The Atlantic magazine is talking about:
Kid Cities is a mechanism to manage the physical evolution of metropolises.
The purpose of Kid Cities is to evolve metropolises into distinctively scaled places where people, kids and elderly included, grow and thrive in the 21st century. By creating a highly-correlated fitness landscape of amenity-saturated nodes, at multiple scales, where human activities include the possibility of repeated interactions, Kid Cities supports the range of economic and civilized interactions that make places vibrant with life.
is an imaginary tale about living in the near future, where kids love growing up in huge metropolises.
in one example, KidCities
Animate's sketch showing the increased contrast between places of high and low density.
Historically City Planning was an industrial era solution to land use and disease. Transportation Planning reacted to the invention, and unforeseen implications, of the automobile. Then Community Development responded to people looking for humanism in a rational world. More recently, Urban Design strategies attempted to restore an aesthetic form to metropolises overrun by the automobile.
The growth of cities into 21st-century metropolis’ adds complexities of overlapping municipalities vying for governance power. While the word city is commonly used to describe urban life, places with populations from 100,000 extending into 100 million people are radically different places. Kid Cities is a robust mechanism that matches the appropriate governance structure and evolutionary strategies, to the seven levels of twenty-first-century urban life.
Animate's diagram indicating the 7 levels of a twenty-first-century metropolis and how Kid Cities mechanism coordinates transportation with other amenities.
The rapid growth of metropolises across the world is happening while in established metropolises, a decreasing birth-rate is affecting demographics. Logic follows that humans are building population centers unsuitable to raising children. Thus while adults focus on the virtues of sustainable lower energy usage, the possibility of unsustainable human species is emerging because fewer people participate in the cycle of life.
The Kid Cities mechanism coordinates transportation systems into seven (7) levels of places which are coordinated with building regulations. The tool is evolutionary. It is not a grand master plan, but a pathway to evolve into a more user-friendly, civilizing, and culture producing environment. Currently, municipalities coordinate services through outdated hierarchies with specific implications on community and organizational effectiveness.
Mixed-use in Kid Cities is more than just adding retail below residential. Amenity saturated nodes induces civilizing interactions.
The mechanism calibrates levels of transportation and levels of amenity saturated places with open space and other features. Matching the scale of an amenity with its physical place supports organizational effectiveness. These natural levels are becoming more visible in changing corporate structures.
Integration-of-amenities is opposite zoning-by-function. Many today talk about “mixed-use,” yet municipalities still rely on functional-use-zones on maps. These mixed-use buildings, forced onto zones on maps, become an overly complicated "permanent state of exceptions."
Animate’s Kid Cities mechanism enables communities to integrate amenities which meet their needs. Well defined levels, a distinct character of a place, and a variety of uses make spaces that work well for people.
An evolutionary solution for a more innovative, diverse, and economically robust sense of place: Multi-scaled, Highly Correlated Fitness Landscape
Different physical landscapes reflect different governance organizations. A random fitness landscape can be limited by outsider's influence, rendering citizens impotent. A smooth fitness landscape can be limited by "in-group" social norms and victim to global events. And a single-peaked fitness landscape, frequently associated with dictators, are prone to catastrophic collapse.
The Kid Cities mechanism evolves into a networked, highly correlated and multi-scaled fitness landscape. Places become visible opportunities for people to understand the ecological and useable context of their activities. This reflects higher organizational effectiveness, leading to greater innovation, and is more robust to the global economic environment.
After reading this far, there is only one more paradox. Many Americans have this desire for a European style high-speed rail system (level 6), and yet American metropolises are spaced across a continent-wide country with very low density and small cities (mostly district-sized places at level 3). Simultaneously overlooked is a solution to congested level 5 metropolises.
More than congestion-pricing, America needs an order of magnitude better transit solution for Level 5 metropolises. Ideally a solution that re-mobilizes the Kids and the elderly. For any congested or growing metropolis of over three million residents, an infiniteTransit flyway is the recommended solution to these challenges. The Kid Cities metropolis managing mechanism weaves these issues together into a robust, sustainably human, evolutionary tool.
Civility is freedom's prerequisite.