Buckminster Fuller was very accurate in predicting the future that we were living into, and he always designed for ‘optimum livability’ … not just designing to provide living space at a marketable price.
Take the ‘Old Man River’ residential living project that he designed in the 1960’s for St Louise in New Orleans, designed to raise 125,000 people out of the slums … and a project that has only recently been put back on the drawing board. Remember that Fuller was a futurist.
The building comprises:
- 2500 apartments in one complex
- all apartments of the surrounding with a view of the surrounding countryside, not their neighbour. The top floors would be perhaps 50 floors high, quite a view!
- each apartment a very generous 2500 sq ft (approx 250m2)
- all services, shops, offices, medical centres, hospitals, schools and colleges nearby
- sporting facilities and an abundance of common space
In addition to those amazing features the structure is covered by a translucent geodesic dome that reduces the building materials required in the structure itself, collects the rainwater for treatment and circulation … and the dome itself actually floats when the sun is shining on it as the temperature inside rises.
Geodesic domes also become stronger and more energy efficient the larger they are.
The small red dots below represent futuristic comprehensive living centres similar to the Old Man River projrct and capable of housing around 100,000 people in 5 star luxury, plus commercial space, medical and public an abundance of space. Tiered developments up to 50 stories high provide exciting and stunning vistas in all directions.
The apartment development Fuller designed accommodated 125,000 people living in 5 star accommodation, and is only one mile (approx 1.6kms) in diameter, so by avoiding all the urban sprawl we can actually give back valuable land and open space to nature so that our flora and fauna can flourish. Some of this ‘inner city land could be turned into permaculture organic farmlands.
Solar panels would also be installed on sections of the dome roofs providing clean sustainable energy for decades to come.
In his book “Critical Path” Buckminster Fuller talks of how we will need to demolish and remove all of the existing roads, sewers, water supply and other infrastructure in order to move into an era of living in abundance, the abundance that is now possible for everyone, and has been possible for decades. A simple analogy is that when we hold onto a computer for more than a certain number of years (3 to 5 years) it starts to cost us money in lost time or efficiency as compared to a current model.
Some people today spend one or two hours commuting to and from work, and the commute time for many is still increasing. There is a better way, and it is by design.
“Most people simply are not aware of their good fortune yet.” That’s the way Buckminster Fuller described it.