• • • sustainable city design statement

Sustainable City Design Statement

Municipalities Electronic Trade Agreement

Sustainability has many facets, each reflecting a different perspective on what to do to make our civilization ``sustainable".  Our first order of business is to develop the political will to do so, but so far in the United States of America, this has proved to be an intractable problem.

The fault for this situation lies with the relationships that define global cooperation.  Agreements between nations on sustainability are like agreements between foxes on how to manage the chickens. The nation states are rooted in the management of natural resource exploitation and they are controlled by the exploiters. Land grants, mining claims, mineral rights, harvesting and grazing rights were the tools used by the nations to drive development of the land and create a tax base with which to support the government. The multi-generational nature of resource ownership and exploitation tends to enable those with these interests to position themselves or their agents throughout the administrative system, allowing them to protect their interests. The evolution of a global, privately owned and controlled currency cartel, owned by this same group has allowed them to manipulate their nation's business cycle and use control of the currency to consolidate power.  The regional controlling interests are all invested in their region's Central Bank and share in the secret manipulations to gain unjust and socially destructive advantage.

For these reasons the nation states will be slow to make the needed changes. They have become tools of the resource rich, who have assumed political control through the manipulation of the population using rights granted to them by the nation state, control of the media, control of the money supply and control of the US Government to wage war and economic ruin on the middle classes by playing one nation state against the other.

However, there is a solution: A Treaty Between Nations driven by the self-interest of urban populations

A treaty, the Municipalities Electronic Trade Agreement, can be created through a public process and presented to the Congress of the United States of America that will establish a program for any city, in participating countries, to form a special district that models the rules and procedures needed for a self-governing space-based society.  Most serious commentators say that the long- term growth of humanity means that space colonization and exploitation are necessary parts of any serious plan. Solving the political and cultural problems required to live in space can be used as a foundation for the earth-based META City districts. It can address many of the social, legal and economic problems on Earth that stand between us and success in any effort to colonize space.. The rules for the META City district can be the same as those required for a space colony.

The Municipalities Electronic Trade Agreement is an alternate strategy to achieve global cooperation for the peaceful development of  human civilization.  A META treaty proposal would  create:

The META will implement standardized high density urban infrastructure design and acquisition systems.

  • META City designers and planners will have access to full three-dimensional modeling and simulation.
  • Standardized bid proposals would be broken down into global volumes of each part that would be automatically total items shared by all bids. The resulting sub-component bidding is live worldwide. Ordered parts will be shipped according to instructions negotiated during the purchase.
  • Global standardization of urban infrastructure technology and systems can produce tremendous productivity increases, enough to pay for a space development effort and to restore the Earth's biosphere. Cities are the source of wealth and when they work well can generate far more capital than required to maintain them.

The Municipalities Electronic Trade Agreement will aid Space Development.

Unless we have a real breakthrough in terra forming, all space colonies will be technological islands in space. Those that live there will be dependent on each other and the complex of support systems that spawned their colony. Essentially, they will be cities in space existing in a resource region governed by a larger governmental entity, much as nations define land, as in the US, for resource management purposes. This idea is self evident.  During the first stage of growth into space a coalition of space faring nations (probably the US and its client states, but maybe the UN) will appoint themselves arbiters of resources and wield power as they do on Earth. Once the administrative infrastructure to insure the continuing authority of the coalition is in place, an emphasis will be put on resource exploitation and colonization.

Projecting civilian communities into space complements current military strategies by making them a supporting function of a social expansion.

The advantages for individuals are enormous.  A clear vision of each person's interest and benefit from the development of space is possible with this program, since the move into space will be perceived as the cumulative outcome of participation and development at the local level.

The process of developing a self governing space-based culture should not wait until the opportunity exists, because it may never come to a fearful and ignorant society.  We can and should envision a form of city government suitable for operating a space colony. Moreover, we should see this as an opportunity to galvanize public thinking about the role of our technological islands on Earth and how they can lead society into space development.

