude that he's going to completely screw it up, and don't even try to have a say, then that says more about us, then him. Will it have any worse luck then so many urban centers that are overbuilt with concrete and pavement covering all of it's watercourses, draining all of it's rain water into storm drains to rush off? Hence the need to get involved with it early on. It's a huge opportunity.
If he builds this thing to completion in a single shot, will it have any room to evolve over time?
Isn't that the same with any city? Certainly he is not going to be building this thing with the idea of walking away from it, or the idea of not using the best possible infrastructure that he knows. Just one more reason to educate him on what the best possible infrastructure might be, and maybe a design strategy that evokes and supports the true needs of the landscape and the people on it.
In 20-30 years when the infrastructure starts to decay all at once, who will pay to repair it?
True, but again, we are not making the decision here, Bill Gates is. Unless we get involved, it's full speed ahead with Bill Gate's fantasy city. If we get involved the landscape at least has a fighting chance.
the slower and smaller we are, the less damage there is when we crash.
If we can make Bill Gates read that book, A Pattern Language... If Bill Gates has time enough to read a whole book... Then, as Steven said, may be we can make a bad development less bad.
The Gates Foundation - widely assumed to be 'doing good', is imposing a neoliberal model of development and corporate domination that's opening up Africa's agriculture to land and seed-grabbing global agribusiness, writes Colin Todhunter. In the process it is foreclosing on the real solutions - enhancing food security, food sovereignty and the move to agroecological farming.
Belmont, which is bounded roughly by 371st Avenue on the west, 330th Avenue on the east, Interstate 10 on the south and the Central Arizona Project Canal to the north, has been on the drawing board since the early 1990s.
Gilbert Fritz wrote:I agree; if we were to do the impossible, that would be the book to have him read . . . but the resulting development wouldn't be futuristic enough for investors, I guess.
Chris Kott wrote:You're presupposing, of course, that a futuristic city can't be permacultural. I think that's a fallacy.
Larry Yount, manager of Belmont Partners, said in a statement, "Belmont illustrates that Arizona remains at the leading edge of trends in American urban planning and development, keying off of advances in solar power and electric distribution systems, autonomous auto testing, broadband, and data centers.”
Matt Coston wrote: Just imagine if Paul Wheaton and sepp holzer (or similar people) became advisers to Bill Gates for this! It could be a huge opportunity to push permaculture into the mainstream.
Anybody think this would be a bad idea?