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America's First Eco-City: Doomed From the Start

Soulskill posted 1 year,6 days | from the parking-spaces-not-big-enough-for-SUVs dept.

Earth 258

An anonymous reader writes "Despite backing from the Clinton Climate Initiative, and a $111 million investment from Subway Restaurant mogul Fred DeLuca, a planned city for Central Florida called 'Destiny' was doomed from the start, according to memos retrieved from Florida's Department of Community Affairs. According to state officials, despite a great deal of hype about Destiny, Florida, becoming the first fully sustainable city in the U.S., plans to build the city were rejected almost immediately due to concerns over 'possible urban sprawl, energy inefficient land use patterns, the endangerment of natural resources, and the undermining of agriculture.'"

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258 comments

due to concerns over (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44304217)

roaming vigilantes hell bent on "justice"

Re:due to concerns over (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44304715)

That's for sure - you wouldn't catch me standing between Zimmerman and some vigilante hell bent on "justice"! Poor guy is gonna be wearing a bullet-proof vest for the next 10 years.

In otherwords (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44304235)

The batshit insane goverment there killed it because it involved environmentalism.

Magical libertarian thinking knows no bounds.

Re:In otherwords (5, Informative)

hawguy (1600213) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304335)

The batshit insane goverment there killed it because it involved environmentalism.

Magical libertarian thinking knows no bounds.

Based on TFA, it sounds like there were some valid concerns about the project:

Although the data and analysis state that the New City will support multi-modal transportation alternatives, and the scenario analysis assumes the New City will have transit, the policies do not actually require it. Urban sprawl may not be discouraged without clearer and more specific standards.

...

As written, this policy is vague regarding the actual size of the New City... the policy fails to provide adequate guidelines and standards for the location, suitability, contiguity, and compactness of the developable area, which could result in a scattered, energy inefficient, and sprawling pattern of development in areas which are environmentally unsuitable.

These sound like valid concerns, If it's not in writing, it's not going to happen - any city that's worked with a developer knows that the developer will promise the world "Oh yes, we'll build a park on every street corner and a paved jogging/biking trail around the perimeter of the development, trust us", but when funds run short, the development ends up with a patch of dirt called a "park", and fifty feet of paved trail that goes nowhere.

Plus there was the little financial sideshow:

While Destiny's Pugliese could have gone elsewhere with his plans, it seems a legal plot twist was the final nail in Destiny's coffin: A series of finger-pointing lawsuits between Pugliese and investor Fred DeLuca concluded last October when Pugliese and his business manager Joseph Reamer were charged with money laundering and fraud for using a portion of DeLuca's investment to pay for personal and business projects unrelated to Destiny.

Re:In otherwords (3, Informative)

LifesABeach (234436) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304419)

Valid concerns in Florida are Tea Party oriented; and the president knew it. So why would a government type burn $100M+?

It's like walking by a post and observing a turtle on top of it.

Re:In otherwords (5, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305175)

In this case boy would they have been right. When I first saw the website I just shook my head. What a freaking boondoggle. It would have been in the middle of nowhere Florida. And yes I grew up in Vero Beach, Florida. The current town at that location is called Yeehaw Junction and no I am not kidding. It is the Turnpike exit that you use to get to Vero. No jobs, no infrastructure, no people. A community there would be a classic Florida land scheme. AKA it is "swampland", not really it is central florida grassland. Good for raising cattle but not much else.
Anybody from the area that heard about it would say, wow that is crazy.

Re:In otherwords (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44305211)

Florida native here as well - when I looked up that it was in Osceola county I just laughed. There is nothing out there but truckers and cows.

Re:In otherwords (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305281)

Worse than that was to be right next to Yeehaw Junction. Ever got off on that Turnpike exit? The site was just a bit north on 441 I think.

Re:In otherwords (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44305291)

Made a one driving trip each year for the last 20 years down there to see family. I got so sick of seeing those 50-foot billboards "We Bare All", advertising meth-addict sea-hags dancing naked in a building that used to be a Stuckeys. It was a couple hundred miles north of YeeHaw, but it'll be indelibly associated with FL in my mind forever.

