May 2008

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

« You Had Me at A**hole | Main | Preferences »



For the Ultimate One Story House - you have bathrooms and laundries all over the place. Why wouldn't you have the plumbing all along the one wall or rather one side of the house?


Have you even seen new galactica?!?!?!? Robots=Cylons


I'll cut to the chase. The future city in mind would:

1) have the maximum number of people living in minimal area possible. This would mean tall (very tall) buildings.

2) run on renewable energy. Therefore solar panels wherever possible and a wind turbine on every possible rooftop.

3) have minimal dependence of water from surrounding water sources. Therefore rainwater harvesting would be practiced.

4) be such that people dont have to travel much. This would mean communities would be made such that people work in offices on the lower floors of the buildings, and live in the apartment houses on top. So travelling to work would involve taking the elevator (at least for most of the people).

5) have very efficeint public transport that would be the personal/public rail network thats still in the testing stages.

6) have cars and other means of personal transport that run ONLY on clean energy.

7) have plenty of green spaces and playgrounds. Parks and fields would be common, but most importantly, it would be required that most buildings have roof-top gardens and maybe even small playgrounds.

8) have universities lined on the outskirts of the city and not on the inside.

9) have separate lanes for cars, bicycles, and service vehicles (such as police vehicles and ambulances).

10) have an underground system for shipping goods automatically.



This is a little after the fact, but after reading about your Ultimate Future City I was watching a show about Australia on my iPod and they mentioned a city called Coober Pedy. It's an opal mining town of almost 2000 people and they all live underground. Looked pretty cool. The way they filmed it on the show it looked entirely underground, but pictures on the net would indicate there are a few places still above.

The show I was watching is available on iTunes. Search in TV Shows for Discovery Atlas, Season 1, In Atlas: Australia...


Hula Dog

Disney World started it. It's the best example of a future city. Shame Disney's ideas went with him. Maybe you can pick up the torch.


I'd question the fountain right next to the bathroom if you have any friends who tend to overindulge in alcohol or other mind-altering substances.


A good idea for your ultimate city would be to have really big skyscraper complexes that could be for example a health facility on one floor and a restaurant/food court on another and a grocery store on another. The entire city could be built up like this which could also decrease the traffic in the city beacuse people wouldn't have to drive from place to place.
I also think it would be better for the homes to be built in clusters around these instead of the government funded health facilities so that instead of driving everywhere people would be able to walk.


The German Ruhr University of Bochum is conducting experiments with a large-scale model for an automated subterranean transport system. It would use unmanned electric vehicles on rails that travel in a network through pipelines with a diameter of 1.6 meters, up to distances of 150 kilometers. Sending cargo goods through underground pipelines is anything but new — see this scan of a 1929 magazine article about Chicago's underground freight tunnel network (more details). Translating this concept to the 21st century would be something like introducing email for things: you could order something on the Internet and pick it up through a trapdoor in your cellar the next morning.


I don't know how the climate is where you're living Scott, but her in Finland it's quite essential to have a large walk-in closet next to the foyer. This is the place where all shoes and "outside clothes" as in jackets etc. are stored. But this is apparently a big cultural difference: we take our shoes off in the foyer and actually have a word for "outside clothes". Or maybe I'm just being ignorant?-)

Alice in Wonderland

Love it! And it isn't time to have community cafeterias? Forcing everyone to cook their own meals is so inefficient in so many ways.


Houses, or indeed individual buildings, are ineffecient and wasteful, as well as contributing to sprawl and the various ineffecincies that creates. Which is a HUGE problem in terms of our resources. It's one of the major concerns among city planners today. We need more high rises, condense our cities, lessen the distance from work to home.

If you must make underground roads, picture the largest possible city you can imagine your city becoming, triple that, and plan for that. Worked for London's underground.


A couple comments on the houseplan:

1) Not a big fan of putting basement stairs directly connected to the garage - if some idiot leaves the car running in the garage, all the nasty fumes and Monoxide runs down the stairs into the basement - annoying at best, deadly at worst.

2) Seperate his and hers master closets are a necessity (if you know what's good for you....)

3) You might build the cat bathroom as part of the laundry room, making it more centrally located. Otherwise the cat might not want to make the long hike, and just pee on the LR rug.

4) Laundry room next to the living room is problematical. Washers and Dryers are noisy, unless you have great soundproofing you will have to try to enforce a "no laundry when the TV is on" rule. Good luck with that.

5) Unless you have no problem with snacking, having to go through the kitchen to get to the office is going to be an issue.

