How a $10 Billion Experimental City Nearly Got Built in Rural Minnesota

#1
C C Offline
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovatio...180968617/

EXCERPT: The future had arrived, and it looked nothing like what city planners expected. It was the early 1960s, and despite economic prosperity, American urban centers were plagued by pollution, poverty, the violence of segregation and crumbling infrastructure. [...] But one man had a revolutionary idea [...] An entirely new experimental city, built from scratch with the latest technology, entirely free of pollution and waste, and home to a community of life-long learners.

The Minnesota Experimental City and its original creator, Athelstan Spilhaus, are the subjects of a new documentary directed by Chad Freidrichs of Unicorn Stencil Documentary Films. The Experimental City tells the story of the tremendous rise and abrupt fall of an urban vision that nearly came to fruition. At one point, the Minnesota Experimental City had the support of NASA engineers, Civil Rights leaders, media moguls, famed architect Buckminster Fuller and even vice president Hubert Humphrey. Many were drawn to the plan by Spilhaus’ background as well as his rhapsodic conviction for the necessity of such a city.

[...] Spilhaus’ vision for this noiseless, fumeless, self-sustaining city included underground infrastructure for transporting and recycling waste; a mass transit system that would slide cars onto tracks, negating the need for a driver; and computer terminals in every home that would connect people to his vision of the Internet—a remarkable prediction, given that computers of the era occupied entire rooms and no one was sending email. Spilhaus envisioned the city holding a population of 250,000 and costing $10 billion 1967 dollars, with 80 percent private funding and 20 percent public.

For several heady years in the late 1960s and into the 1970s, the city seemed destined for success. [...] But no sooner had the site been chosen than citizens of the area became outspoken critics of the planned city, arguing that even an urban center with the best intentions would be unable to prevent pollution. Between the protesting residents and dwindling support in the state legislature, the Minnesota Experimental City Authority lost its funding by August 1973. In the aftermath, the project disappeared without leaving almost any trace of how close it had come to being built....

MORE: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovatio...180968617/
Reply
#2
confused2 Offline
Probably a lucky escape.
Manchester UK (my original 'home' city) had a few attempts at grand schemes:-
Built in the 70's, demolished in the 80's:-
https://modernmooch.com/2016/02/05/cover...e-ardwick/

Better constructed but still a dismal (ghastly) failure:-
Built in the 70's, demolished in the 90's
http://manchesterhistory.net/manchester/...cents.html\

I was there to see them built but didn't stay to see them demolished - my quality of life where I am is incomparable.
Reply
#3
confused2 Offline
The Plan called for the construction of new communities on the fringes of the city and the reconstruction of existing communities to provide the air and light that people needed and the green spaces, shopping and community centres that would make their lives better.
Reply
#4
C C Offline
(Apr 5, 2018 01:28 AM)confused2 Wrote: The Plan called for the construction of new communities on the fringes of the city and the reconstruction of existing communities to provide the air and light that people needed and the green spaces, shopping and community centres that would make their lives better.


"Open spaces" of grass didn't help rainforests, either, creating isolated blocks assaulted by the effects of habitat fragmentation. Arguably that didn't result from any intent to benevolently "assist" to begin with, but there were some moral gestures waving at the idea that merely clearing large avenues of timber and leaving behind patches or islands of separated wilderness was better than deforesting the entire landscape.

https://rainforests.mongabay.com/0814b.htm

~
Reply
#5
Magical Realist Offline
Quote:The Minnesota Experimental City and its original creator, Athelstan Spilhaus

Now THERE'S an alien-sounding name if I ever heard one!
Reply


Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Experimental device generates electricity from coldness of universe (new designs) C C 0 388 May 7, 2019 06:22 PM
Last Post: C C



Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)