Re:In otherwords (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44305461)

Try looking up the story of Ave Maria, FL sometime. Same idea of building a town from scratch in the middle of nowhere Florida (the nearest real town, Immokalee, is a lot worse than being a turn off for Vero Beach. The only difference is instead of being an eco-city, it was created to be a Catholic haven around a Catholic school, and instead of millions being dumped in by someone who made their money with Subway, it was someone who made their money from Dominoes Pizza. They are still struggling, but I think their population is larger than Yeehaw junction at least. Although they did manage to fail to ban the sale of porn and condoms in the area, and now collect recycling despite their leader saying it was pointless (it just gets dumped in the trash there anyways...).

Re:In otherwords (2)

trout007 (975317) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305025)

They just need to do what Disney did. Make yourself a city and get jurisdiction over all improvements.
Disney has done a good job at managing growth on their property. Their roads are better than most in Central Fl.

Re:In otherwords (1)

jythie (914043) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305037)

Or at least validly worded concerns.

More likely though, these kinds of concerns get fast tracked if you smooze the right people and grease the right palms. Horrible projects with poor planning and shaky finances get approved all the time.

Re:In otherwords (4, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305151)

Okay Destiny Florida was to be built not too far from where I live and pretty close to where I grew up. The nearest town is Yeehaw Junction, Florida. It has two gas stations/convenience stores and an old brothel that is now a bar/restaurant. It is in the middle of nowhere. You have route 60 which, 441, and the Turnpike their but no rail, no commercial airport and no real jobs. It is hot and humid in the summer and is nothing but cattle ranches and citrus groves. It is not a good location at all to build a community except that the land is cheap. It is a at least an hours drive to Kissimmee and people shop for groceries in Okeechobee, FL.

It was a boondoggle from the start. Honestly the ideal way to build something like that would be to get some companies form a team with companies like Google, Apple, Intel, Bank of America, Publix "in florida", and so on to build facilities their for jobs as well as things like banks and grocery stores.
Might I suggest here https://www.google.com/maps/preview#!q=St+Marie%2C+Mt&data=!1m4!1m3!1d35531!2d-106.5221343!3d48.4125271!4m11!1m10!4m8!1m3!1d56752!2d-80.3896905!3d27.250567!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!17b1 [google.com]
It is an old USAF base that has been shutdown. Most of the buildings are empty so you could start with a lot of existing infrastructure and build from there. You already have an airport that could handle jets and lots of potential for wind power and about average for solar. It is the great plains so it is not the ecologically sensitive as the central florida wetlands and has already been developed as a community than left.

Re:In otherwords (1)

Shavano (2541114) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305349)

While Destiny's Pugliese could have gone elsewhere with his plans, it seems a legal plot twist was the final nail in Destiny's coffin: A series of finger-pointing lawsuits between Pugliese and investor Fred DeLuca concluded last October when Pugliese and his business manager Joseph Reamer were charged with money laundering and fraud for using a portion of DeLuca's investment to pay for personal and business projects unrelated to Destiny.

Reamer. Who would have thought?

Re:In otherwords (2, Funny)

Charliemopps (1157495) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305063)

Magical libertarian thinking knows no bounds.

That's rather ironic given the libertarianism is entirely about rationalism, and environmentalism often seems to be about solar panels in perpetual daylight and wind farms in a never-ending breeze. Oh wait, big oil re-wrote the laws of physics just to increase their profits, I forgot.

Re:In otherwords (4, Funny)

L. J. Beauregard (111334) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305449)

libertarianism is entirely about rationalism

Oh, wait, you're serious.

Re:In otherwords (0)

Gerzel (240421) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305487)

Building a new city as Environmentally Friendly is pointless.

You build new cities for a purpose. Usually the purpose is to house the people moving there. Designed cities always have a purpose, one example, Washington DC had the purpose of housing the Federal Government.

The way you make an eco city is you improve on current cities where you can.

