Planning the Most Unsustainable City in 20 Easy Steps

Have you always wanted to build an unsustainable city but didn’t know how?

We are proud to share with you Carboun’s free 20-step guide.

Step 1: Choose The Site That You Feel is Right: You may pick a site 50 miles away from your national capital, in the middle of the desert or forest, or just at the edge of an existing city. Don’t worry about whether it has water resources, a good climate, or a natural port. Embrace the future and go with your gut.

Step 2: Always Start With a Clean Slate: If there are people living and working on this site, get them out so you can plan the site with no restrictions. Once you are done dealing with humans, treat the site as a blank piece of paper that has no ecosystem or habitats. Those pesky animals cannot stand in the way of human progress.

Step 3: Pave Over Every Square Meter of Nature: Bulldoze over any existing green areas or trees to maximize developable land and profits. It doesn’t matter if it is drylands or wetlands, for surely those pesky animals that live here can move elsewhere. Nature is so overrated and both adults and children spend all their time on their screens anyways

Step 4: Ignore the Natural Water Cycle: Ignore the natural topography of the land. Do not let the natural rainwater drainage limit your creativity. Make the city the way you like it, and let the engineers worry about the flood and landslide risks later.

Step 5: Imagine Your City As a Silicon Valley: Don’t worry yourself too much with the demographics of who will live in the city and how to create employment opportunities. Name it something Tech-y and Watch the Magic Flow. It doesn’t matter if you have the infrastructure to support an innovation hub. Call it Silicon Delta or iCity and boom – watch the tech bros and venture capital pile in based on the cool branding alone!

Step 6: Plan Suburbia on Steroids: Cover your city plans in suburban single family homes, even if no one can afford it. Maximize massive energy-hungry mansions that look nothing like the local architecture. If the local community doesn’t know what is good for itself, you should bring them enlightenment with the latest McDonald’s drive-thru designs.

Step 7: Craft Glass and Concrete Downtown: Plan enormous glass office towers, where windows cannot be opened and the air conditioning works extra hard to deal with the heat radiating from the sun and from surrounding roads and parking lots. Even in hot climates, glass buildings are your only signal to the world that your city is modern.

Step 8: Neglect All Cultural and Recreational Amenities: Don’t worry about creating a vibrant downtown area with visual interest. Nothing says community like shopping malls! Also do not forget to add generic big box shops and sterile office campuses at the edge of the city.

Step 9: Help People Get in Their Cars More: Ensure that residential areas are separated from shops and offices by at least 5 miles to force everyone to drive everywhere. Think of all the fun revving and racing off the lights, on the way to buy milk.

Step 10: Plan Mega Highways: No trip to the grocery shop is worthwhile if it is not on an eight lane highways surrounded by parking lots. Remember, highways slicing through neighbourhoods is the height of the American Dream we all aspire to.

Step 11: Squash Public Transit: Make sure no appealing or efficient train, metro, or bus options exist to discourage any travel not encased in your very own ton of motorised steel. Road rage builds character, and everyone has the right to pick their nose in their own private space.

Step 12: Keep Pedestrians Away From the Road: Make sure people are safe by keeping them in their large cars. Plan the city in mega-blocks to make traversing it by foot or bike impossible. Provide token footpaths only in a few locations, and forget about cyclists. Why do these crazy hippies demand cycling lanes anyways? Do they not have a gym membership?

Step 13: Make Outdoor Areas Pristine: Don’t plan any green space or parks but if you must, make sure that they are void of any seating, shading, or water fountains. You do not want people spoiling your Instagram™-able parks with their picnics, children, or dogs.

Step 14: Place All Low Income Housing Under the Highways: Ensure that the affluent residents enjoy sea views and that housing for low income workers is out of sight. No one wants a view of dilapidated units from their penthouse. Perhaps place essential workers in leftover lands near industrial areas or – better yet – in the town next door. If any one complains just respond that this is the natural order of society, or give them an introduction to capitalism.

Step 15: Plan a Sea of Asphalt: Black tar rooftops and asphalt parking lots are easiest to build and require no maintenance. No one will notice the increase in temperature in the city and you can always blame it on climate change.

Step 16: Embrace Dirty Energy: Fossil fuel power plants dotting the horizon is the easiest way to get power to your city. Buy peace of mind and avoid the hassle of installing solar panels and wind turbines. Don’t worry about carbon emissions, this is something for politicians to worry about. Just keep these polluting plants far away from the city because – as everyone knows – the solution to pollution is dilution.

Step 17: Design for Maximum Water Waste: Add lush green lawns in roads’ median strips where no one ever walks. Even if you do not have enough freshwater to maintain them, insist on adding non-native trees and decorative foliage. Do not forget to install burbling fountains using freshwater – recycled water is for hippies.

Step 18: Move the trash out of sight: As long as your city’s waste is whisked away instantly, who really cares where it ultimately ends up? Do not worry about waste sorting, composting, or recycling. As long as the waste leaves the city, someone else will deal with the mountains of trash!

Step 19: Never Plan Ahead: Doing meticulous studies to craft careful policy plans over decades is totally lame. Making it up as you go and act impulsively based only on immediate self-interest. Go for a dystopian-chic ambiance. What could possibly go wrong?

Step 20: Ignore All Feedback and Remain Foolish: Do not attend any conferences or talks on sustainability else you might catch a guilty conscience. Maintain a lack of awareness for your team and for the public.

Visionaries listen to no one, especially impacted citizens and scientific experts. Do not listen to anyone trying to weigh you down with practical considerations. You’re a trendsetting trailblazer who answers to no one!

You know best!

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