Charter Cities

At the meeting yesterday, we were asked about some of the material that inspired our ideas. One of the ideas that a lot of people said needed more explanation was our charter city, Turing.

 

This video talks about putting charter cities in third world nations, sponsored by the laws of a first world nation. Our vision for a charter city in Australia doesn’t require the sponsorship from another nation. However the principle still applies: we can help satisfy societal needs by changing the laws slightly in a designated area, namely a city. Laws about development, transportation and immigration can all be slightly adjusted in the bounds of the charter city to create a successful and vibrant new city for Australia.


Showing 18 reactions

  • commented 2014-08-02 16:22:47 +1000
    jamesjansson August 21, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    The productivity of cities per sq km would be several orders of magnitude higher than farmland. But to entertain your argument, we have a choice right now: keep building low density houses on valuable farmland on the outskirts of Sydney and Melbourne, OR use a tiny fraction of that space to build at high density. We could build like we do in Sydney, at around 5,000 people per sq km, or we could build at 20,000 to 50,000 people per sq km. That is, our plan would use somewhere between 75% and 90% less land to house people. This city will be much better for the environment.
  • commented 2014-08-02 16:22:29 +1000
    pam August 21, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    a limit to development between canberra and goulburn is farming – this is “fine merino” country, the highest quality wool, very valuable. Have you investigated the productivity / profitability of current land use?
  • commented 2014-08-02 16:22:03 +1000
    Clinton May 14, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Great initiative and great budding party!!

    I would suggest that Turing be built on the south coast of NSW. A port, pleasant climate year round and beautiful surrounds would see this city become a very attractive option for trade and migrants alike.

    The south coast will also be tempered from the extremes of future climate change. Laying between Melbourne and Sydney on the coast would also offer many advantages for population growth along the corridor and result in a greater chance of prosperity than the current suggested location. Look forward to more discussion.
  • commented 2014-08-02 16:21:43 +1000
    jamesjansson May 7, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Replying here because comment only go 3 deep:

    > Wouldn’t it be better to find an existing town that agrees to your plan, a town with a university and then create an economic zone so the city builds itself? As in make it an experimental zone to prove if these policies create a stronger society, rather than trying to make a city from scratch from a blueprint?

    Good luck finding such a town which would essentially be demolished to make way for such a high density design. I’m sure you would end up with a lot of “Nail houses” in such a situation:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2236746/Road-built-building-couple-refuse-China.html
  • commented 2014-08-02 16:21:20 +1000
    Duncan May 7, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Wouldn’t it be better to find an existing town that agrees to your plan, a town with a university and then create an economic zone so the city builds itself? As in make it an experimental zone to prove if these policies create a stronger society, rather than trying to make a city from scratch from a blueprint?
  • commented 2014-08-02 16:21:01 +1000
    jamesjansson May 7, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Turing will be a VERY different city to Canberra. The population density will be around 10 times higher, for starters.
  • commented 2014-08-02 16:20:45 +1000
    Duncan May 7, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Canberra was a charter city, and its shithouse. Letting cities grow humanly is the only way because even though we whinge we love them. If you want better cities, invest in a bulldozer my friends.
  • commented 2014-08-02 16:20:02 +1000
    jamesjansson May 7, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Thanks Mitchell. We are well aware of this. Our city would not rely on any particular country for investors (although overseas investment would be welcome).

    I also think that Australia has changed significantly in terms of its view towards immigration since the 1980s (none of the horrible racist predictions of the time came true).

    Our city will also have different laws, which will lead to its success. Firstly, the city will have lower barriers to immigration, making immigration to the city easier and ensuring its success. The current immigration barrier is not only a barrier to people, but also to companies. Many of the large technology companies in the United States have found that their immigration laws make it hard to find the people that they need to grow their businesses. Secondly, the city will have a mandated high-density population. In doing so, we add value to the city, by increasing the services and entertainment close to a person’s residence. Thirdly, rather than building the city all at once, the Future Party proposes that a University be built in the city, and investors are sought for dwellings for 50 000 people to start the city. From there, dwellings are built as the market demand justifies it. If there are more buildings desired, the land is released and the city expands.
  • commented 2014-08-02 16:19:42 +1000
    Mitchell Porter May 7, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multifunction_Polis
  • commented 2014-08-02 16:19:18 +1000
    jamesjansson May 5, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    My calculations are that based on average apartment sizes built in Sydney and Melbourne, building to 23 storeys allows you to have on 30% of the ground area buildings with 50 000 people/km2. Now this figure is actually quite generous. In cities like Japan, the houses are smaller because people spend less time at home, and spend more of their time enjoying public facilities.

    So, coupled with roads being buried, the amount of open space would actually be about 70% of total land area.

    Although people make bad comparisons between these levels of density and Hong Kong, it has to be remembered that some of the areas in Hong Kong are much, much higher density. In fact, on of the areas they knocked down at the end of the 1980s, called the walled city, had an estimated population density of 1 million people per square kilometre at its peak.
  • commented 2014-08-02 16:18:34 +1000
    thegreatspaces May 5, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Yes, and Paris’ density might be more realistic, and still very challenging, for such a project. Because I think you just won’t be able to fill high-rise buildings the way you are assuming you will. 50k/km2 is essentially 99% of residences being in high-rise apartments, like Hong Kong or something. 20k/km2 without height restrictions would result in a more classic pattern of high-rise in the centre reducing at greater distances from the centre. Residents demand a range of densities – you will miss out on a certain portion of the people needed to make the city a success if the only choice for housing is high-rise apartments. Either that or you are going to end up with a commuter hinterland outside the boundaries of the charter city, which would seem to defeat the purpose of the mandated high densities.
    Regarding the comment about high speed rail, what I failed to articulate is that I consider it highly unlikely that such a project will go ahead; and that that risk is another large barrier to the Turing project, in turn reducing its likelihood of going ahead. But I mean, the probability of any of this happening is all extremely low anyway so maybe it was a moot point.
  • commented 2014-08-02 16:18:09 +1000
    jamesjansson May 5, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Thanks for the comment. Just a couple of things:

    ” the specific planning principles for Turing may be the biggest hurdle – 50k/km2 is really really dense! It would be very difficult for an Australian polity to manage that effectively. Tripling ordinary densities to something like Paris might be more realistic.”