Undermining of Agriculture .... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44304265)

A lot of things get killed when they get in the way of this industry. Wasn't long ago Florida officials would show up at your house and cut down your citrus trees because of "undermining of agriculture".

Re:Undermining of Agriculture .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44304373)

A lot of things get killed when they get in the way of this industry.

Presented with a list of four possible causes, the only one that takes your notice is the industry related one.

They've got you trained so well.

Re:Undermining of Agriculture .... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44304391)

Agree. Also "the endangerment of natural resources" is almost certainly newspeak for "the endangerment of the potential to extract natural resources for profit by campaign contributing industries."

Re:Undermining of Agriculture .... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305011)

Wasn't long ago Florida officials would show up at your house and cut down your citrus trees because of "undermining of agriculture".

Can you Google that for me? I seem to be having some difficulty here..

Re:Undermining of Agriculture .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44305521)

google "florida citrus canker"

Re:Undermining of Agriculture .... (4, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305561)

A lot of things get killed when they get in the way of this industry.

It seems to me that the green movement only sees things one way. When environmental concerns are used to stop industry, thats stopping evil industry. But then when those same environmental concerns are used to stop their own poorly planned out project, its suddenly industry thats the bad guy again.

Then they try to vilify specific right wing groups by name, such as libertarians and the tea party. Proof is on the same page as this post.

Doomed? (5, Funny)

nitehawk214 (222219) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304267)

You had me at Florida.

Re:Doomed? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44304277)

and vagina.

Re:Doomed? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44304441)

Florida - the only state in the nation where the further north you go, the further south you are.

Re:Doomed? (1)

OpenMindedMan (1959818) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304627)

And the further south you go, the more you're in Cuba.

Re (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44304269)

What is the difference between a man and a parasite? A man builds, a parasite asks, 'Where's my share?' A man creates, a parasite says, 'What will the neighbors think?' A man invents, a parasite says, 'Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God...'

Re (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44305299)

Stop, would you kindly? 'Would you kindly'... Powerful phrase. Familiar phrase? Sit, would you kindly? Stand, would you kindly? Run! Stop! Turn. A man chooses, a slave obeys. Kill! A man chooses! A slave obeys! OBEY!

How hard can it be? (2)

Narcocide (102829) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304287)

I'm good at Sim City. Obviously they hired the wrong guy for the job.

Re:How hard can it be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44305537)

I would love to watch my city planners playing Sim City. I understand it is just a game, but it could show they can't read a situation and adapt. It would be fun to watch them crash and burn, or maybe I would owe them some new found respect.

Title (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304293)

Am I the only one who first read the title as "America's First Eco-City: Domed From the Start"?

Re:Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44304465)

Am I the only one who first read the title as "America's First Eco-City: Domed From the Start"?

The pink stars are falling in lines.

The error they made (4, Funny)

cold fjord (826450) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304299)

The city should have been domed, then it might not have been doomed. With a domed city nobody can get away, then they have to stay and make it work, and the city isn't doomed.

It is the logic of SciFi, it is the logic of the future.

Re:The error they made (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304569)

I'm watching a documentary about a town in Maine that tried that. Doesn't look like it worked out too well for them.

Re:The error they made (1)

cold fjord (826450) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304643)

One of the key points sometimes missed is to leave air holes. Forget that and, well.....

Re:The error they made (1)

Bartles (1198017) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304819)

Plus when things go to crap, you can make an atmospheric filter out of cigarette butts.

Re:The error they made (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44305033)

There is a Japanese animation called Chrome Shelled Regios, where domed cities move about in a wasteland filled with monsters. In that kind of domed city, everyone can get away... At any rate it was entertaining to watch...

BANANA (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44304339)

Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything

EPCOT turned out a little funny, too. (2)

dpbsmith (263124) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304399)

EPCOT stands for "Experimental Planned Community of Tomorrow." It was supposed to be a town, not a theme park. Funny how these things go.

Re:EPCOT turned out a little funny, too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44304425)

Just don't say that in the State of Disney. They don't brook with none of that free speech nonsense.

