Dutch space condensed

manhattan densityMet with a couple of strange maps on the ‘net today, The map on the left is the result of a thought experiment that  houses the entire Dutch population – Manhattan-style – along the Dutch/Belgian border, leaving the rest of the country free for development of ‘new nature’, as the popular term goes. Maps are  the work of  Dutch architect  Rem Koolhaas, taken from a publication of his about urbanism today and  the tendency of cities to become more densely populated.

I made a rule-of-thumb calculation for Tractie: when 15 million people need 603  square kilometres  then 1 person needs 40 square metres. Tractie has approximately 7400 square metres, so it could house 185  people Manhattan style.

Then I calculated the number of square metres an Australian Aboriginal would have needed to support himself, them being gatherers/hunters, which is the most extensive use of square metres I could think of. With an estimated number of 750.000 Aborigines before European settlement and a surface of 7,686,850 sq km for the Australian continent this is an average  of 10.250 square meter per Aborigine. So Tractie could  support 3/4 of an  Aboriginal.

Of course these are ballpark figures, but still  fun. At a proportion of  243 : 1  for Manhattan:Aboriginal, which lifestyle would we rather adopt?

I’ve always been attracted to the Aboriginal concept of  ‘Dreaming’. In the Aboriginal world view, everything we do is recorded in/on the land, a land that itself  was created by the actions of  ancestral beings. So, the world can be read as a complete book of Dreamings past and present. I’m thinking about a way to apply this concept to a modern city. Given population density: a lot of Dreaming going on…..

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