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Ralf Lippold

Sep 5, 2017


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Hi runvnc, 

Your proposal touches some of the major challenges of our time, food, energy, housing, mobility, and energy which need bold solutions, that start small and scale fast. 

  1. In which way do you plan to involve city planning departments and communal partners in bringing your idea to scale?
  2. What are possible incentives that would drive (1.) engagement as well as future residents?

The proposed solution could even be applicable in already existing urban environments, e.g. Freiburg-Vauban

Wishing you much success in the contest, and for the upcoming next days before proposals close.


Jason Livesay

Sep 5, 2017


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It is very encouraging to have a comment on my proposal! Thanks so much!

I did not know about Freiburg-Vauban.  After looking at the website just a bit, there seems to be quite a bit of overlap of ideas in what they have built.  I imagine that actually many forward thinking planning groups will have at least some similar ideas -- especially in some progressive areas of Europe for example.

My original idea for implementing this was literally to become independently wealthy and transition from software engineering as a career to real estate development. Perhaps not the most realistic.  However, I think that money is the most effective incentive.  

So either myself or some other real estate development group that was recruited could do a search process against a number of cities, perhaps smaller or more rural to make for less competition, and if we could tell them there was XX million or whatever for a project, some would be interested.  We select the most sophisticated group to partner with.

In terms of future residents, it would be necessary to have an effective marketing campaign and sign up some residents or commercial interests before things were finalized.  Otherwise it could be a ghost town.  The good news is that with pre-ordering, crowdfunding, more generally social networking being popular these days, there are lots of tools and reasons to think it is feasible.  But again I would probably rely on having a significant budget in order to employ effective marketing groups.

I think that one of the keys is to try to integrate multiple green technologies or approaches in ways that complement each other.  Also it seems important to try to stay up with the new technologies that can be applicable.

If some 'smart city' planning groups that have significant funding could be convince to incorporate some of these ideas, that may be helpful, even if all of the ideas aren't included or perfectly complementary.  So for example if Google's Sidewalk Labs ( could accept at least a few of the concepts, such as trying to incorporate permaculture so that city trees are productive rather than ornamental, or the idea to try to do indoor farming or aeroponics quite near homes, or perhaps they haven't seriously considered the latest designs for VAWTs that may be practical for widescale deployment, that could help.   So I just sent them a brief email with the link to my proposal and the Buildings contest proposal page asking them to share the links with the team in case that can get any eyes on the ideas.


Aadhithya Sujith

Sep 7, 2017


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Hi Jason Livesay,

Thanks for submitting the proposal to Climatecolab challenge. I think your proposal sums up many good ideas to horizontally scale society, I feel like you are touching up too many problems simultaneously. It will be good if you focus on one or a couple of them and try to research it in detail and see what is already existing, finding the gaps and trying to plug in these voids with your proposal.

Thanks & regards


Jason Livesay

Sep 8, 2017


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Aadihithya, thanks, in a way I believe you are quite correct in that throwing so many ideas together cannot have the rigour or depth needed to really stand up in a scientific or academic context -- but narrowing the focus too much will lose the point.  Most of this work was done previously as a sort of exercise in real estate fantasy, not scientific study. In the future I hope I can go in more depth in some areas, especially the main ideas which I will reiterate in the next paragraphs.  

The first main point is my belief (again, not proven in any way) that solving our climate and other problems will not hinge on one or two individual extraordinary ideas or inventions, but rather most practically and effectively involve deployment of many useful green ideas simultaneously in ways that complement each other and create an overall structural change to our way of life.

The second main point is that we can solve our challenges more practically by horizontal scaling rather than vertical.

I believe that both points are important, but the way that that future cities perform will also depend on the details of execution, and so integrative/holistic analysis and simulation is also important.