Re:EPCOT turned out a little funny, too. (5, Interesting)

hawguy (1600213) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304433)

EPCOT stands for "Experimental Planned Community of Tomorrow." It was supposed to be a town, not a theme park. Funny how these things go.

If Walt hadn't died, that may have happened. He needed the money from the Magic Kingdom to finance his EPCOT plans, and he died before the MK even opened. After his death, the Walt Disney Company decided that they didn't want to be in the business of building cities. Celebration, FL [wikipedia.org] has some elements of Walt Disney's EPCOT ideas.

Re:EPCOT turned out a little funny, too. (5, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304555)

Anything you build in Florida turns into a theme park. Universal Studios? That was supposed to be a strip mall. Sea World? It was originally a Red Lobster.

Shame that they closed the Apollo Ride (1)

reluctantjoiner (2486248) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305321)

I bet it was a real blast, too.

Re:EPCOT turned out a little funny, too. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44304915)

EPCOT stands for "Experimental Planned Community of Tomorrow." It was supposed to be a town, not a theme park. Funny how these things go.

Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow

Re:EPCOT turned out a little funny, too. (1)

ildon (413912) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305501)

They eventually created Celebration which is a more realistic take on what EPCOT was supposed to be.

Regulation Death (3, Insightful)

bagboy (630125) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304429)

The problem with trying any renewable/conservation experiment in a "real-world" scenario is that almost every angle is now covered by regulation. Green Groups/EPA/Agriculture/Neighborhood Groups/etc, etc. It's getting to the point that the only real way to test theories in a real world scenario is to buy a big Island, build your infrastructure and pay a bunch of people to move there. I think Blofeld may be able to help fund this though.

Nice name (3, Funny)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304481)

"Destiny," that's up there with Why, Arizona, or Idiotville, Oregon. I mean, a fully sustainable community blazing a path to the glorious Green future shouldn't have a name that makes you think about putting dollar bills in G strings, mkay?

Re:Nice name (1)

Deadstick (535032) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304525)

And possibly a little confusing, too, considering that Florida has a city named Destin.

Re:Nice name (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304765)

Dude, that's only you who instantly thought of strippers. Where's your brain been? It's especially telling that you thought that everyone else would have the same reaction...nope.

Re:Nice name (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44305145)

You will now. It is your...destiny.

Re:Nice name (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44304771)

You are the reason why I can't place a fag in my mouth. No really, Americans seem to enjoy associating normal every-day words with something perverted.

Re:Nice name (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305481)

Everyone worldwide does it. We're just not shy about it.

Re:Nice name (1)

ShogunTux (1236014) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305427)

Florida just wasn't ready for a "Destiny". They should have gone with a "Pam" or "Pamela" first.

Planning experiment (2)

amightywind (691887) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304489)

A liberal experiment in central planning failed. I'm shocked.

Re:Planning experiment (0)

antifoidulus (807088) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304723)

You do realize that there have been many [slashdot.org] successful planned cities, including the capital of Brazil [wikipedia.org] .

Oh, I'm sorry, did I try to use "facts" with a Republican, my mistake. You are right, "herp a derp, Liberals Bad! Republicans good! Tax bad! Guns good! Government bad! Unless that government is giving me money, in which case good!"

Re:Planning experiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44304901)

(Posting AC because I've modded the hell out of this thread). There was a point in the 80's when Brasilia was having a lot of troubles with maintaining the public archetecture and building up private dwellings and businesses. A single documentary that tried hard to stress the bad parts gave many a mistaken impression of just how bad it was. Brasilia got a whole lot better, but I've noticed that many self professed Libertarians and privatise everything Republicans never heard about that part and it still frequently gets cited as a failure. This is specifically one of those facts that the people who most need to hear it are just not going to listen to. I don't know if there are facts they are less resistant to accepting, but since we are talking about being at least 30 years behind the times, it's worrysome just how much monolythic groupthink there must be on this one.

Re:Planning experiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44305161)

I hear the favelas are particularly nice and are so successful they are expanding.

