Kolkota India is the most densely populated city in the world, to the extent that I know of, with a population density of 185k people per square mile. Density and abolishing the suburbs is what we need to fight climate change, and make cities more livable. Sprawled out cities creates a scarcity of land which drives up the price of housing, drives up the cost of public transit, drives up healthcare costs, increases destruction of nature leading to zootonic virus outbreaks. I previously did a post where I gave Seattle the density of Hong Kong’s most densely populated neighborhood, the Kwun Tong area of the Kowloon District, 150k people per square mile. Since then I found out Kolkota India is the best, so we shall do that.
India has prior to the pandemic finally begun its rapid growth phase to catch up to China, thus India is still quite poor from the lasting impacts of British colonialism. One estimate has the British owing around $40 trillion in reparations to India, or the size of the U.S and China economies combined. If India returns to rapid growth post Covid19 vaccine, I’d guess it’s about 20 years behind China. If left to grow without interruption from pandemics, climate change, war or other things, India is bound to catch up and surpass China, thus why China is acting now to contain India while China has the strong upper hand. Therefore, I will model Kolkota density in Seattle using modern developed means, not as a direct copy of Kolkota and its slums.
A 20 by 20 house is a comfortable one bedroom home. A 40 by 20 house is a comfortable two bedroom house. A 40 by 40 house is a comfortable three bedroom house. You build a 40 story public housing building in the shape of a plus sign. Two 40 ft by 120 ft buildings put together. 40 ft by 40 ft middle part where the two buildings meet, where the stairs and elevators would be. For every seven floors of housing, two floors would be single bedroom homes, two floors would be two bedroom homes, and three floors would be three bedroom homes. The bottom four floors of the building is for retail. Next 14 floors are for housing. Then four floors for indoor vertical aquaponics. Then another 14 floors for housing. The top four floors are for resident services, such as a resident gym, swimming pool, healthcare room, rooftop bar, small movie theater etc. The building would be able to house 400 residents.
Vertical aquaponics, with a height of ten feet per floor, would be able to feed annually 125 of the residents. The building would sit on a plot of land 220 ft by 220 ft. Using permaculture and agroforestry methods, the outside area of the building would able to produce enough food to feed another 56 residents, meaning 181 of the 400 residents, or 45%, are fed from food grown right on site. With 5280 feet in a mile, you’d be able to fit 22 x 22 for 484 such buildings in a square mile, for a population density of 194k people per square mile. Not only that, you leave 440 feet of space going north-south and east-west, enough to split into two spaces each 220 feet wide, enough for a tram line running under the shade of trees. The buildings would either have vertical vine going up their sides, or vertical gardens. The areas around the buildings are green as they are permaculture and agroforestry, meaning plenty of trees. Every square mile going both north-south and east-west would have two tram lines, with stations half a mile apart, in other words, every square mile of housing would have eight tram stations.
On 30 square miles of Seattle, you’d be able to house 5.8 million people and feed 2.6 million people. Using another 15 square miles just for vertical aquaponics, you’d be able to feed another 3.8 million people. You’d then be able to take 36 square miles and use it for parks, wetlands, forests etc. That’s a lot more than all of Seattle’s parks and golf courses combined today. Take the remaining 2.9 square miles and use it for a stadium/entertainment/factory district.
In my Hong Kong density post, I had Seattle with a population of 4.2 million people. Now with Kolkota level density, Seattle has a population of 5.8 million people with no less green space. That’s an additional 1.6 million people Seattle could house. We could support every Palestinian in the Gaza Strip, every Rohingya refugee, one million Syrian refugees, and one million Roma people in Europe. If we want to help fellow USians survive the fascist Trump regime (he won’t leave office until he dies, and even then power could be passed onto Ivanka) we could house one million LGBTQ people from around the country, two million blacks, and two million Latinos/Central & South Americans. That’s just within Seattle alone, not including the suburbs.