Continu(c)ity

THE CRISIS
The evolutionary biologist E. O. Wilson proposed in The Future of Life that the US become 50 percent natural and 50 percent developed for maximum biodiversity. Combine this call with the argument that people shouldn’t be living in places that can’t sustain them, the threat of 6.5 ft. or more of sea level rise, a still expanding population expected to reach 571 million in the US and 9 billion in the world by the end of the 21st century, an economic crisis, and the pressures of the generic city; and a new paradigm for the American city is born.

THE SOLUTION
The American landscape is littered with 939 metro- and micropolitan statistical areas that are connected by 140,810 miles of rail and 2,615,870 miles of paved road, 46,726 of which are interstate. Overburdened lines of movement that only serve to territorialize metropolitan areas pretend to unite and connect cities that are singular into a multiplicity. Cities and the transit between them have long been considered two different elements functioning separately, but what happens when they become one?

The Body without Organs provides a way to rethink how to deterritorialize and reform cities and transit into a symbiotic, rather than hierarchical, relationship.  It is not the number of developed areas, low population density, number of cars, miles of interstate, or sprawling land use that is the disease. These are all symptoms of a more basic crisis: the organization of the body’s organs—the failed relationship between metropolis and continental infrastructure.

Transit Oriented Development has, in recent years, seen more interest from metropolitan areas taxed with overburdened roads and bad land use, but this is only a temporary fix. Congruity has to be applied on a continental scale.  Transit and city must take on the same identity. Points connected by lines have to be replaced by the rhizome—a flat space without hierarchy.  The city must become a continuous identity: Continu(C)ity.

The Continu(C)ity is a mile wide band of city at high density traveling across the US landscape defined by dense transit corridors on either side that makes movement more efficient, frees up farmland, preserves biodiversity, and provides a more sustainable living environment.

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