Letter: The new city – Part 2
After proper planning, we must put in place proper and basic developmental infrastructure that will facilitate ready habitation. Infrastructure such as: roads, electricity, water, human waste disposal system and cater for the nearby solid waste disposal site to be upgraded to handle the expected added volume of waste that a development of this magnitude the new city will create. Or if there is an appropriate parcel of land to make a new waste disposal site, the parcel of land of the current solid waste disposal can be included into the new city.
Land zoning and use:
It is important for a new city to incorporate proper land zoning of the lands to be developed and a separate building code should be developed to accommodate this venture. There must be specific areas that are designated living or domestic, commercial, recreational use, etc., as well as if there is going to be a multipurpose area and the location of such area.
i. The building types: residential, commercial, recreation,
ii. Type of business to have there and type of buildings and a strict adherence to the building code should also be developed for the buildings that will be a part of this new city. In other words, uniformity.
iii. Type of government service available: post office, police station, hospital or clinic, etc.
It is important to note that the first part of any city is the designation and the making available of land for housing. As long as there are residents, the business community will then began to invest to satisfy the needs of the community.
To save you the time and the headache; I have took the time to do the needed research and I have prepared a drawing (drawing is not to scale) to simplify the information and the critical things that one should consider when planning a new city.
Because we are working with about 281 acres of land and the topography of the land is relatively flat and somewhat rectangular, it makes planning this city a fairly simple one. There are things we must consider when we are laying out the city blocks. We must take into account block size; a pedestrian friendly block is about 260 feet to 480 feet long. Anything over 480 feet is considered unfriendly to pedestrians. The smaller the blocks, the more roads that must be put in, the higher the infrastructural cost, and the less land will be made available for sale and development.
Given the topography of the area it is estimated that there will be approximately 45.3 miles of road to be constructed. These road should be constructed prior sale of the land begin. It is important that these roads be constructed at a gradient that will facilitate consistent water runoff; thus eliminating the flood problem. These roads will be two lanes, ten feet wide per lane, curbside parking space of seven feet wide on each side of the road, with a six-foot sidewalk with a one-foot surface gutter on each side to aid the easy run off of surface water.
On the issue of road construction please consult the article: Are SVG government ministers becoming rich from road construction and repairs? It is important that these roads meet proper road construction stipulation, because they will be left for a long while unutilized. I say again, it is also important that the road contractors build such road with a gradient that will facilitate proper water runoff that will alleviate the possibilities of flooding and regular damage to property during the rainy season. The sidewalk lay should be followed by new city code that will not allow developers to construct any permanent structure within six feet of the preexisting side walk. This is to facilitate future and new development.
City blocks, volume of land and land dimension:
This city will consist of approximately 37 blocks with an average of 4.32 acres of land per block to be developed. There will be five roads stretching north to south and eleven roads stretching from east to west. This layout will see the best utilization of the land space while producing pedestrian friendly block size of approximately 444 feet by 423 feet diameter, fairly large but pedestrian friendly block size. This size block will reduce the amount of roads to be constructed and greatly reduce the infrastructural cost of the developers.
The width of the passage way (road, sidewalk, and curb side parking) is to facilitate future development of this city; to cater for the development of this area with 30, 40 or 50 floor building and more without creating an alley effects. It also provides the opportunity to widen the road to accommodate an increase in vehicle traffic, without interfering with the permanent structures.
Connecting old village and existing road:
Another thing we must also consider is the opportunity to properly connect the new city with the existing neighbourhood in and around the new city. This can be done by connecting the new city by Cassan Hill extensions as well as by connecting the new city with Vigi Highway South. In the case of connecting the new city with Vigi Highway will see relocations of some residents in order to construct roads and bridges. There should be at least two new bridges; as it is clearly shown in the plan.
In service to my county (St Vincent and the Grenadines).
Allan H. F. Palmer