Qualities of New Cities

February 17, 2021

Don't ask if tech companies will build new cities. Ask when.

When they do, we must demand qualities that reinvigorate our relationships with our communities. These qualities must also protect our homes from becoming pawns in the game of capitalist chess.

Here are my suggestions:

1. Be experimental and unique.

If we merely rebuild what came before, we will have failed. New construction is a chance to take risks and rekindle unique spirits of place. Not everything will work, but create archetypes for further innovation.

2. Incorporate tech, but skip the surveillance.

I would sell my soul for fully-networked, adaptive traffic lights. Cities are starving for a tech-focused infrastructure overhaul. However, these renovations shouldn't come with the expansion of the surveillance state. Privacy must be a founding principle.

3. Increase community involvement.

Build commons. Make public spaces the best and most vibrant parts of a community. Gardens, parks, trails, pedestrian-focused streets. Follow the principal of public luxury, private necessity.

4. Be for everyone.

Keep housing affordable. Stabilize the cost of land and drop home construction costs as low as possible. Take an open source approach. Don't segregate into rich and poor neighborhoods.

If tech companies can't fulfill these requirements, then we need to build new cities on our own.


© 2020 Connor Daly