Tuesday, October 18, 2011

More on AM Farms


The last two posts described a configuration for farm lots titled as AM farms. This one provides a few more details.

Essentially, AM farms were described as farm lots that are two hundred feet wide and half a mile deep on the average, yielding farm lots of a little over ten acres each. Each of the farm lots would be of unequal size if they face a curving road as shown in the adjoining figure. Curving roads are more natural for rural areas. Often such roads are laid so that they are on lowest ground to catch the run off rainwater. However, AM farms are such that they are not completely rural but rather semi urban because of their configuration and because a depth of two hundred feet is permitted for construction of homes as well as commercial establishments such as shops, restaurants, pub, primary school, produce shop, motels etc. A width of two hundred feet on the road is sufficient to set up both a residential home as well as a commercial establishment if the width is divided into two portions of hundred feet each or in some other suitable proportion. The idea is that such farm owners can derive the benefits of both rural and urban living.

Construction is restricted beyond a depth of two hundred feet so that the area remains primarily an agricultural one. However over a five into five-mile grid a couple of lots may be allowed to set up boarding cum residential schools and a country club. These may be set up from the initial infrastructure expense of setting up the community. A country club of about ten acres is sufficient to set up outdoor activities such as tennis, soccer, swimming and indoor activities such as chess, bridge, carom, billiards and ping-pong as well as a library, restaurant and bar. The high school on the other hand may contain an auditorium for use by the school and for rent to the community if needed. More lots may be permitted extensive construction if they are engaged in food processing industries such as canning, freezing, drying, producing pasta, jams and sauces etc.

A drive down the central curving north- south road of such an agricultural area would give the impression of driving through a town, whereas in reality it would be a farming area. The farms would be hidden behind built up areas. However, a drive down the East- West road would primarily be a drive past farmlands.

Besides these three or four lots over a 5 X 5 mile grid (containing 50 x 25 = 1250, farm lots) there is no need to permit any other lots for commercial activity since it is permitted on all the farm lots as described earlier. Two to four lots as shown in the figure may be left as a common green area that is partly wooded in each square mile. The idea is that this would permit an open field for village fares, weekend farmers markets, jogging or trekking grounds etc. as well as fishing if a stream passes through it. Without such intermittent green areas the layout would become claustrophobic.

A person living in an agricultural area and owning adequate amount of irrigated land is assured of some fresh food and a roof over his head in green surroundings in the worst of times(except for natural calamities like droughts or floods). On the other hand, an urban person in a bad way in bad economic times faces life on a garbage-strewn street or a crowded shelter for the homeless and food from a soup kitchen produced perhaps from expiring surpluses of supermarkets. It has already started happening in Greece.

On the other hand even when times are good a most heaven like life is possible in green surroundings rather than within nests of concrete and cement, nested one above the other, similar to insect homes and beehives, the fate of many urban dwellers in the so called modern age that we live in.

Update  May 2014: The design of a postmodern village using the strip farm concept is given here http://steamcenter.blogspot.in/2014/05/postmodern-designer-villages.html


1 comment:

ashok said...

Simplified the title of this post a bit.

The idea of the last three posts on AM farms was to put my thoughts in the public domain at a time when national planners of many countries are looking for new ideas on how to create more jobs, especially sustainable ones that outlast a stimulus. This type of job creation is helpful to individuals, environment and the world.