Emergency Communities-Part 3: Community Plan

Part 3. Community Plan

Community Plan

Community Plan Diagram: Robert Gordon Architecture/Planning

Emergency Preparedness begins with setting aside land in advantageous locations,  (see Part 2. Regional Planning) and then providing the infrastructure necessary to support new communities. These new communities, connected directly to the city, provide the necessary space the residents will need for future development, whether for permanent communities or for a disaster. The form of these developments can be in accordance with the terrain or the adjoining city grid. It can be circular, square or uneven. The planners can lay out a system of walkways, leaving space between them for future housing or emergency shelters. There can be a central location for a community center, about 5-10 minutes walk from the housing, which can be used immediately for Entertainment, Health Centers, Child Care Facilities, Schools (See Part 4. Community Centers). Land can also be set aside at the edges for urban gardens, and even small farms for farmers’ markets.

Planners can layout a system of connections to roadways, parking and loading space for businesses. This would also be a great location for alternative energy sources, like windmills and solar panels which could be connected immediately to a smart grid for the existing city, as well as the for the new community. Certain locations would also be designated for water pumps, sewage or septic systems. Above all, the city should construct a public transportation system, consisting of Bus Rapid Transit and a peripheral tramway, so that these new communities will be part of the existing city and not isolated. This would benefit both the new communities and the existing city, by alleviating overcrowding. One test of how well the new area would function would be to ask the question “What will daily life be like?”  How will people shop for groceries? Will there be restaurants, entertainment, schools and day care centers within walking distance of their homes? Even if emergency community centers of some kind have been put up, there will be a need to create a more interesting and complex network of human life and interaction.

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