The 50 City Initiative

As much as I support and endorse VHEMT and its mandate to discourage human procreation, I’m also open to the possibility that there are other paths to correcting the unsustainable nature of today’s Homo Sapiens population. And really, if you’ve already opened the door to plans that call for the complete extinction of the human race, then pretty much the sky is the limit as far as what you can propose.

The alternate plan I’m developing is what I call the “50 City Initiative.” In a nutshell, this plan acknowledges that there are too many people on the planet, but rather than proposing a complete voluntary extinction of the species, it instead proposes a mandated and enforced population cap. Let me spend some time here summarizing how this would work, and what it entails.

The fundamental concept of this initiative, and the idea that gives the initiative its name, is that the human race would be limited to existing in 50 cities. These cities wouldn’t be based directly on any existing cities; rather, they would be planned, modern, sustainable cities built from scratch specifically for this initiative. By building these cities from the ground up, so to speak, it would be possible to build in sustainable infrastructure: transportation, utilities, housing, waste disposal and recycling, and so forth from the beginning to make them as sustainable, efficient, ubiquitous, and cost-effective as possible.

Each of the 50 cities would have a set population. No more people, no fewer people. My thought is to set the population at 30 million. That would allow for a total global population of 1.5 billion humans. Now, a city of 30 million people is a very large city by our current standards, and without exception cities of that size have considerable challenges with such issues as pollution, homelessness, crime, traffic, and so one. But consider that every current large city was once a small town that grew, and grew, and grew, until it became the sprawling metropolis it is today. Inevitably, as cities grow, they run into planning problems as services and infrastructure don’t progress properly to accommodate the population. In a situation where a city is literally built from scratch for a predetermined population, all of those problems can be planned for and corrected from the beginning.

In order to plan these cities, you would first need to select ideal locations. This would need to be done irrespective of current city locations – meaning that some the cities of today would need to be demolished to make way for this initiative. Location would be based on sustainability measures – climate, susceptibility to natural disasters, access to water and agriculture, and so forth.

Achieving the ideal population and maintaining it is where I would borrow heavily from VHEMT’s book. Humans should be able to transcend their basic biological instinct to procreate and instead make rational choices on whether or not procreation is warranted. People should ask themselves, “am I an intelligent person? Am I well-educated, and successful? Do I carry hereditary defects and diseases?” I know it’s a stretch, but I would hope that dull, unsuccessful people of inferior genetic potential would recognize that in themselves and voluntarily decline to procreate. Next, it would be necessary to enforce this through licensed procreation. The concept is simple, a pregnancy license is issued only after a death certificate has been issued; in other words for every person who dies one more person is allowed to be born. Obviously there would need to be some adjustments made for situations where twins are born or there’s a miscarriage and that sort of thing, but that’s easily accounted for. The awkward part of course is what to do with someone becoming pregnant without a license. It’s unfortunate, but forced abortion is the only solution. Fines or jail time would not be enough to convince some people to obey the law, and the sustainability of the human race as a whole would be put in jeopardy by each unauthorized pregnancy.

As far as the physical design and attributes of the cities themselves, the sky is the limit. Building a city with solar and wind power, clean electric mass transit systems built into the city’s substructure, massive residential towers with public green spaces on open-air balconies high above the Earth… the possibilities are almost limitless as to what sort of amazingly efficient, clean, safe, and sustainable city could be built. Even the food supply for the cities could be constructed into massive towers within the city itself, limiting the need for sprawling agricultural operations and instead allowing us to leave the vast majority of the planet completely wild and undisturbed by human presence or activity.


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