Mars Robertson


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Intervention Report: Charter Cities

TLDR: not just economic development and lifting out of poverty but a broader perspective of CLIMATE EMERGENCY and forced migration.


I need to compliment the level of detail πŸ‘

Apologies if my reply is not as detailed, I just want to cover a few points that stood out to me.

CTRL+F "climate change"

I support the thesis of the Deep Adaptation movement - inevitable near-term social collapse.

I collect links to various extreme weather events, most recently in Iran:

  • 50C (120F)
  • no water
  • people on the streets
  • police firing shots
  • casualties
  • #InternetShutdown trending on Twitter

Check this video by Amnesty International:

CTRL+F "refugee"


Key takeaways:

β€œWe think it is unlikely that charter cities will be more cost-effective than GiveWell top charities in terms of directly improving wellbeing.”

Executive summary:

β€œWe don’t believe that charter cities are a cost-effective method to lift individuals out of poverty directly.”

Improving well-being and lifting out of poverty - maybe not.

(malaria, mosquito nets, experimentation with price point that won the Nobel Prize in Economics recently to Esther Duflo)

Climate change and environmental migrants - maybe yes.

Why do I think charter cities are cool?

Global cooperation and governance at scale.

CO2 efficient building technology (during construction and lifespan for heating and cooling)

Check XPRIZE "Future of Housing": 

How many governments are willing to cede enough authority to create a charter city and how might this change over time?

Currently, there are around 200 sovereign states with a United Nations mandate.

I suggest Kazakhstan:

  • loads of land
  • religious balance (mostly Islam and 20% Christianity)
  • open to Bitcoin mining (forward-thinking government)
  • precedent of cosmodrome Baikonur leased to Russian Space Agency

Russians are building a new cosmodrome - - Baikonur might be available for sale?

The mission was declared a failure after telemetry was lost and the rocket re-entered the atmosphere due to the Fregat upper stage being programmed for a launch from Baikonur rather than the new Vostochny Cosmodrome.

Overall, I believe that Charter Cities is a political problem, not a technical problem.

Technology is there. Capital is there. Critical mass is there. Entrepreneurs are there. Now need to find a country that would like to invite entrepreneurs and capital.


PS. Really great piece. Comprehensive. I will read it again and connect with various organizations mentioned here.