Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Living on the E.D.G.E. Part One
EDGE is an acronym for Economical Design and Governance Enclosures. They are a simpler and smaller scale arcology development presented as an alternative to the massively sized and expensive mega-structures. Quite often, they are on the model of a small town, but with increased means of self sufficiency, non-traditional use of space and greater planing.
Although an EDGE is not an island, or even quite as self-contained as a NEST arco, local supply is considered optimal. Greenhouses and small farms attempt to source food locally, and micro-facs shorten other supply chains.Quite often, the settlement is built around a central refining and fueling system, with encouragement to use vehicles based around this singular source. For example, Brazil has many cane ethanol based EDGEs based around ethanol fuel cars, and New Mexico has an electric edge based on a solar tower.
Most town are only built on the surface of the land. Many structures of an EDGE have surface access of course, but they also tend to extend deeper or extend higher than than normal, and often make use of domes or other large enclosed areas for novel purposes. Grocery stores are often located underground, where prevailing cooler temperatures lower refrigeration energy requirements. Similarly treatment or precessing stations are located out of sight.. Inverse domes are often created in the ground, allowing multiple dwellings around the edge to both have natural light, and less surface footprint.
Each EDGE is begins with set standards of size and expected resource throughput. Rather than expanding as the population grows like a normal town, the population is meant to increase to the systems carrying capacity, and then an evaluation takes place on how to expand. Of course, this is hardly perfect, and there are certain over-estimates made to accommodate the randomness of human life, but the general expectation is to run the area more like a colony than simply allowing uncontrolled development.