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Urban climate control

Some guy on rasfs has an approach I hadn't thought of before (my two posts are 16 through 18 in the thread) to heating a city: just heat it, not worrying about the dome or roof. Running some numbers, it seems... maybe doable. A lot depends on how quickly heat is lost to the air, and how little we can get away with to get halfway comfortable; adding 100 W/m2 gets too expensive. OTOH, that was assuming continuous year-round heating. Just doing the worst days would cut cost a lot (though raise the proportion of the infrastructure). For purposes of not dying, simple de-icing might be sufficient -- bursts of heat to clear the ground, and people can wear coats like normal.

The thing prompted me to try to actually estimate costs of the roofs I like to go on about. I don't know enough for a good estimate, but comparison to greenhouses ($7.50/square foot) or the raw costs of transparent materials ($3/foot2 plexiglass, $4 Lexan or glass, all 1/8 inch thick) suggests a minimum of $100/m2 for $100 million per square kilometer. That would seem feasible. I don't know how this scales -- big building costs can look a lot higher, and we'd have to be building a lot higher than a greenhouse, but then we don't actually need a normal building, just a roof or umbrella. Unless we want smart roofs, which we might, for summer... $1 billion/km2 would be a lot even for Manhattanites. There's also a question of how thick the panels have to be to survive -- 1/8 inch, or 1/2 inch?

Domed cities link! Notes possibility of floating a dome on air pressure.

Buckminster Fuller's little essay

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