META Social Services Infrastructure

Merit-based META citizenship with vested rights to housing, health care, education and communications services.   One approach that can be included is an internship period that exchanges time in service for lifetime entitlements or access to them within the special district on a merit or vestment basis. New approaches to retirement, health and long term care can be integrated into this system since the people will begin participation at a young age and will have many years of productivity before needing any assistance. This investment of time and energy by the young can create a capital advantage for the META Cities

The Municipalities Electronic Trade Agreement will structure the political relationship between the META city and the city, state, nation and META System

Representative government has long relied upon the use of two competing bodies of interest for the resolution of problems, but the global arena lacks this provision, and global politics are dominated by big money natural resource interests without adequate input from the citizenry. The United Nations is an extension of the same hob glob conflict of interests that render the nations unable to change the direction of their environmental destruction.

The META , second political mechanism for global governance that is designed to balance the exploitive nature of the nation states, can be established. It should be a mechanism that will serve as the economic engine for a sustainable society.  The new global alliance of cities can focus on defining standards for technology and focus the growth of the built environment to make it truly sustainable.

A treaty to establish the Municipalities Electronic Trade Agreements would create treaty ``zones" within each city that joins.

From here to there:

A good strategic plan will give power to everyday people by providing a positive vision of the future, a blueprint for global change through local action, one that includes their city and their lives. A vast majority of people will agree with the goals when stretched over a forty year planning cycle.

Initial efforts to convince the public must identify the opponents of such a plan and organize to reveal their true motives. First we need to realize that the influential rich are of two types. The first originates from control of natural resources, land, timber, minerals, flocks, etc. The second gets wealth from ideas or technology, patents, copyrights, publishing, manufacturing, ownership of the built environment, and it is these types who will be the patrons to the politics of sustainability.

There is plenty of money to do this. Consider that everything in the built environment will be depreciated and reinvested during the next twenty to forty years. Everything. If the past is any indication, we will invest an equal amount in new built systems during the same period. If we focus that investment in sustainable systems we can achieve a sustainable society by mid-century.

The nation states might abhor the notion of centrally planned economies, but the cities' use of zoning is well established and amounts to far more control than national planners would dream about. The only addition enabled by global organization is standardization sufficient to create mass markets and related economies of scale for infrastructure systems and programs.

The dilemma of this and the many other plans to create a sustainable society is that everyone involved, particularly those without a sustainable orientation, also has a plan for the future. 

Global Vision  

One of the ways to envision our time is to consider the simple sine wave used to illustrate all cyclic processes. We can imagine innumerable sizes all weaving along a single center line, but no matter how many variations we choose, at some point they will all converge at a single moment of time.  This is our time, a time when one great system of being ends and another begins.

Building a global political consensus is the problem and the opportunity.

The META•City Concept

The META City Concept is an outline of a  information-technology rich society that has reorganized itself to make the best use of information and communications. The model suggests a global civil government of cities overlaying the existing structures. The city units are designed to facilitate sustainable high growth rates within their boundaries.The non-urban region surrounding the city is supported with a Bioregional Protectorate,a basic policy effort to have each META City take responsibility for the environment around it.   Environmental restoration and rehabilitation are emphasized, directing resources and expertise to planting and reintroduction within a riparian wild lands model.

 META•City Program

Using advanced economic simulator /modeling  software that communicates to establish trading  values, people will be able to conduct business with  the lowest transaction cost. The META cities will supervise local conduct and receive revenues for their efforts. 

 The META•America Project 

The META America Project is a program to apply the META•City ideas in a real world situation. Central Arizona is an  economically dynamic area that considers itself to be part of the Pacific Rim Trading Area, but lacks the amenities of beach front living and coastal recreation.The adjacent Mexican state of Sonora has the abundant beaches of the Sea of Cortez located an easy transit south, but lacks the resources to properly develop the area. A joint venture is proposed between the US and Mexico and the states of Arizona and Sonora to address these issues. A treaty is proposed to create a special development district of the two states with a single administrative mechanism focused through the participating municipal governments under the supervision of a joint federal/state governments panel. It is  conceived as a systems development effort. for the META City approach to sustainability.

