Audio File: Watcher_SUST2000_Essay

Creating a sustainably designed system can be achieved through following the words of the futurist Jacque Fresco (“The Venus Project” 2017), in the development of a systematically produced system of circular cities for a sustainable living goals. Chosen due to the being independently functioning and advanced, whilst utilising cybernetic technology. This provides reasoning for a strong choice to be made for the object, especially due to the cities being able to be developed with the technology available today (Arabian Business 2013). There are four issues discussed in this piece pursuing the concept of the triple bottom line (Thiele, 2013); ecological health, economic welfare, social empowerment and cultural creativity. Issues delve into the relationships of whose needs are met, the long term and global impact, the geographic awareness, conditions to flourish and the science involved circular cities. The sustainability of the object chosen, circular cities, is addressed in preserving health, welfare and enriching social and cultural needs.

Thiele (2013) discusses that sustainability is a practised activity. The idea of a product facilitating future well-being is something endorsed by common practice through investing in ideals that are forever developing and promoting the concept of adaptive change. Using an ethical vision, the circular cities are designed to be holistic, efficient, self contained and utilise global resource-based management. Developing the system of circular cities allows well-being to be sustainable.

Delving firstly into ecological health, Thiele (2013) notes that sustainability is meeting current societal needs without undermining future welfare. The impact of a product or ideal on conservation, cultivation of biodiversity, ecosystems, water, atmospheric environments and enabling pollution-free land. Within the lecture at the University of Michigan (2009), Fresco incites that to meet the highest standards of ecological health, circular cities are designed to encompass avid parkland and water canals to promote health of the city districts. Examples of circular city renewable energy design can be seen in the on and offshore wind turbine farms, photovoltaic and concentrated solar panels utilised throughout the city, alongside geothermal energy which functions to aid in the ecological health of the cities (“Energy” 2017). The needs of both the environment, as not being hindered heavily by human practices, alongside the human need for the cohabitation to survive, are being met by the circular city model. The long term impact upon the environment is minimal based on these energy systems, allowing a stronger overall future well-being for the inhabitants of the cities. Ecological health is impacted by the circular cities ability to coexist and allow the environment to flourish in which is seen as a stable point of the object.

Ecological relationships manifest between how a city enacts with its local environment. The difference within the new city model, is that the blueprint doesn’t need to take from the surrounding environment. It is holistic in the sense that it creates all it needs to live. Geothermal energy utilises heat from the earth’s surface as a power source (Speight 2015), possibly believed to be renewable forever. The wind and solar farms are a strength that allow for a more compatible link with the environment. This is due to space requirements being small, as they are either placed as a part of existing structures or within fields at low impact to the surrounding environment. This allows the human relationship to the native ecology to be more harmonious. Lending to the concept that circular cities have a sustainable relationship with the environment.

Secondly, economic welfare is seen as profit value and the opportunity for individual pursuit of wealth and material prosperity. The long term impact of circular cities is in the awareness that the cities are meant to be highly efficient therefore allowing more time for economic acquisition rather than menial tasks. The basis of a circular city is that maglev transportation, autonomous motor vehicles and transveyors are to be utilised to promote a higher efficiency in travel and welfare. Allowing less accidents to stop individual and societal economic advancement (Vickrey, 1968). The long term impact that can be granted through the changes is that the need for specific labour is hindered less through malfunctions in current transport flaws. For example, work being too far away, spending multitudes of fiat currency on petrol, car repairs, car accidents, permissions to drive, proximity to public transport, and public transport’s malfunctions. Noting the long term impact of financial loss from these problems, it can be systematically hypothesised that better transport will always improve economic welfare for inhabitants. Therefore showing that the relationship between economic stability and circular cities can be seen as positive in respect to economic welfare.

The documentary video the Story of Stuff (2007) and Jacque Fresco (Michigan University 2009) cite an identical issue within current economic welfare; the unnecessary attitude towards rebuilding defective companies and cities. The documentary uses the term dinosaur economy to describe a system that has failed and is being held together artificially. Fresco cites a strength that building entirely new city designs is more cost effective than rebuilding the aging, badly designed cities currently utilised. The dinosaur economy which keeps getting rebuilt at massive financial cost to economies is seen as an issue for economic welfare and is solved by circular cities.

Thirdly, social empowerment is the well-being of humankind and their engagement with the world around them. It involves people’s sense of involvement with the object, its engagement with it’s inhabitants, and how it affects the social systems in place. The development of a sustainable city allows wide access to the same health care services. Fresco cites that emergency vehicles would use roads uniquely and detailing the specific location for the healthcare services hub. Engagement with the entire city, such as parks and recreation areas allows for a sustainable engagement with nature and other people within the hub. Fresco’s (2017) concept is that the removal of scarcity will allow for a more thought-inclusive and advanced culture as base social needs are met. The concept that fictional scarcity (Rijsberman, 2006) hinders social empowerment is valid in the sense of limiting conditions to flourish. The mechanisms that allow circular cities to function are entangled in geographic awareness and accurate data. Leading to the concept that social empowerment is heightened. Well-being and engagement therefore is being upheld under social empowerment within the circular city conceptualisation.

The ancestral legacies and future generations could be hypothesised to be enriched, uniquely due to the cities being able to function as independently operating cultural hubs (University of Michigan 2009).

