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I'm going to imagine a neighbourhood
Last week we explored the idea of moving all the people from a small Fort Worth, Texas neighborhood into sleeping pods instead of houses. We also supplied them with one small bathroom per household and enough space for two cars. This is what we ended up with.
After some reflection, I realized that my parking calculation assumed that there were no spaces between the parking spots to allow cars to drive into said spots. I will lazily assume that you need about half the space of a parking spot, per parking spot, to drive around the parking lot. This would increase the parking lot by 150% which is represented by the image below.
At this point, I was planning on diving into how much space a variety of other necessary services take up in comparison to our living situations. Things like water supply & sanitation, food production & distribution, healthcare, emergency services, energy, waste, etc. In the future, I will do this but as you can see none of those services can be seen within the borders above as it’s all dedicated to homes. Let’s keep the focus on the contrast between individual privatized lots with houses on them and an abundance of community amenities.
I’m going to imagine a neighborhood where instead of everyone having a kitchen there are 8 kitchens that have a weekly meal plan they send out to everyone in the neighborhood so they can choose which of 8 places they want to visit for each meal. In addition, for those who are not feeling inspired by the meals, there will be two bougie convenience stores with an abundance of snacks and premade sandwiches, soups, fruit, and meals for on-the-go.
Commercial design experts often suggest a minimum of 5 square feet per dining seat in the kitchen so hypothetically a 500 square foot kitchen could serve 100 people during meal time. For the 877 people in this neighborhood let’s have 8, 700 square-foot kitchens with an abundance of indoor and outdoor seating throughout the neighborhood. Most restaurants can take up approximately half of their space with the kitchen and half for the rest so we’re going to use that as our base.
Here’s the final count.
~ 520 square meters (sq m) of kitchen space to serve the whole community
3200 sq m of outdoor seating
2700 sq m of indoor seating
~ 200 sq m of grocery shopping
And a basketball court, soccer field, and 2 theater buildings to help with size reference.
As I start to imagine living here a few thoughts pop into my head. ‘Affordable meals served to me within walking distance sounds amazing’, ‘what if I still want to cook sometimes?’, and ‘Where do I go for some quiet me time?’. We still have a lot of space to work with which, at least to me, is incredibly surprising. I was double and triple checking my calculations because I didn’t think they were right but after thinking more carefully, perhaps they are? Each one of those 308 houses may have had 2 to 3 bedrooms, 1 to 3 bathrooms, 1 or 2 living rooms, a kitchen, a garage for 1 or 2 cars, a lot of mostly lightly used lawn space, and more.
Let’s continue next week and add more amenities, perhaps some office space, and definitely some me time spaces. I also can’t wait to eventually dive into how you actually organize a neighborhood to encourage clean, healthy, and maintainable communities because so far I’m just placing squares wherever I feel like it.
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