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By Alvin Wang and Brian Wang
This is a follow up to a recent article about updating proposals for Domed cities. Previously the case was made for improved feasibility with existing covered areas and domes in the 30-40 acre ranges and with costs of $400 million to 1 billion. There is also new strong teflon material (EFTE) which is 100 times lighter than glass and which can lower costs by 4 times. It was also shown that Domed Cities can reduce heating and cooling costs and energy usage by over 90%.
Domed cities will enable every day to have moderate temperature and no rain or snow and no ice formation. Current trends show the elderly population will rise dramatically, obesity will rise unless there are changes and about 3 billion people will be added to city populations in existing or new cities over the next 30 years. Domed Cities will be made far more walkable than current cities and enable citizens to be more active which will reduce obesity and eliminate traffic deaths and accidents. Ice and rain are a factor in about half of all of the more severe falls. Falls on ice and snow are 5 times more likely to result in a fracture. Falls still occur indoors now so falls will still occur but increased risks factors from more slippery surfaces can be removed. Also, many new cities will be in places like China and a well designed domed city can be used to reduce air pollution, which kills 1 person out of every thousand in China.
Currently increased health risks and lower safety and more risk of property damage are handled by society with higher insurance costs and higher costs for fixing people and property after the damage has occurred. Actually building things that are safer and healthier by design is a cheaper way to go. Also, prevention actually saves the lives and prevents the injuries.
There are ways to achieve each individual benefit of domed cities through other means but as these first two articles are pointing out doming cities is a cost effective way to achieve many benefits.
Urban Design for Reduced Obesity
Obesity rates can be reduced by making the entire domed city very easy for walking and bicycling and only having light electric pods or Segway like vehicles. Good weather on all days means that there is no days on which weather would discourage activity.
Dome City Urban Planners Should Look to Designs Like Florence with Piazzas and old Roman styles that are Walking Friendly
The historic center of Florence was 11 square kilometers in size. This was a size that was very suited to walking and minimally assisted transportation.
Bejing Airport Terminal Three is 2900 meters long, is an example of a place where people move across larger areas now without cars. Masdar City has no cars. People can live comfortably in cities like Hong Kong and Manhattan without owning cars.
Elderly people are more vulnerable to death and injury from falls and are more likely to fall.
* falls are responsible for 70 percent of accidental deaths in persons 75 years of age and older.
* The elderly, who represent 12 percent of the population, account for 75 percent of deaths from falls
* A thorough analysis of falls in Florida agriculture was conducted in 1991, based on an analysis of Workers’ Compensation records. Falls accounted for nearly 25 percent of all serious disabling work injuries: 17 percent were elevated falls, 8 percent were same-level falls.
* National Safety Council reported that unintentional injury led to over 27 million visits to emergency rooms. Typically, falls lead all other causes of ER visits. In 2007, falls led to the death of 21,600 Americans Newcastle University makes the case that urban planning can be used to combat obesity.
* that the number of workers injured by falls has exceeded 200,000 per year, accounting for almost 20% of disabling workplace injuries
* In 1996, more than 250,000 older Americans suffered fractured hips, at a cost in excess of $10 billion. More than 90 percent of hip fractures are associated with falls, and most of these fractures occur in persons more than 70 years of age.
* 300,000+ hip fractures for 2000
* estimate for 2040, over 650,000 hip fractures will occur annually in older adults in the USA, and 18-33% of these older hip fracture patients will die within the first year of their fracture
* the fracture risk increased fivefold in months with a fall on ice and snow
From 1992 through 1995, 147 million injury-related visits were made to emergency departments in the United States. Falls were the leading cause of external injury, accounting for 24 percent (30 million) of these visits. Emergency department visits related to falls are more common in children less than five years of age and adults 65 years of age and older. Compared with children, elderly persons who fall are 10 times more likely to be hospitalized and eight times more likely to die as the result of a fall.
Trauma is the fifth leading cause of death in persons more than 65 years of age, and falls are responsible for 70 percent of accidental deaths in persons 75 years of age and older. The elderly, who represent 12 percent of the population, account for 75 percent of deaths from falls. The number of falls increases progressively with age in both sexes and all racial and ethnic groups. The injury rate for falls is highest among persons 85 years of age and older (e.g., 171 deaths per 100,000 white men in this age group).
Annually, 1,800 falls directly result in death. Approximately 9,500 deaths in older Americans are associated with falls each year
Dome Cities Are Immune to Severe Weather
Average annual number of human fatalities due to weather hazards for 1968-1992
Type of weather hazard World
heat waves >20,000 (~1,000 USA) winter storms/cold 9,000? (165 USA) heavy rain and floods 12,100 lightning 2,000 other wind storms 28,500 (87 USA) tornadoes 20,000? (73 USA) tropical cyclones 8,800 hail 20? (1 USA) drought (+bushfires) 73,600
Floods and wind storms have caused many more fatalities in the Third World than in the US or Australia, mainly because of inadequate preparedness and warning in the Third World. A tropical cyclone killed 600,000 people in the floodplains of the Ganges/Brahmaputra river delta of Bangladesh in 1970. More than half of all weather-related deaths worldwide are related to drought, mainly because of the Sahelian famines of the early 1970’s and the mid-1980’s.
City Domes can also be 5 PSI Resistant
A nuclear blast of a 1 Megaton Explosion 8,000 ft above the Earth’s surface would have 160 mph peak winds 7 kilometers distance. This is about the level of protection of 180 mph winds estimated for the city scale EFTE Houston Dome.
At 4-4.5 miles distance the expected damage is lightly constructed commercial buildings and typical residences are destroyed. Heavier construction is severely damaged.
* Even 6 miles away with 95 mph winds, walls of typical steel-frame buildings are blown away; severe damage to residences. Winds sufficient to kill people in the open.
For the most part, blast kills people by an indirect means rather than by direct pressure. While a human body can withstand up to 30 psi of simple overpressure, the winds associated with as little as 2 to 3 psi could be expected to blow people out of typical modern office buildings. Most blast deaths result from the collapse of occupied buildings, from people being blown into objects, or from buildings or smaller objects being blown onto or into people. Clearly, then, it is impossible to calculate with any precision how many people would be killed by a given blast—the effects would vary from building to building.
In order to estimate the number of casualties from any given explosion, it is necessary to make assumptions about the proportion of people who will be killed or injured at any given overpressure. The assumptions used in this chapter are shown in figure 1. They are relatively conservative. For example, weapons tests suggest that a typical residence will be collapsed by an overpressure of about 5-psi. People standing in such a residence have a 50-percent chance of being killed by an over-pressure of 3.5 psi, but people who are lying down at the moment the blast wave hits have a 50-percent chance of surviving a 7-psi over-pressure. The calculations used here assume a mean lethal overpressure of 5 to 6 psi for people in residences, meaning that more than half of those whose houses are blown down on top of them will nevertheless survive. Some studies use a simpler technique: they assume that the number of people who survive in areas receiving more than 5 psi equal the number of people killed in areas receiving less than 5 psi, and hence that fatalities are equal to the number of people inside a 5-psi ring.
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Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.