    Do you know what the density of Paris city is? 20,000/km2. And that is with height restrictions that prevent buildings from being more than 8 storeys tall.

    “My last main doubt about the Turing policy is that the city can only have a chance if it is truly connected to Sydney – and this would require at least that leg of the bullet train to be contracted. If not then the whole thing is off,”

    Building high speed rail to the charter city is absolutely the idea of this policy.
  • commented 2014-08-02 16:17:46 +1000
    TheGreatSpaces May 5, 2013 at 4:08 am

    We already have cities with different rules to each other; they are based around the states and territories. If we want to create more large cities, we have to create new states. I think we need to divide queensland at least once maybe twice, and divide WA once. NSW could be divided any number of ways. Victoria is a good size and its dynamic is fairly set, ie it is already densely settled and it would be difficult to place a new large city. One thing I like about the placement of ‘Turing’ is that it meets a need we have in Australia – a place for Sydney to expand to. Sydney is unusual in Australia in that it is restricted geographically. On the other hand, that has pushed its density and public transport use up which the Future Party would presumably approve of.
    A part from the charter idea, the specific planning principles for Turing may be the biggest hurdle – 50k/km2 is really really dense! It would be very difficult for an Australian polity to manage that effectively. Tripling ordinary densities to something like Paris might be more realistic.
    My last main doubt about the Turing policy is that the city can only have a chance if it is truly connected to Sydney – and this would require at least that leg of the bullet train to be contracted. If not then the whole thing is off, even with its other issues. So over all I see this Turing idea as fairly unlikely.
  • commented 2014-08-02 16:16:24 +1000
    Ben Heslop May 1, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    I like the idea of regions offering differing legal, economic and social structures to allow for experimentation. Why not go the ‘whole hog’ and remove states/councils and instead form regional governments throughout Australia? Each of which would have its capital city…
  • commented 2014-08-02 16:15:49 +1000
    Chris April 29, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    I understand where your coming from and I do agree with you. Such issues about economics are not coherently informed by Fresco along with substantial evidence. I did come across an organisation/movement of some kind called The Zeitgeist Movement which goes into quite clear communication of similar view points and information that Fresco has. Without the all “governments, banks and corporations are corrupt” statements that are made with out any evidence. The Although I would not say what TZM is communicating is a solution to all our problems but it does however address many issues and problems of society in a very descriptive detailed essay. Thought you would find this interesting as unlike jacques Fresco venus project it is a more informative and intellectual read. The essay can be downloaded from http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/orientation . I hope you are successful with your Party as I do think that such claims for the future will better for the country. good luckChris
  • commented 2014-08-02 16:15:22 +1000
    jamesjansson April 29, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    I agree that corporations profit off the nature of scarcity of resources, and they increasingly do so as things like oil become more scarce (we haven’t run out, but we are turning to more and more complicated ways of extracting it, which is putting price pressures on the resource).

    But the idea that only scarcity will exist in the future is flawed. Today, we have tiny computers that fit in our pockets that are 10 times faster than computers a decade ago and are made for a 10th of the price. And you know what? Technological development in this field has made it such that a tiny fraction of the most expensive materials are needed build such devices are needed. The knowledge explosion will allow us to have more for less cost to the environment.

    I will say what I have said previously on The Venus Project:

    My personal opinion is that desires to make cities more efficient, cleaner and embrace technology are noble ideals, for which the Venus project deserves credit. What worries me about the vision of Jacque Fresco is that he seems to think that economics doesn’t matter. For example, the “Resource Based Economy” (RBE) that he talks of doesn’t consider even the simplest element of economics: supply and demand. He says things like that there will be resources, and anyone can take as much as they please.

    I just don’t believe that people will only take as much as they “need” as he believes, because people adjust how much they “need” something based on the constraints of being able to produce resources themselves. So in a bartering society, you have to produce something first before you can get some resource in return. In a money based society, you have to produce a commodity, sell it in return for money, then you can buy a resource that you haven’t produced. In the RBE, no one needs to produce anything, and people get infinity things for free. It just doesn’t make sense.

    So while I love Jacques’ designs and loved watching his videos, his economics just makes absolutely no sense to me.
  • commented 2014-08-02 16:14:52 +1000
    Chris April 29, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Great Idea to start a new city. Your ideas for this Future Party City are at first seamingly well thought out realistic thoughts. But the policy is inherently flawed. As due to the industry you will never get a transport/health/engineering companies to create productive, relevant and effective infrastructure as due the restrictions of profit, the monetary system, debt and outdated values (that have not completely been addressed and changed) it is possible the that the structures and systems designed will not be equivalent to the planets resources and technical capabilities. The only incentive that these investors/companies will have is profit resulting in scarcity. If by chance you bother with what I’m saying look up the Zeitgeist Movement and The Venus Project.
  • commented 2014-08-02 16:14:19 +1000
    shaunadavis2000 April 28, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    really worth the 20 minutes! _
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