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1971-10-29 — Jules Vernesque City Shows Plans at USF — The Oracle

Friday, Oct. 29, 1971; p. 9


by Walt Steigleman

Disgruntled with a society of polluted air, impending ecological disaster and daily traffic jams, a group called Sociocyberneering, Inc. has laid down its plans for the construction of a unique Jules Vernesque city to be erected somewhere in southern Florida.

Dr. Jacques Fresco, nationally recognized scientist - inventor - lecturer and coordinator of the Sociocyberneering effort, will discuss the project with interested students, faculty and staff today at 2 p.m. in the University Center (UC) Ballroom. 

Composed of towering housing complexes, gigantic districts, and enclosed business districts with office facilities, the proposed city's inner workings will all be connected by a series of horizontal, vertical and radial conveyor systems for people or goods. 

Buses, cars, trucks and trains will not be needed except for inter-city transportation. 

Around the extreme circular perimeter of the community will be an agricultural "belt" where food could be grown hydroponically and organically without pesticides. 

In describing the proposed city, Fresco talks in terms of eliminating smog, noise traffic tensions and, in general, getting rid of the many inconveniences that plague the modern city-dweller. 

But he is quick to point out that the city should not be viewed only as a chrome-plated sterile machine; social changes would have an integral part in the community. 

"Our present urban system is based on the concept of scarcity, profit and planned obsolescence, making it virtually impossible to provide the average man with a high degree of economic security and physical well-being," says Fresco. 

"The injurious effects of technology occur when it is directed by incompetent political and profit-motivated forces with little regard of environmental consequences." 

Planned obsolescence, the corporate practice of making products that will soon fall apart or wear out (cars, appliances, clothing) in order to create a constant demand for new goods, would be unnecessary. 

On a more social note, universities, art and music centers, and museums could be patronized free-of-charge. 

This pains the picture of a gargantuan communal effort in which people would be friendly to one another because the present pressures of urban society would be greatly reduced and because profit motivation would decrease in importance. 

Definitely a radical change, and by no means simply a socialist Astrodome. 

It may not be called Utopia or a Brave New World (and it probably won't be called Sociocyberneeringville, either), but it may be the answer to mounting modern urban pressures.