Norfolk Refurbished (Assignment 3)

Being the second largest city in Virginia, behind Virginia beach of course; this city needs to be revitalized. As an urban planner who has just been hired for the city of Norfolk, my job is to make the city strong enough to be able to represent the second biggest city in the state. Being near the beach, I feel that Norfolk has plenty of potential to grasp the interest of many tourists. Norfolk is a huge city with many industrial sections, a very popular sea port, and many attractions nearby. This is my proposal for the great city of Norfolk, Virginia.

Being the second biggest city in Virginia, I feel that Norfolk has great potential to attract many tourists from all over the country and maybe even the world. (Lets start off small) Being the close sister of the very populous Virginia Beach, this city can build off of the energy and excitement that the beach gives off to the people visiting and the locals. In order to start this proposal. we have to upgrade a few things. Transportation is the key to making Norfolk a great tourist city. Tourists are more attracted to taking city transportation instead of their private vehicles because obviously everyone hates traffic and looking for parking. Other things we can improve on would be to establish newer and more attractive restaurants and shops. The city is by the water so it would only make sense to include a lot of local seafood restaurants and of course, restaurants that are meant for “fine dining.”

My second proposal for this city is to incorporate the idea of “going green” to give this city a more alive and exciting vibe. Being near the water, people should expect to see more natural plants and trees and lots of people walking or riding not motorized vehicles such as bikes, etc. We can start planting more trees, involve space and nature in the making or redesigning of buildings, and start to reduce pollution that cars release by reducing the need for cars. Being a resident of the city, I have noticed a lot of slums and broken down buildings and streets. My goal is to pretty much redesign all of that into a much more attractive and friendly area. There is so much to the city and I plan on making everything little thing better.

Again, there are advantages of living near the ocean. One would be to use it resources such as seafood and other edible things for restaurants and maybe even open up a local Sunday bazaar to open up the peoples eyes to fresh seafood. The most important resource we have is, obviously, the water. The goal is to create filters to allow the water to be harmless so we can drink it and also create a waste system that filters the trash in the water so that it is easier to clean up. This proposal would be fantastic to start smart growth in the City of Norfolk. Being able to build off of what we already have available to us will make this major transformation a lot smoother and easier for the not only myself, (me being the urban planner) but the city as a whole.


The Shareable Future of Cities

  • How many people does Steffen estimate we will have living in or near cities by mid-century?
  • 8 billion+
  • Explain how you agree or disagree with Steffen’s point that our energy use is “predestined” rather than “behavioral”.
  • I believe that it is predestined because I agree with what Steffen says about things we need are close by in a denser community. That decreases energy use because it allows people like me to not make that long unwanted trip to the old Chipotle when there is a new location closer to my home.    
  • What correlation does Steffen make between a city’s density and its climate emissions?
  • Transportation, denser places have lower emissions
  • What are the “eco districts” that Steffen mentions? How you see these as feasible or unfeasible in a city likeNorfolk? In field development.
  • These would be extremely feasible in a city like Norfolk. Being simply a tourist to this city, I have noticed that there are a lot of buildings that seem rundown and out of use. If we could just restructure those useless buildings into things that we need instead of tearing down new land, Norfolk  would be more balanced and better off.
  • Explain how you agree or disagree with the “threshold effect” that Steffen discusses related to transportation.
  • People stop driving as much and places that make them feel like theyre at home makes them give up their cars. I would be all for this. A life where there are no cars and pollution when I can just walk or ride a bike to any destination since we would have eco districts. Since more places are nearby in denser communities, places of interest are at your disposal. 
  • What does Steffen mean by the idea that, “…even space itself is turning into a service…”? Can you provide any examples that you see here in Norfolk or elsewhere?
  • You can use the sun, the wind, breeze, and other natural things as part of the infrastructure. A house like that would be the dream home. 
  • Describe your understanding of Steffen’s argument that, “…it’s not about the leaves above, but the systems below…”.
  • Turning the sewage system and roads to use for example water, to water the plants on the roads with clean filtered water and also using waste and junk from trash and turn it into soil and things that would help improve the environment. 
  • Finally, overall in what way(s) do you see Steffen’s ideas working / not working here in Norfolk? Spend time with this question! I feel that Norfolk is too much of a commuting and commuter city to have these plans take full success. I could see it working really well here because we have many of the things he mentions in the video. We have buildings that can be restructured into useful buildings that would be more convenient and helpful to the locals. We are also near the water so we can somehow incorporate that into helping the environment become more “green.”

Random Thoughts

Today has been a day like no other. I have encountered so many new types of technology today that my find is like a hurricane filled with ideas and conversations. I had an instagram (really cool app) photo shoot with some friends today by the water. I have been pulled in with doing instagram so I thought it would be cool if I just posted random pictures every now and then. Lets see how creative I can get with it.

Picture #1


Wilson, R. (1979). Analyzing the daily risks of life. Technology Review, 8(4), 40-46.

Taking risks are part of our everyday lives. Nearly everything has a risk to it. The risk could be in correlation to the food one eats, the chemicals one washes their clothes with, or their everyday physical activities.  The media makes us conditioned to the idea that “big” risks are greater than “little” risks. “Our society has a quirk which is fostered by our news media. We are far more concerned with infrequent large accidents than with numerous small accidents which, in total, cause many more deaths” (Wilson, 1979). The author, Wilson, opens our eyes to the “little” risks in life that are not very apparent to many people.  This article shows how important it is for our wellbeing to understand what kind of risks we are exposed to everyday and how to reduce those risks.

I agree with Wilson’s article in the sense that people neglect the little everyday risks in life compared to the big risks, which rarely occur. If people are aware of the small risks in life such as the chemicals in our food, chemicals in our laundry, or getting electrocuted due to old wiring, other people will become aware as well which would make life much and the earth much safer.

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