A Thought Experiment
The irony of the architectural fascination with the zero-sum city is that it includes the option of never leaving the building, leading to one question. Is it really an option? Answer (1): It depends on what’s outside. Answer (2) If you are prepared, you have that choice. Answer (3) As the third answer to every question is one: What are the necessary preparations? Answers (1) and (2). Come up with a variety of worst cases and prepare for them and hope for precision or develop best cases and prepare for them. Leading to the question: Why is it so difficult to prepare for the future? Answer (1) It is difficult (not impossible) to design for unknowns as it includes the fear of them. Answer (2) The resources to create best cases are highly dependent on what is known and considered incomplete and inefficient. That answer of course always leads to that final unacceptable answer that is not a question. Building the most promising future can occur (3): when humans escape evolution, stop being animals of instinct, and free the mind from the substrate of cognition. The sense of insufficiency and inefficiency is a falsehood of that mind.
The Doom Loop
Dense urban environments offer high levels of collaboration that support quality micro-changes within firm boundaries and flexible economic regions. When contained, cities reduce latency in the acquisition of complex social and physical change. Fueled by diversity and interdependence, this creates a unique urban intelligence in the abiotic and human world of urban life, and there is one prime rule. First, do not cause harm.
The charts are from “Hunger and Blackouts Are Just the Start of an Emerging Economy Crisis” April 20, 2022, Source: UNFAO, Bloomberg. The article refers to the latest World Economic Outlook. The IMF likened the impact of the war in Ukraine to “seismic waves” rolling over the global economy. In addition, pandemic debt could produce a deluge of defaults among developing nations. However, behind war and pandemics lies the financial assessment of risk associated with climate change. The two photographs below illustrate a very different use of capital when a rising sea includes the risk of extreme and unpredictable weather.
The Little Island Park officially (image right) opened on May 21, 2021, and cost $260 million [? cost of Airbus A380, the largest passenger airplane]. The public funds could have purchased an Airbus A380, the largest passenger airplane, for a cost comparison. However, the original Olmstead argument produced the cash for this 2.5-acre recreational facility. The public’s investment in this unusual amenity will continue business growth and new housing development along Manhattan’s Hudson Waterfront. These images can be found in Arup’s Journal (here) to exhibit the skills of this A&E giant in addressing climate change issues.
The Cascading Doom Loop
Capital is moving intensely in the interest of resilience experimentation. The investment in NYC’s Little Island at over $100 million [= Large city office buildings] per acre and the exploration of encapsulating cities are notable examples. The cascade possibilities have a global capital structure. The top ten are spread across the Earth.
All cities are affected by nations seeking geopolitical advantages. On the other hand, the “we are doomed” feeling is best known by NGOs acting as muted partners in mitigating the problems caused by wars, pandemics, climate change, fire, and flood events combining natural and capital impacts. Isolated disruption events cascade across a landscape, reduce shelter quality, destroy regional economies, and crush hope in their capacity to produce essential goods and services. The global NGO network in the nations listed above needs a comprehensive insurance policy.
The insurance economy is recognized as a necessary precondition for many activities in today’s global markets. The insurance pool is a critical component of recovery in response to a crisis event. Building a public/private policy for the Earth can produce the discipline essential to answering one question over the next fifteen to twenty years. That question is, “recover from what?” (See Declarations (here).
As cities adapt to climate change on the geopolitical stage, they face unprecedented competition for resources and investment in producing an effective system of urbanization. A new and revolutionary transformational infrastructure is needed to respond to the demand for renewable energy—stability before a rising sea and a path to a sustainable economy. Replacing capital investment in individual resilience projects by nations with a commonwealth vehicle is needed to encompass the Earth.
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