6) The odd shaped rooms and large number of doors in most rooms is going to make furniture placement a real challenge.

But hey, house design is always a hoot, enjoy!


If the majority of the action was taking place underground, that would really even the playing field for super heros like spider man that depend on swinging from high rise buildings over the street. He would still have his spidy sense, but that's not enough to defeat evil do-ers alone.


It need a room surrounded by poured concrete walls to act as a tornado shelter.. or if its like most commercial buildings, the bathrooms are the shelters, with a foot thick concrete walls.


"Homes would be built in clusters around comprehensive health club facilities[...] Membership would be included in city taxes, and would pay for itself in reduced healthcare."

What healthcare costs does a city incur?

When I get sick, do I cost the city money? Where's the savings to the city by keeping me healthy?

Needs work but, overall, seems like a good start.

Oh yeah -- I'm one of those libertarian-utopia guys. Don't charge me taxes for something I don't want. Make everything use-tax based.


You have the storage room as "un-conditioned". Given most building codes require heat/cooling for every room it may be cheaper to condition the room than to make the explanation for the waiver.

I like the tunnel scheme, but given how expensive it is to underground utilities, undergrounding transportation would be massively expensive. You know, for that early Saturday morning bucket of cold H2O...

Surabaya Stew

Great job on the house, Scott! Thank you for listening to your readers suggestions, comments, and advice. Now when are you going to get this drawn up by an Architect? -hint, hint...


Robots: good! No need to manually unload your purchases, the material could be packaged in standard-sized totes, and the robot just dumps it on your porch, and takes off.

Underground: good idea, but expensive! Excavation work is very costly. Much cheaper to build enclosed insulated paths aboveground. Not as pretty, though.

Government funded health clubs: Awful idea! They would be awful. Long lines, no competition, broken gear... we need competing centers for quality.


Conception is always fun. I have many issues with the ideas like security and the robots that are running around. It's not the robots it's the dumb people that get in their path and get hurt. It's not that I really care that the dumb people get hurt, it just puts more strain on the health care system.

I can see the crew of Jackass building a simple device that will allow them to catch a ride via a robot while riding their skateboards. Someone will end up getting hurt and be taken to the hospital. Then an x-ray will be shown of the hurt guy and you'll be able to see an outline of their privates or their poo or a toy car that they shoved up into themselves the night before. Please, no robots.

No one

What about the fact that I /enjoy/ driving to work? It's relaxing, it gives me time to listen to NPR in the morning, and it's mentally stimulating in a way very different from work or play.


Take a look at the original EPCOT concept. Similar goals, different execution.


The house seems to have a central theme (the main room) so if you're sociable, that seems to work. There doesn't seem to be any chokepoints (where you have to swear as you carry the bed to the bedroom) so that's fixed.

Not my style, but that's me.

As to the city, what you need is to make it worth walking around. Nowadays, everyone's working so you don't have the wife doing a daily shop. And a weekly shop at the moment means you have to have a car to carry the stuff home. And carrying goods makes walking around the shops less worthwhile.

So have people buy their items and allow them to chalk them up for delivery. When you've done shopping, all the goods are delivered "then". This would mean that you'd have to have some collection scheme to have the goods from each shop collected to a central store and held there until the last item shopped for turns up, boxed up and shipped out to the customers' homes.

If the shopping arrives 20 minutes later than you, it doesn't matter, but if it turns up 3 hours later, you're going to want to carry the shopping yourself and that gets us back to the original problem.

As to the problem of goods requiring labour to offload, this doesn't happen all that much and in any case usually means the item is transported from a warehouse in another state/county and will turn up "Thursday", so isn't a huge problem, IMO.

And for those complaining you still have to have a physical presence, WALK. If it's 2 miles, unless it's mountainous, that's a half-hour walk. Less if you're fit. Anything up to 4 is eminently walkable.


who needs robots when the earth is already teeming with moist robots?


I LOVED the floor plan. Since my *swear word* knees restrict me at a young age to a one floor house; this is the best plan that I have seen. Although you sure seem to have a fixation on the "storage room". Just kidding. That's what garages are for.
The city idea sounds wonderful, if we can get a couple of billionaires to fund them.


In reference to paying spa membership with city taxes:

"There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want, simply because you think it would be good for him." - Robert Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Yeah. So there.
No offense, but people like you with such good intentions (upon which the path to hell is built) are the reason for the increasing amount of socialism in America. Which is bad.

The comments to this entry are closed.