Review The New City


   What has this design achieved? What if any, are the benefitsfor the cityscape and for the people who will live there?

   Firstly it has ensured a logical and forward planned sequenceof developments, natural region by natural region, which can be studied on paperand fully understood by the many divergent professional peoples from sociologiststo engineers and from biologists to architects who must play their parts in the countless,final and detailed designs within the framework of the city design. Each can appreciatethe special province of the other and reach agreements and decisions more readily.A wide unity of purpose would be an expected result.

   Construction and engineering aspects of the design, ensure thatthe major water lines with their roads, precede other developments as they shouldrightfully do. The locating of underground mains at uniform depths below the surfaceis efficient and economical, particularly by comparison with present city practiceswhere the placement and servicing of these mains turn many cities into vast undergroundmining operations where excavations are often very deep and pumping stations innumerable.Moreover, other service mains which are not dependent on gravity alone--city watersupply, electricity, gas and telephone--would be associated in a practical mannerwith the water design lines. Each would have its appropriate and regular place inrelation to all others, to be tapped and serviced with simplicity and expeditionat low cost.

   The major new divisions of the land into zones by the gravityflowing water lines and their overhead and interconnecting roads, offers opportunitiesfor rational subdivisions into suburban areas and for subdivisions within the suburbs.The excellence of many facets of design within the present cities, but which existnow only as disconnected and disordered mosaics, would produce in the new city, anoverall harmony of efficiency and beauty.

   The first zone of the main ridges with its principal roads alongthe crest lines is the place for many of the centres of administration and management,the sites for the cultural and commercial centres.

   The fourth zone along and above the shoreline and the drainagelines of the streams, is a critical zone for the balance and health of the wide landscape.

   This is the zone for the principal sport and playgrounds, ofthe larger parks and gardens as well as sewerage treatments and City Forests. Treatmentworks will be as compatible with sports-grounds as toilets are with gymnasiums; everythingis clean. This is a CLEAN city, where waste water treatment works have trees in masssurrounds. The water which moves to the rivers and harbours from the soil of theCity Forests will probably be better than the water stored today in the great supplydams on the rivers.

   Indeed, the natural regions which collect the water for thesedams, should be designed on the same new water lines, so that all the water goesinto special cleansing forests before it can reach the streams and rivers to flowto the storages.

   Sewerage treatment works will discharge their effluents to irrigatewhat must become the fastest growing forests. The growth stimulating products whichremain even in effluents which appear crystal clear, such as the various phosphateand nitrogen factors, now bid fair by their effects on the common waters of the landand the seas, to eventually destroy the oxygen balance of the world's atmosphere--andall life. But in the soil of the City Forest they would produce an opposite effectwhere the millions of rapidly growing trees would work to maintain the oxygen balance.

   Of all landscapes, the greatest bulk of luxuriantly growingliving matter will be in the City Forest. Therefore the City Forest must be alsoan important biological research centre. Because there may be certain trees in theworld which would concentrate one or other of the harmful substances now in the environment;every kind of tree should be grown so that their wood could be analysed and suchspecial properties discovered.

   The fourth zone of the land protects the common waters and theatmosphere. There are to be no unnecessary intrusions into it but there will be publicenterprises which are essential for the living and the workings of the city. Eventhese special facilities, where possible, must stand back from the water's edge andthe shore lines, so that the water they shed and the waste water they release canbe collected and pumped back to the mains along the upper boundary of the fourthzone, to be processed and reconstituted in the City Forest.

   Many of the larger industrial complexes now intrude into theland of the fourth zone because of the ease and low cost convenience of getting ridof their obnoxious wastes in water by dumping them directly into the streams andthe sea. They would be excluded and positioned in the second zone, where they would,if necessary, carry out the first processing of their wastes before it flows withthe more normal city waste waters. Since the contents of waste water are valuable,designs for profitable extraction will continuously emerge. Where the size of suchundertakings and their effluent discharge warrants, their individual design wouldprovide for their own treatment works and forest. These businesses would soon learnways to make both profitable.

   What of the high cost of city land which would be used for growingforests? The cost of the land for a new city would be low. Only when people livethere and other people want to live there does such land become valuable. It is morevaluable when the facilities for homes and for industries have been completed atlow cost efficiency in the roads and the service line beneath the roads. So why shouldn'ta new city compete with older cities by offering clean air, good water and fertilesoil and far better living, social and working conditions, as well as cheaper andbetter land for homes and for industries?

   The land of the several City Forests will receive all the rainrun-off and waste water from the city to use and reconstitute it and must continueto function even when it rains for a fortnight. To ensure its capacity in this directionand for economic reasons, dams for holding run-off rain water temporarily, wouldbe located at the Keylines of the selected primary valleys, as in the farmscape.Concrete lined, they could be kept empty. The first rain run-off after a dry periodcarries with it greatly increased amounts of oil and other matter. The empty damscould be used to store temporarily this first flow, so that it could be cleaned whennecessary. Even so, because the water goes in at the top and comes out at the bottom,the oil wastes which float and others which sink could be trapped and retained inthe holding dams for treatment, sale or disposal after the rain has ceased. The damswould have controls which either turn the water into the dam or divert it aroundor below them. The bugbear of local floodings, which now occurs with each heavy rainstorm, would be avoided.

   The City Forest is a multi-forest. Firstly the various speciesof the trees would be selected for their ameliorating effects on the air, the watersand soil. Secondly the selection of tree species could be based on economic considerations.The City Forest is designed to be a working, perpetual forest for the profitableproduction of fertile soil and valuable timber (Chapter 11, "Soil and Trees".)