Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Aviation City

The better suburban lifestyle.
(+2, -2)
  [vote for,

Forget cars. Live in a city designed for four-seater aircraft.

This city is designed like a low-density, decentralized sprawl, except there are no roads or highways. Instead, each housing subdivision has a small grassy runway in its center, with garage-like hangars attached to it. Business parks and shopping malls are surrounded by a dozen or so mini-runways with "parking" on either side.

Each of these subdivisions is surrounded by a wide "moat" which forms part of a canal system laid out in a grid geometry. This canal system is used to transport heavy cargo and building materials by barge.

The city would be located somewhere that is sunny and free of wind most of the year, such as UAE.

The results:

* No traffic congestion. Airspace can be utilized in 3 dimensions.

* Low density settlement allows the kind of suburban/rural lifestyle most people want, without sacrificing access to employment and services. The average speeds of small aircraft would allow to spread a 10-million metropolis over a 200 x 200 km grid. This would enable everyone to own a large plot of land, undisturbed by noise and pollution.

* There would be no public land, apart from the canal system. All subdivisions would be privately owned, and effectively run like gated communities. The advantage: 1) Almost no crime. There would be no space for beggars, and the moats would protect citizens from burglaries, muggings, and car crime. 2) The lack of public infrastructure would keep taxes low.

* A good ultralight aircraft costs as much as a medium-sized car and is easy to fly, so it's in most people's reach. Mass production of small aircraft would bring the prices down further.

kinemojo, Feb 12 2007

Not on the same scale but kind of baked http://www.skypark.org/LATimes.htm
[jhomrighaus, Feb 12 2007]

Another of the same http://www.holleymo...om/platt/index.html
[jhomrighaus, Feb 12 2007]

Trebuchets - faster to get airborne http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catapult
For those short trips in to the grocery store (watch out for low flying aircraft). [pathetic, Feb 12 2007]


       See the link, they have these but obviously not on this scale.
jhomrighaus, Feb 12 2007

       As a pilot (and an optimist), I think this is a spectacular idea. However, I'd be hard pressed to go run out to Blockbuster or the local grocery as a reason to fly.   

       As a lawyer and a realist, I also realize this would be a lawyer's dream town. Think of all the aircraft accidents (with accompanying deaths) that would be fodder for litigation. There would be no unemployed lawyers in such a town.   

       Now I've flown hang-gliders, autogyros, cessnas, among other aircraft... Generally the simplest of aircraft generate an injury accident at least one out of every 1,000-10K flights (I've nearly had a hang-glider vrs. barbed wire episode myself). Now such accidents could be attributable to a) low training requirements to fly and b) relative pilot inexperience. Still, would you want to share the skies with the the rich teen-ager who just got trained in visual flight rules flying?   

       One more thing, the group of pilots I know (and this includes hang-glider pilots) are about 80% male. Consequently, there might be a decidedly unsatisfactory gender bias in such a town.   

       Why don't we just arrange a simpler town that employes trebuchets to launch people to carefully placed, air-filled cushions (you know, the ones that are about 50 feet square). You could fly with much simpler equipment (perhaps with some computer guidance on the trebuchet).   

       See my link on catapult/trebuchet
pathetic, Feb 12 2007

       I used to use a place like that for touch and go practice when I was a student pilot. I am sure the residents LOVED all us students doing that.
Galbinus_Caeli, Feb 13 2007


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