The Risk of Facebook City

February 08, 2021

Cities need to change. Despite some pandemic adaptations, local governments have not been up to the task. We need bigger changes than outdoor dining.

Nevada is positioning corporations to lead the next wave of experimental city building.

Let's let our most radical innovators tackle the challenges of climate change and inequality.

New cities are the perfect venue to experiment. We can design spaces that serve humans instead of cars and reduce our carbon footprint.

Company towns are nothing new, but 2021 is different. Our biggest tech companies have enough power to replicate their cities everywhere.

We risk monoculture. Worse, we risk a monoculture of bias and inequality.

America has killed almost all uniqueness of place. To paraphrase Mark Twain, America has only three great cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is a strip mall of Target, Olive Garden, and your local Ford dealer.

Facebook City might start in Nevada, but it will make its way to the East Coast. The spread won't stop until there's one in every major city.

Prepare for the burbclaves of Snowcrash.

When you move to a new city, you'll have your choice of the iCity, Elon Muskville, Amazonia, and Parlor Town.

Given the risk of exponential growth, we need to build these communities right the first time. Whatever mistakes and biases we start with may propagate and cement themselves.

We need to revolutionize our cities, but we can't build new systems of oppression.


© 2020 Connor Daly