Sunday, June 8, 2014

New Detroit

Hi. I have a proposal.

Detroit sucks. Or so I've heard anyway.

Someone (or someones) with a small lake's worth of cash should buy the areas of Detroit with the most vacated buildings. I've got a couple ideas of what they could do with the space, generating an epic paintball arena being one the more frivolous ones.

The one I think would be the coolest, however, may take a great lake's worth of cash to actually realize. The idea is to construct New Detroit, a bleak vision of a science fiction future.

I'd want to start with an extremely extensive hover railway system. Let's destroy roads, break down houses, and topple buildings to make this as efficient at transporting people and things to and from places as we possibly can. This would be the skeleton, the foundation, of New Detroit.

Completing this inside New Detroit's city limits would be primary. Eventually, I would hope this railway would extend to other cities, potentially using something like a Vactrain, if not that precisely. Free-on-board WiFi would be a part of each train, and I'd like to have a meal cart on board too, but that's not something that would need to be there from the beginning, just something to plan toward, or leave available for future growth.

The railway would cost money to use, but ideally not much at all. This charge would be issued no hassle upon entrance to the train. NFC payments would be huge across all of New Detroit. To be honest, you'd practically (and I use that word more true to its real meaning than I normally do here) have to have a smartphone (at minimum) to live here, not to mention the other technologies that I hope develop past inception and infancy.

All shops would accept NFC. Restaurants would push digital menu prompts to your devices when you walk in. Stock counts in retail stores would be available for download.

And home delivery would be completely revamped. Wires running alongside the railway and branching off (surely being just as obtrusive as telephone wires (if not more)) would be able to direct and haul packages from distribution centers owned by various companies, such as Amazon, straight to a patron's mailbox. Maybe we could re purpose the telephone wires, I don't know.

Mailboxes will also be something completely different than what they are today. Currently, they're for mail, built mostly for the paper stuff that comes through and we all mostly throw away. Sometimes you'll get a small package that can fit, but usually those end up at your doorstep. In New Detroit, that will no longer be the case. Each apartment will be linked to a fairly large containing space (roughly the size of a washer or dryer I imagine) in the basement of each apartment building. Packages (and snail mail) would be delivered to these underground boxes by the Herms (what I would want the lines to be called). Alternate or additional (and more secure, potentially) boxes could be rented. More expensive rooms would have dumb-waiteresque boxes, which would deliver the mail to the inside of your room directly.

Oh, also, I think houses would be a rare thing in New Detroit, we'd buy them mostly for the property and then destroy them to make way for, well, New Detroit. Living spaces would be dominantly contained in very large buildings (restaurant/gym/entertainment/inside parks/etc. floors included). The rooms would be set to a default where they are unlocked by smartphone proximity, much like how my key unlocks my car. Any phone could be registered (by the owner of the flat) to unlock the door for a set amount of time (in case of renting or house sitting). This feature could, as with many other things in New Detroit, be altered.

The flats themselves would be very proximity and smartphone-control friendly. Lights turning off and on based on where you are in the house. Room temperature being controlled by something always with you. Locks, security, surveillance, food preparation, and more, all accessible to you wherever you are.

The windows of all buildings would be outfitted with solar panel windows if that's realistic, and if not, solar panel shades. Various kinds of parks and agriculture would be constructed on the tops of all buildings that would realistically benefit from them.

In New Detroit's living spaces there would be garbage shoot drops under the sinks, which would basically be a trashcan you never have to unload. The waste would be dealt with similarly to how water is moved through the buildings.

Of course, I would like to get robots to pepper the city, but I think starting with simple digital services such as the menus and the train charge (and the train being driven by software and being able to order off the digital menu provided) we won't need robots. Maybe New Detroit will get Robocop one day, as would be proper, but you wouldn't need him to make it New Detroit.

I feel like I could go on, and probably will offline, but I'd like to hear from you. I feel like the ground floor of New Detroit hasn't been developed much at all, and that could be a serious problem. Any ideas? What would you like to see included in New Detroit? If you were given the broken portion of Detroit, and let's say it's all broken in the part that you're given, what would you do with it?