The right for a human to enrich their own lives and engage within their culture allows social empowerment. A strength to material prosperity in circular cities is that high thought based work is integral to the fabric that imbues the design template. A weakness of the cities is that they fully understand mechanisation of industry and express this knowledge from the inception. For example, an architect position of designing homes is granted through this system, whereas a position of actually building the houses thoughtlessly, is removed from the job pool. This is due to the mechanisation of industry freeing up tasks which humans find menial (Idoro 2012). Social empowerment is positively and negatively impacted by the design of circular cities, though is cited to possibly be a weakness granting more freedom.

Cultural creativity is an extra inclusion to the sustainability quota, though Thiele (2013) puts forward the concept that sustainability is benefited by fostering creativity. It is linked to the core values and relationships of sustainability to the people upholding ecological health, economic welfare, social empowerment and cultural creativity. Cultural creativity involves expression of humankind such as science, knowledge, ethics, politics, economy, technology, customs, diet, arts, recreation, religion, and spirituality. The role of circular cities in regard to cultural creativity is whether it hinders or allows people to exercise their creative potential.

Within a lecture at the University of Michigan (2009), Fresco entails large dominant central buildings within circular cities which are meant to allow expression of cultural creativity. Buildings encompassing art and music facilities, performance and educational centres. The recreational investment of the cities in terms of golf and water sports are outlined as to being functional upon initial investment. Clearly showing that cultural creativity is inclusive to the invention of circular cities.

The strengths of circular cities under the topic of cultural creativity, in comparison to traditional cities, is that cultural creativity is built into the system efficiently. Many cities lack cultural centres, enough room for recreational areas or finances to develop facilities (Carey and Mason 2014). These issues can lead to depression, cardiovascular disease and obesity (Elwell Bostrom et al. 2017) within inhabitants. The ability for circular cities to be able to address strong facets of cultural creativity is seen as a strength of the object.

Cultural relationships are developed through the interaction of individuals within their concepts of wants and needs. The static definition of a condition to flourish involves all parts of the human cognition having enabled expression. In the sense of cultural creativity, an enabled expression allows recreation, entertainment and personal conceptualisations of worth to be developed individualistically within a wide scale of diversification. For example, a large range of sports or cultural customs. Circular cities are cited to enable a range of activities and customs though can limit other behavioural expressions. A strength could be that each city developed could independently maintain a computerised language for communication between city centres. Though this also lends to a weakness that expressions of self can be highly regulated through the city centre and possibly not enough room for all variances of traditional recreation. For example; huge language diversification is not advised in this kind of advanced structural system; possibly horse riding could be too heavy on the landscape; and, the breakdown and removal of the Abraham branches of monotheism which limit spirituality, could cause weaknesses from the control structures battling to take over the system. Cultural relationships, though overall upheld by the circular cities do have weaknesses which some mainstream personas would find difficult to personally address.

In summary, sustainable designed systems such as the circular cities are sustainable living goals. Using technology available which is more advanced than those used by traditional structures allows for a more rich and green sustainable lifestyle. Ecological health is supported by the highest standards through avid parkland and water canals to promote health of the city with renewable energy design such as on and offshore wind turbine farms, photovoltaic and concentrated solar panels, alongside geothermal energy. Economic welfare is engaged through maglev transportation, autonomous motor vehicles and transveyors which promote economic stability. Social empowerment can be seen through the access to strong health care services and access to nature. Cultural creativity is addressed in the design by encompassing art and music facilities, performance and educational centres. These examples provide a strong indicator that circular cities are a sustainable developed object which addresses Thiele’s (2013) model for sustainable practice for humankind.


Vickrey, William. 1968. “Automobile Accidents, Tort Law, Externalities, And Insurance: An Economist’s Critique”. Law And Contemporary Problems 33 (3): 464. doi:10.2307/1190938.

Edition, By William E. Glassley”. Energy Sources, Part A: Recovery, Utilization, And Environmental Effects 37 (18): 2039-2039. doi:10.1080/15567036.2015.1085286.

Thiele, Leslie Paul. 2013. Sustainability. 1st ed. Oxford, UK: Polity Press.

Rijsberman, Frank R. 2006. “Water Scarcity: Fact Or Fiction?”. Agricultural Water Management 80 (1-3): 5-22. doi:10.1016/j.agwat.2005.07.001.

Carey, Meaghan, and Daniel S. Mason. 2014. “Building Consent: Funding Recreation, Cultural, And Sports Amenities In A Canadian City”. Managing Leisure 19 (2): 105-120. doi:10.1080/13606719.2013.859458.

Elwell Bostrom, Holly, Bianca Shulaker, Jasmin Rippon, and Rick Wood. 2017. “Strategic And Integrated Planning For Healthy, Connected Cities: Chattanooga Case Study”. Preventive Medicine 95: S115-S119. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.11.002.

Idoro, Godwin Iroroakpo. 2012. “Sustainability Of Mechanisation In The Nigerian Construction Industry”. Journal Of Civil Engineering And Management 18 (1): 91-105. doi:10.3846/13923730.2011.604541.

McGinley, Shane. 2013. “Saudi Arabia Plans To Build Two Manmade Islands”. Arabian Business.

Speight, James. 2015. “Geothermal Energy: Renewable Energy And The Environment, Second “Energy”. 2017. The Venus Project.

“The Venus Project”. 2017. The Venus Project.

University of Michigan. 2009. Jacque Fresco – Global Sustainability. Video.

Free Range Studios. 2007. The Story Of Stuff. Video.