Company towns all over again! It did no good for the employers and factory workers back then and it will do no good to the corporate workers now. We need to remind ourselves that these tech workers are humans, with a family and very much an equal part of society as any other. If the global giants are interested to build towns or improve the current situation, they must try to not own but actively participate in the community outside their campus.
Tech workers are married to their companies, always working, right from the minute they step into the shuttle bus that takes them to their ‘campus’ office, till the end of their working life some decades later. In the meanwhile, their life and family suffers because they just don’t have the bandwidth for anything else besides their job, products or people outside their work.
Perhaps exploring various cuisines and traveling the globe is the only other thing they enjoy besides work, but that too comes as a job perk! Aarghh! I see this depressing phenomenon among close family friends and relatives, there is a slow and steady conversion of those folks into dumb workers of <insert giant company name>, where identity of self in society is almost negligible.
These future company towns, if not opened to community at large, is only going to create urban voids in the suburban life of the workers. It will result in more displacement and urban chaos, it will create Zuck-man and Woman, Droid man and woman!
We must be wary, watch out for the machine that we might morph into, and create the right species if at all we go down that hole!
Living in the most expensive(and over-rated) regions like the San Francisco Bay Area region of California only means one thing, competitive urban environments! Every person I know is struggling to balance and shift things around in a way that perhaps helps them commute lesser, save time in order to save money. Or they want to move closer to their child’s daycare, school or to either one of their workplace, to maximize their productive work-life every day.
This commute and the struggle everyday means nothing if one were to be in a flux all the time. I sit in front of this computer this cold and wet morning, seeking an outlet for the urban chaos that we are part of in the Bay Area today.
Since the beginning of this year, each day is plunged with competition in the housing market. Most homes in the Bay Area are dated, they need extensive remodeling, or the costs to obtain and beat the purchasing cash giants to maintain and insure some same process is positively exhausting.
To beat it all, seeking a nice modern home environment seems like a distant dream and unattainable for middle class working couples.
The billions of humans that live on this earth only aspire one thing, dirt. A small portion of dirt, on this finite earth with all its finite resources.
If there were Tesla cars that could park on its edge rather than its four wheels, we can have our cities back!
I remember seeing a scene in the 2004 Will Smith starrer movie I,Robot where they show cars stacking up against each other….it got me thinking, those cars must be electric. A sleek Audi that does the job in the movie, and I wonder, will the Tesla not do the same if it is designed to park vertically?
I write this post in eager earnest, to inspire many engineers of our time to make our cars park on its side, so that we urban designers can reimagine the billions of square feet of parking lots that occupy prime real estate in our cities today. That way we can have some of our parking lots back. We can start with an additional bedroom/hobby space instead of two car garages in our suburban homes, to make room for living things.