TED Conversations

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    Sep 19 2013: One must be careful as there is a finite size to an urban center. Once that physical size is reached and exceeded social fairness and shared prosparity are out the window. Idealy, a urban area of 100K population and a green zone of a 30 mile (45km) radius around the city is about optimal.
    There is no large urban area in the world that can over come it's inherent failures regardless of the best intentions of TED or the Ford foundation.
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      Sep 19 2013: I'm always suspicious of fixed constraints. Why 100k and 30 miles? Why not 50k and 25 miles? 150k and 27 miles? It seems to me that these kinds of limits are set by a variety of contextual factors--not least of which culture and technology. I'm optimistic that large urban areas can overcome current failures through the natural confluence of human, financial and technical resources that cities provide. Innovation has invariably released constraints. Social fairness and shared prosperity are a result of decisions we make, systems we build, and the discipline we are willing to exert on ourselves to adopt better practices. I think I'll keep plugging at the challenge.
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        Sep 20 2013: The average amount of pollution from a city of that size would take an area of about 2800 sq miles of forest or fields to balance it out. It was not fixed in cement but a working number based on an ideal set of circumstances.to be sure. However, the idea that huge huge urban developements based on the best of intentions, fairness, confluences, etc. is somewhat flawed in that we are talking about people, too many in a confined area.
      • Sep 20 2013: You need to consider the aesthetic choices that are made, but the frontier of creating new designs to change that choice about aesthetics is somewhat open-ended. Also, there is so much waste in the NYC-metropolitan configuration given sprawl, etc. that you have to talk about the QUALITY of density, not just the size of the perimeter.

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