Mass Exodus and the New Megalopolis: Research Proposal
Our research group in the Post-Planetary Design seminar at Parsons is focusing on the impact our transition into a post-planetary society may have on our home planet. Our research centers around (1) the future of existing cities, (2) the emergence of new metropolitan hubs, which will be covered primarily by Mateusz Rek, and (3) the resultant and necessary network of the future megalopolis, which Berkay Guney will be focusing on. Our research will be further tied together and elaborated upon through our investigation of the implications each of these may have, and opportunities these present, for the interconnected and surrounding landscape.
As discussed in my presentation “An Introduction to Mass Exodus and the New Megalopolis” at the Post Planetary Capital Symposium, the (future) historical context or narrative from which our version of the future emerges is predicated by global sea level rise as a catalyst for the redistribution of the world’s urban population, which is also one of the first steps in global shifts in economic and political power.
Our research will touch on a number of the many social, cultural, political, economic, environmental, infrastructural, and architectural challenges and opportunities arising from this mass redistribution of population and power. Additionally, we intend to initiate a dialogue around the importance of implementing policy and practices within our lifetimes in preparation for this eventual migration – the success or failure of our post-planetary society will be dependent on the technological, economic, and political context from which it is born. Our contextual narrative at once anticipates a post-sprawl, post-scarcity, truly global society and post-planetary economy while simultaneously working to address certain essential steps to usher us into this new phase is human history while avoiding, or properly responding to, potential catastrophes.
My research into the impact that our transition into a post-planetary society will have on existing “higher ground” cities will necessitate addressing issues of increased density, potential overcrowding, and an antiquated building stock and infrastructure within the context of a new economic and political system and as yet unimaginable technologies. Here we can address such issues as the opportunities this presents for the rebirth of dead or decaying urban centers, such as Detroit, along with further discussion of the repercussions of certain post-planetary scenarios, such as asteroid mining, on cities historically (physically or economically) tied to the extraction or refinement of earthly natural resources, such as Pittsburgh or Huston.
Our research into the development of new megacities provides further context for the discussion of existing cities and a foundation for the discussion of the implications these have for regional and global networks, the metacity, and the megalopolis. This necessitates touching on, among other things, the development of a new terrestrial transit and shipping infrastructure, a restructuring of the physical, economic, and political landscape, as well as issues regarding the construction of mass infrastructure and sustainable megacities within this predominantly extreme and remote physical context.
As we work to unravel the impact our transition into a post-planetary society may have on our home planet we hope to draw attention to the near future context, relationships, and dynamics involved and the importance of global cooperation and sustainability on successfully ushering our species into this potential future.
3 Apr 2014 / Brian Pickard / 4