A big idea like this can overwhelm a person. When I first got this idea to build a smart city privately in India, even I thought it was crazy. The idea wouldn’t go away though, so I wanted to look into it to see how crazy it was.
The question is, when you’re thinking about doing something huge, the question becomes where the hell do you start. Well, for me it started with identifying the problem. Indian cities currently were never designed for their current populations. There is no infrastructure, rule of law is sporadic and chaos is the order of the idea. People die every day from contaminated drinking water. On top of that is a suffocating bureaucracy and corruption.
So at a high level then I have identified things that are important to me in a potential new city: limited government (more govt equals more corruption), dependable infrastructure and fairly applied laws. Govt and the application of laws can be designed down the road, I believe so the priority should be infrastructure. What infrastructure is needed?
Cleaning drinking water production, cleaning dirty water and producing power. I stumbled upon one possible solution in the Janicki Omniprocessor which costs only $1.5 million installed and service the fecal sludge of 100,000 people. An amazing accomplishment! However, it can’t process too much water at one time. It also produces about 5MW of power as an output. I plan on using the cleaned water and the power for urban farming which I will co-locate. Research also has indicated that a natural gas plant would be cheap to construct but I haven’t been able to verify a cost. I think to start it should be at least 25MW but I’m open to criticism of that. For drinking water, I am currently thinking of having an air to water machine for each building. A typical medium sized machine can produce around 300 gallons of potable water a day if conditions are good. This should be sufficient for 300 people (100 unit building) according to my estimations. Finally, trash removal is another important consideration. My first thought is to use vacuum tubes to suck away most garbage which would connect to each building and possibly each housing unit. Obviously, for each of these, cost is the dominating concern.
This is where I started. I will post in more detail about each component of infrastructure, my thoughts on how to implement, my assumptions and any gaps in my thoughts or calculations.
As promised, here is the product from Amazon. Need a gift for a baby? This seems like a cool idea:
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