Re:Planning experiment (3, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305303)

The documentary in question may have given them an unfair shake, but I doubt there would be a thriving Brasilia, if it weren't for the substantial resources of Brazil propping it up. I think that's a caveat that attaches itself to a lot of these projects - they work, but only if they have a large economy to leech off of.

Re:Planning experiment (1)

khallow (566160) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305239)

You do realize that there have been many successful planned cities, including the capital of Brazil.

And do you have any examples of these? The main problem with centrally planned capitols is that they tend to have very poor containment. You don't want that crap on you.

Re:Planning experiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44305471)

Wasn't Washington, D. C. a centrally planned capitol built in a swamp?

Re:Planning experiment (1)

lgw (121541) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304751)

A liberal experiment in central planning failed. I'm shocked.

Had that been the case, they'd be no news story. Where's the "man bites dog" in that? This was a story about "a liberal experiment in environmentalist central planning fails the state's rules because of concerns over its effects on the environment and lack of central planning", which is a pretty good story!

Re:Planning experiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44305483)

It isn't specific to left wingers, as right wing central planned towns can suck too. This one [wikipedia.org] only is still around in central Florida because another fast food chain millionaire continues to dump money into it to tread water.

Wrong name (1)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304491)

Should have been named 'Fate'

Re:Wrong name (1)

Deadstick (535032) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304531)

That's in Texas.

Re:Wrong name (1)

jedidiah (1196) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304661)

Everything is in Texas. That's why they had to start using names like "West" and "White Settlement".

Re:Wrong name (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44305339)

Not to mention other Texas cities like Wink, Buda, Cut and Shoot, Nameless, Uncertain and Twitty.

I know why it failed....or is failing... (2)

Lumpy (12016) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304639)

They allowed politicians to be a part of the process. Politicians know NOTHING about land use, management, etc.. Your city planner is a complete and utter moron when it comes to the job they have, city planning.

None of the homes need to be larger than 850 sq foot. Making a city self sustaining is certainly possible if you do three things.

1 - gather all leaders into one place.
2 - Lock all of them in a big room with no windows.
3 - let scientists and engineers do all the planning based on real data and real designs.

Sadly most people are dumb as a box of rocks and believe they cant be happy without a 5500 sq foot mc mansion and at least 2 acres of Kentucky Bluegrass that requires 10 gallons per square yard a day in water. So eliminate the people as well, at least the dumb ones.

Re:I know why it failed....or is failing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44304801)

I'm sorry. My home is 1000 sq feet. Does that mean the government should seize my house, tear it down and demand I rebuild a 850 square foot house because I exceeded my housing ration by 150 sq feet?

Re:I know why it failed....or is failing... (2)

lgw (121541) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304805)

Odd that you pick exactly the wrong thing about land use for Florida. Florida certainly has no shortage of water; what it has a problem with is drainage. Keeping a high ratio of unpaved land to paved land (as 2-acre lots would do) is precisely what's needed. Planting anything thirsty is even better.

A self-sustaining city is a bit of a joke anyhow, unless the "city" includes farms (both food and tree), steel mills, mines, the whole toolchain.

Re:I know why it failed....or is failing... (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305133)

No, Florida does have water shortages. You're right that drainage into the aquifer is a problem, but droughts do happen, and wasting water on lawns, golf courses, and sugarcane doesn't help. There have been major wildfires caused by drought in Flordia -- remember those?

Re:I know why it failed....or is failing... (2)

danlip (737336) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305147)

Florida does have a drainage problem but that doesn't mean there is not also a water shortage. Saltwater intrusion is a major problem because of the amount of water being sucked out of the ground by all the people living in the coastal areas.

Re:I know why it failed....or is failing... (1)

Bartles (1198017) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304839)

Simpson's did it. It didn't work.

Re: I know why it failed....or is failing... (1)

alen (225700) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304895)

How do you fit a family of four into 850sq feet?

