Skip to main content


Showing posts with the label CityvsSuburbseries

Is Humanity Diverging into two civilizations?

v/s I've written earlier about my musings on Clustered cities vs Suburban Sprawls being the two contrasting futures mankind stares at. I concluded in the 3 part series that the future of humanity, at least until the developing world gets to a median level of development, will be to be present in clustered cities. The other alternative which I envisaged for the longer term was to set up a colony on Mars. However, since then we've had many developments and Covid-19 impacting the whole world. While Covid-19 has been devastating on economies across the globe, its impact on climate has been benign  - fall in economic frenzy has only led to a reduction in carbon emissions, a civilizational realization about the value of boosting natural human immunity and end to wasteful ways of living .  The other side of Covid-19 is the realization that the pandemic is also an impact of human activities much like climate change itself. And as Covid-19 rages on forcing people t

Contrasting futures - the suburb vs. the city (Part III)

Those of you who read these posts [ Part I Part II ] know that my worldview of ecologically sustainable living, has, over the years veered towards cluster based human settlement – large metropolises or cities with shared infrastructure which reduces the ecological cost of living and that recent technological breakthroughs in Solar power, off-grid power storage, biodegradable materials etc have created a window for suburban sprawls also be become ecologically efficient lifestyles. But as we concluded in the previous post of this series, the biggest stumbling block in making suburban life sustainable is the real estate overhead claimed by it. Suburban sprawls, however energy efficient, do consume much larger space per-capita leaving less land available for food and related needs to serve the ever-burgeoning population of the world. The matter is further complicated by the rapid upward economic mobility of large populations in Asia and Africa. I wrote about two routes to manage

Contrasting futures - the suburb vs. the city (Part II)

Tesla Solar Roof Continued from here . As explained in my previous post, scientific research proves that cities are more sustainable for mankind to live - the characteristic compactness of cities, for example, lessens the pressure on ecological systems and enables resource consumption to be more efficient [ 1 ]. This assumes that cities will be built to sustain the population load they bear through appropriate infrastructure including public transport, sewerage / eco-efficient waste disposal, provision of parks or other recreational habitats etc. If one observes the ‘ecological cost’ of human living there are 4 direct costs: Food production and transport Waste & Sewage management and processing  Human commute and communications  Real estate needed for stay, recreation and occupational needs (incl. education and administration) Energy is a common cost underlying all four above costs in addition to other ecological costs they impose. Of course, these costs are dire

Contrasting futures - the suburb vs. the city

I grew up in a typical suburban home, single storied, lush garden around it. Whether it was the nostalgia of living that life or observation of lower cost of living in a small city, till recently I used to idolise that life, yearned to go back to it - until I started my research into sustainable living! Until I started researching on what "sustainable" living is, I used to assume that since the cost of living in a small city is lower, hence lifestyle there is less wasteful. And on the surface, it indeed was so in India, until a few years back. Until 2010s, most small cities did not have huge malls - the usual evening hangout would be a park or a single screen theatre; roads were much less crowded and small cars would outnumber guzzlers (SUVs) by a quadruple if not more; people bought fruits & vegetables from small shops who'd get supplied by local farmers. Metros or big cities, in contrast, had big malls, roads were clogged - one wasted more fuel idling at the