Metapolitan Communities

Small systems technology can be applied to create a foundational community capable of growing into the META•City. This is called the Metapolitan Community and represents an ongoing effort to build a sustainable way of life that can function worldwide.It is intended to offer the highest quality of life for the lowest cost through planning and communications.  The Metapolitan strategy offers the metaCubic Standards to members to enable each new member to access the specifications and license technology. License fees support the development of the MDS and the MetaTransaction Engine

Creating a Sustainable Lifestyle

Quality of life is often a factor of what you can afford. A stimulating and interesting time is often dependent on having new experiences and being able to choose what you will do next, usually a choice based on available money.  Work in a well paying career of choice requires a substantial investment in education and preparation, so that those without money, regardless of their intellectual merit or skill, are relegated to supporting roles without adequate income, opportunity or security. Affording a quality life does not always depend on wealth, as productive activities and intelligent choices can also provide a similar lifestyle.

Creating a unified approach to these issues is the purpose of the Metapolitan Communities.

Building an Economic Engine for Change

Underlying the Metapolitan Community concept is the implementation of a major productivity enhancing program, the metaCubic standard. It is designed to allow omni-modal transfer integrating multiple standards for communications and mobility, while offering broad functionality for design applications in manufacturing, distribution, containerization, retail systems, interior design for both home and office as well as a new class of processing machines for all types of commercial application. Architectural adaptations for usability within residential, office and commercial environments will open numerous new economic possibilities. While easily mobile, the metaCubic Standard is large enough to function as a small room, particularly a small room with built-in features like bathroom, kitchen and entertainment components.  Personal mobility benefits when it is  employed as a closet with removable components that serve as bedroom furniture. The standard can be used to create luxurious furnishings that can easily move into and out of the architecturally adapted residence or office.

The Archologies of Paolo Soleri represent an idea whose time can not come without the metaCubic Standard.  Large structures to serve as home and work for tens of thousands require some means to do what trucks do for conventional buildings, moreover there must be an economic and social advantage to adopting such a dense lifestyle before any such large structures can be built.

Real change in society will be based upon inclusive growth, that is growth that incorporates all the successful parts from the prior art. Automobiles are not going to fade from the scene very soon, but a lifestyle that minimizes them does not require their exclusion. Indeed, any effort to build a socioeconomic engine capable of the high growth rates needed to impact the course of current events must to use all available technologies. It must begin as a grassroots system that is adopted by self-employed business people as a means to build wealth and increase their competitive advantage.

Meeting these conditions is the role of the Metapolitan Communities.

Initial efforts begin with the creation of a package offer for concerned people in the prime of their economic life. Already employed for ten to twenty years, these individuals are intent on making a difference with their lives, modern pioneers who desire the opportunity to create a better life for their children and society.  Expansion rather than retrenchment rules their thinking, and entrepreneurial opportunity will engage their hearts and minds. The Metapolitan Communities provide a framework of technologies and standards that can be applied throughout society for financial gain and social advantage. Using the power of a home and automotive purchase these individuals can acquire a group of rights and opportunities enabling them personal and economic rights in every area that a Metapolitan Community exists.

The first phase of Metapolitan Communities establishes groups of not less than two hundred residential units with supporting commercial facilities near the main access. Each site will be located near the exit of an interstate the connects two major metro areas, for instance, communities may be located off Interstate 10 near Phoenix and LA .

What we buy and do on a daily basis is who we are as a society, and directing those dollars and activities to accomplish not only personal security but social and environmental security as well is not just good, but REQUIRED for humanity to have a real future on this planet.

Key Objectives of the Metapolitan Communities

This is one of the key objectives of the Metapolitan Communities. Creating a group of homes designed to be easy to live in and easy to move into and out of is a goal that can be met through a set of integrated services and design strategies.

Community design goals include:

    Sustainable design guidelines
    Energy and information autonomy
    International range of locations

Home design goals include:

    Mobility - Easy access for moving into and out of the home
    Intelligent - wireless computing  integrated with passive/intelligent solar energy use and functions
    Energy efficiency- solar orientation, thermal mass and natural thermal siphon ventilation
    Window-wall on garden - bright and airy feeling

Integrated services should include:

    Central storage and receiving facility
    Central location placement services
    Energy reserve
    On site IP data cache with multiple channel access
    Garden and plant research facilities

The Metapolitan Communities are part of a sustainable economic development strategy targeting improved quality of life through reduced energy and environmental costs and enhanced social awareness. The ultimate aim of the program is to alter the way a small but pivotal portion of the world population views how they work, play and live, enabling the personal choice of how to earn a living and where to live to create a revolutionary new society.


Dane M. Arr
May 2006                          


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