Sunday, May 22, 2016



The price of doing the same old thing is far greater than the price of change.

If we want the outcome of our emergency plans to be different then we probably need to take a different approach to how we design communities.  Right now, the buzz word is “smart” cities.  What we really mean is efficient cities.  Cities that allow for free exchange of movement between different sectors of the cities is essential especially with the growth rate of the world’s population.  Smart cities philosophies are easiest to incorporate when building new communities but what about the “old” city centers and residential areas.  Creating an environment where people want to live work and play is critical.  People want to be in areas not because they are efficient, yes that helps, but the real reason is because they feel safe with their families.

With that in mind, we can establish criteria now for the way we are going to design and construct our communities of the future.

I suggest setting the new design protocols for any pre-planning of neighborhoods, facilities or utility systems, especially if the goal is to decentralize poverty and to reduce crime. With that in mind all new construction after a certain date should fall into this category.  For existing facilities and communities, then we should set “triggers” or thresholds that once they occur we design and construct using the new criteria we’ve established. 

For buildings, those “triggers” could be as simple as; when there is a change in usage, or during major renovation that exceeds 50% of the plant value cost or there is a significant increase in floor space. 

For communities, they could be during major renovation projects when 50% of the system or community is destroyed or damaged and needs replacing, and during community-wide scheduled renovation projects when 50% or more of the infrastructure or buildings are being upgraded.


How’s the old saying go, “If we always do what we’ve always done, we’ll always have we’ve always had”.  

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