Saturday, November 28, 2015

Smart and Green Villages, Towns and Cities




The majority of humankind now lives in cities around the world but some also live in farming villages scattered around the globe. While cities offer opportunities for modern services, they lack green and open spaces and also suffer from poor air quality. On the other hand, while farming villages offer green and open surroundings, they lack modern facilities. Many farmers, when they move to cities rarely want to return. This author applied his mind to the issue and tried to visualize urban and rural designs that overcome both these drawbacks so that mankind may achieve a much better quality of life than is possible now for most. Existing farms and villages can not be changed easily but whenever new cities or farming villages are conceived it would be wise to refer to these postmodern concepts. For ease of reference they have been termed as AM village or AM cities.

AM Farming Villages

https://twitter.com/DiscoverAustria/status/725572845309431810
 The traditional concepts of farming areas are farms scattered over a wide landscape. As a result, it is not economical to provide them with services available in cities such as transportation, well paved roads, water supply, schools, markets, stores in close vicinity etc. Further there are security issues of living in isolation. All these issues make rural life more difficult than life in a city. An alternative concept is used commonly in many villages around the world. Village homes are not on farms but in a cluster amidst farm lands. While this eases living, the farms can not be as well managed while green and open surrounding around the homes disappears even in villages then.

The new design of AM villages overcomes this by choosing strip farms. These are just 200 feet wide but may be half a mile or more in depth. The home and other construction are in the first two hundred feet adjacent to a road only. Therefore, when set side by side, such farming areas yield close set homes. It then becomes possible to provide services to farm houses in a manner similar to cities. When these are designed in a loop, a central area may then contain market; schools etc. and the road may run public transportation. Thus, one ends up with an urban like road in front of one’s home and a farm in the backyard. For more details of such villages check out the following link

http://steamcenter.blogspot.in/2014/05/postmodern-designer-villages.html

The above link describes a village where farm lots are ten acres each. For a more compact village with smaller farms see:

http://steamcenter.blogspot.in/2016/04/design-for-compact-postmodern-village.html


In this design urban lots are strategically alternated and staggered with small urban farm lots. Urban farms may not keep animals or grow thing like food grains but they are ideal for fruit, vegetable and flower farming. Thus the city ends up with green surroundings and open spaces as well as a farm fresh supply of fruits and vegetables. It is shown that such designs do not require any significant increase in land usage, and even if it is there, the extra land is put to good productive agricultural use and the air quality improves dramatically.

An additional advantage is that sewerage and green component of garbage is then composted in several farm locations for use on farms within the city while other waste is led to a nearby sorting and recycling unit. Other waste water from homes too with minor treatment may be returned for farm use while for drinking water there would be a separate well treated fresh water supply. The farm areas are also ideally suited to place wind turbines owned by the city since these do not shade the ground for collecting energy required by the city while solar PV panels may be placed on roofs of homes and both forms of energy pooled for processing and returning to the city grid. Thereby transmission losses are nearly eliminated. What such cities require is proper design and some simple easily implemented regulation. More details of these hybrid green cities can be found at:

http://someitemshave.blogspot.in/2012/06/green-hybrid-city.html

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