Most new construction in Colorado that I have seen is 3000 sq feet. Separate rooms for the kids, shared bath and separate closets

I have seen old 1920's era homes in NYC and they suck. One bathroom for the entire house. Vey little closets. No family room.

Re: I know why it failed....or is failing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44305247)

How do you fit a family of four into 850sq feet?

Ask my grandmother who raised five children in a house about that big with no indoor plumbing and 2 miles from town.

What I will note is that my brother and I grew up on the same farm but in a larger, more modern house. My mother and her siblings are all very close and keep in touch with one another despite living in the four corners of Canada where as my brother and I might email each other once in a while and maybe see each other a couple of times a year even though we only live 170 km apart.

Re:I know why it failed....or is failing... (1)

Q-Hack! (37846) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305099)

None of the homes need to be larger than 850 sq foot.

So, when the population of earth doubles again, are we then to redefine personal living space at say 400 sq foot? Maybe we should all just accept our 1 sq meter per person now. Then what?

At some point we are going to have to reduce the population of the planet. Either we do it, or mother nature will do it for us. Until then, I plan to live comfortably in a much larger house than what scientists think I should live in.

Humanity will never accept an egalitarian life style. There will always be have and have not's.

Re:I know why it failed....or is failing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44305237)

While 5500 square feet is excessive, 850 sq feet is excessive in the opposite direction, I would hate (and did hate when I lived in a small townhouse) being confined in a claustrophobic box. I like where I live to be open and somewhere I enjoy being not somewhere that I want to escape from. I NEED double your 850 sq feet.

Re:I know why it failed....or is failing... (2)

bloodhawk (813939) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305327)

People don't like living in shoeboxes. I would love to live in a sustainable estate or city, but if it meant living in a 850 sq foot shoebox then you can keep it. I don't need a massive house, but 850 sq feet would feel more like a jail cell.

In Soviet Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44304683)

City designs YOU!

Intentional communities usually fail (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44304693)

This is utterly unsurprising. Intentional communities with "vision" almost always fail. Most 60s communes failed. Many colonies failed, and not just because they were attacked by natives. Modern planned communities do a bit better, mostly because they stick to patterns learned the hard way. They don't have the staying power that "organically grown" cities do. To grow a city you need water, transportation, and people that think it's a good place for a city. Sometimes you can take a marginal place and push it towards becoming a city. Washington DC is such a place. It had the river going for it, but that's about it. It was perfectly miserable when built, and still is; but air conditioning makes it bearable. The determination of the government augmented the river with rail and highway. People wanted to be there because the government was there.

So anyway, it's not surprising that some canned idea of a city put together by "visionaries" attempting to break the mold of urban development failed. That doesn't mean it's not interesting to try though. Think of it as a start-up.

Re:Intentional communities usually fail (1)

PrimaryConsult (1546585) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305163)

Manhattan's street grid [wikipedia.org] helped NYC grow in a much more orderly fashion than would otherwise have occurred...

Academy City (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44304713)

Let's make that happen already.

The only truly sustainable development is none (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44304761)

Despite attempts to beat around the bush, the only sustainable development is none at all. Just about any human activity has a negative impact on the environment. The voluntary human extinction movement, may be considered extreme, but they are actually one of the few groups of environmentalists willing to publicly admit that sustainability is a sham. The only logical way for humans to have no impact on the environment is there to be no humans on the planet.

Re:The only truly sustainable development is none (1)

jmd (14060) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304779)

Each and everyday I become more convinced of this argument.

Re:The only truly sustainable development is none (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44305387)

You first.

Re: The only truly sustainable development is none (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44305067)

What on earth makes you think it's reasonable that humans would have NO impact on the environment?

Your metric is fucked up.

Re:The only truly sustainable development is none (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44305233)

Every single thing has an effect on the environment. Should we rip out our volcanoes for their carbon emissions? And kill every fish that shits in the ocean? And what about that whole earth rotation thingy, you know, the one that made the temperature go from 80 degrees every day to 20. We should stop that, because it changes the environment. Oh, and if you killed yourself, you'd decay and change the environment. You'd breed deadly bacteria that could hurt an innocent wolf that tried to eat your corpse.

