Would Movable Houses Make Cities Better?
Would movable houses with modular foundations make cities more scalable and more attractive? In an intriguing article, eliezeryudkowsky thinks so.
Movable houses are not a new idea. In her 1828 story The Mummy! A Tale of the Twenty-Second Century, Jane Webb Loudon describes Steam-Propelled Moving Houses:
- By making it easier for groups to relocate and untangle themselves in a coordinated way, movable houses can increase the natural dispersion of the city as it grows larger.
- Since people could buy and retain customized houses manufactured with economies of scale, movable houses could have better technology and amenities not available today. (Contrast your current house to a modern car.)
- Movable houses could allow unprecedented opportunities to live next to your friends, or to groups of similar-minded people. You and your friends just need to find a set of available modular foundations close together.
- Movable housing might help on key points of governance and realpolitik, for example by making land value taxes more attractive, and decreasing exit costs.
"Oh! what is that?" cried Edric, without attending to him, as, lost in amazement, he saw a house in the suburbs gently slide out of its place, and glide majestically along the road, a lady at one of the windows kissing her hand to some one in another house as she passed. "Do my eyes deceive me, or does that house move?"
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Would Movable Houses Make Cities Better?
'He saw a house in the suburbs gently slide out of its place...' - Jane Webb Loudon, 1828.
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