The Permanance of Settlement in Cities

Patchopolis re-imagines the city to adapt to citizen movement due to work, travel, as refugees from war and famine, and soon due to climate change. Each move removes the individual from the safe habitat of their home. To ease the process of moving places housing must be re-imagined to convert from place based to mobile to fit the owner’s needs.

There are many influences that force people to temporarily or permanently move their safe space and one of the largest unknowns is the threat of rising sea levels, which will continue to threaten seaside communities throughout the world (Threatened By Rising Seas, Alaska Village Decides To Relocate, NPR). In the United States sea level rising at a steady pace is poised to create millions of internally displaced people. At a more sporadic pace, larger storms will quickly create scenarios where populations will need to move rapidly. This changing paradigm creates an opportunity to reimagine how the individual relates to the city.

In Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, Marco Polo describes fifty-five different cities, which are described not as physical places, but as separate thought experiments where each is assigned a tag (Urban Oases: Getting Lost in ‘Invisible Cities’, NPR). The tags are memory, desire, signs, thin, trading, eyes, names, dead, sky, continuous, and hidden which are descriptions of a pattern ordering the city. With the driver of citizen mobility the most similarity to the new ordering for cities in Marco Polo’s city of Eutropia. “On the day when Eutropia’s inhabitants feel the grip of weariness and no one can bear any longer his job, his relatives, his house and his life, debts, the people he must greet or who greet him, then the whole citizenry decides to move to the next city, which in there waiting for them, empty and good as new…” (Eutropia, Italo Calvino, pg 64). While Eutropia’s driver for moving differs from the forces we face forcing movement, the goal is the same; create cities where when pressures require allow for easy transition to a better situation.

Having a fresh new city is in some ways the current condition. A citizen moves to a new place with a new home and in the old place their former home remains to wait for a new citizen. Rather than have homes or hotels that sit abandoned, the residence (a citizen’s sanctuary) should move with them to the new city where the infrastructure is in place waiting for their arrival. In this vision the future society becomes portable. When a traveler enters Patchopolis they find a city that changes like the seasons…