The goal, believe it or not, is not to preserve the environment in its current state. The goal is to alter the way that we live so that our impact on the environment is one such that our planet will be able to sustain us indefinitely. This doesn't mean nothing will ever change. There are these things called evolution, and plate tectonics, and a whole host of other things that cause our planet to change. Our goal isn't to preserve everything, but to ensure our continued survival with the limited resources we have. So the voluntary human extinction movement seems to be the very opposite of achieving that goal.

Re:The only truly sustainable development is none (1)

khallow (566160) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305353)

"Sustainable" doesn't mean "has no impact on the environment". For example, breeding von Neumann machines and converting the entire non-stellar mass of the Solar System to a Dyson cloud is sustainable, but has a wee bit of an environmental impact.

Re:The only truly sustainable development is none (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305533)

"negative impact on the environment"

With such a non-definition, OF COURSE we (and every living organism and many non-animate processes) have a negative impact.

The only appropriate answer to that is - so?

Ummmmm..... (1)

jmd (14060) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304773)

Florida? That bastion of progressive thinking?

That already did that elsewhere (1)

JustOK (667959) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304775)

Dome Alaska has been around for a couple of centuries.

There's nothing there (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44304809)

I've been to the location where this was planned to go. There's nothing there. Nothing. The nearest "place" is Yeehaw Junction. Seriously, that's actually the name of something. It's small and a little scary. I stopped there to get gas once. The location for Destiny is very near Kissimmee Prairie preserve. There's a campground there that's a great place to go to do astronomy as the skies are nice and dark. But that's the only reason I would ever want to go to this campground. It's just miles of scrub pine. Looks like this : Kissimmee Prairie Preserve [wikimedia.org] .

Trying to bootstrap a city in a location like this seems to be very difficult. The only reason someone would want to move to this location in the first place would be to get away from it all, which would preclude the type of people that would want to get in on the ground floor of a new city.

I for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44304829)

I for one welcome our new ecoterrorist overlords

2nd failed Eco City in Florida (3, Interesting)

ArhcAngel (247594) | 1 year,6 days | (#44304867)

It's interesting that this is the second story about a failed master planned eco-city [engadget.com] in Florida this month.

Full disclosure: I work for Nextera Energy. Parent Company of Florida Power & Light which this story references.

Stupid is as Government does (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44304941)

It didn't fail despite backing from the Clinton Climate Initiative, and a $111 million investment from Subway Restaurant mogul Fred DeLuca. It failed because of those things. It failed because there was no intrinsic market-based demand for a new city so once the seed funding dried up, nobody could be bothered pushing it past the inevitable government planning obstacles. It failed because federal governments cannot effectively plan at a local level. So bad are the feds at planning that they didn't plan to get an environmentally friendly city past their own environment commissars.

Nonsense, it was a total success (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44305179)

They dished out a bunch of taxpayer money to well-connected political donors, which was all that really mattered.

What a pointless waste of capital... (3, Interesting)

sirwired (27582) | 1 year,6 days | (#44305245)

It looks like the primary problem was they had all kinds of big ideas, and utterly failed to hire anybody with any land-use planning or large-scale development experience to put them on paper in a language likely to be approved.

Just like computer people have their own language and lingo when dealing with technology, so do government land-use officials when reviewing development plans. If your plans don't cover what they expect them to cover, fail to counter objections the planner is likely to have, etc., your proposed development is probably not going to be approved, no matter how meritorious.

Honesty (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44305577)

'possible urban sprawl, energy inefficient land use patterns, the endangerment of natural resources, and the undermining of agriculture.'

That pretty much sums it up in a nutshell the corruption in the world. All the above problems are only likely if there is no management. I don't think anyone was claiming this city shouldn't be a smart city and or have a mayor. Indeed, I don't think a sustainable smart city would even be taken on as a project unless there was general agreement that it should be very efficient in terms of resource usage. The smart cities will come long after we're gone, when our overmasters have reduced the global population, presumably.

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