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To determine an appropriate allocation of space among the various community institutions such as schools, residences, factories, hospitals, etc., the study group used U.S. building standards and estimations of allocation of land use found in the extensive literature of community planning (ref. 46). Area and volume are apportioned to provide for a mature community in space with a population like that of a similar sized town on Earth.

The following paragraphs present much of the rationale for the allocations of area, projected area, and volume that are presented in table 3-2. Projected area and volume are simply derived from the total area allotted to a particular function. However, the projected areas in table 3-2 are obtained by dividing the total area by the number of levels in which the area is to be stacked, and the volume is obtained by multiplying the total area by the amount of overhead specified in that table.


Minimum room sizes for residences are determined from the Uniform Building Code for residential occupancies. An area of 148 m^2 for a family of four satisfies the requirements of the code comfortably. When space for external use and access is included, the following recommended minimums result: 37 m^2/person of floor area, 12 m^2/person of exterior space, totaling 49 m^2/person of total residential space. When 3 m is taken as a generous value for the overhead height in these spaces, the result implies a required minimum volume of 147 m^3.

To determine the projected area required per person it is necessary to divide the total area by the number of levels into which it is stacked. For the residential areas the stacking factor is taken to be 4, thus the required projected area is a little more than 12 m^2 /person.

Shops and Offices

Area for shops is determined from recommendations of the Town Planning Committee of South Australia which calls for 10 shops per 1000 persons, each with a floor space of 1 m^2/person, an area for walkways and access of 1 m^2/person, and 0.3 m^2/person for expansion. The 2 m^2/person allotted to parking in these recommendations is, of course, not included for the space habitat.

In a similar way the same source is used to estimate an area of 1 m^2/person for office space.

Schools and Hospitals

Areas for schools are based upon an assumption that 6 percent of the habitat's children are in nursery school, 17.5 percent in elementary, 7.5 percent in junior high and 7.5 percent in high school. Adopting the highest value recommended, 10 m^2/person, and assuming 3-story schools, leads to 3.3 m^2/student. If student population is 10 percent of the total population, the required projected area is 0.3 m^2/person.

DeChiara and Koppelman (ref. 47) recommend a hospital capacity of 693 beds for 250,000 people. Scaled down to a community of 10,000 this is 28 beds. The calculation can also be done using the typical number of patients days per year for a population with the age distribution characteristic of the colony. The result is substantially the same: 26 beds. Because of the nature of the colony and its isolation, a more realistic number might be 50.

A 50-bed hospital including administrative, diagnostic, treatment, nursery, surgical, obstetrical, service, and circulation facilities requires 58 m^2/bed or 2900 m^2 total. The corresponding projected area is 0.3 m^2/person.

Assembly Halls

DeChiara and Koppelman specify 1.5 m^2/person for 10,000 people for general community facilities such as churches, community halls, and theaters. For recreation and entertainment, indoor activities, restaurants, and so on, the recommendation is 0.4 m^2/person. To include all commercial entertainment, l m^2/person is assumed.

Open Space

Averaged over 53 U.S. cities the open space for parks and such is 18 m^2/person. DeChiara and Koppelman recommend 14m^2/person. Because the space habitat contains agricultural areas that can be in part used as open space, a lower value of open space in the residential area is adopted, namely 10 m^2 /person. To allow a true feeling of being "open" the space has to be tall enough. This height is taken to be 50 m.

Light Industry

For the planning of new towns the Town Planning Committee of South Australia recommends 4 m^2/person for light service industries. An average over 53 U.S. cities gives 8 m^2/person. For planning purposes in the colony 4 m^2/person is assumed.


Storage space must be provided. Adelaide, Australia, in 1957 had approximately 7 m^2/person devoted to wholesaling and storage. The colony has 5 m^2/person alloted to these purposes.

Mechanical Subsystems

Provision must also be made for mechanical subsystems. By analogy with Earth-like situations, a total of 400 m^2 is allocated to communication distribution and switching equipment for 2800 families, 40,000 m^2 for waste and water treatment and recycling, and 1000 m^2 for electrical supply and distribution, a total of about 4.2 m^2/person. A major distribution tunnel is provided around the perimeter of the enclosure for mechanical facilities and services.


About 24 percent of the total land use in U.S. metropolitan areas is devoted to transportation, that is, approximately 48 m^2/person (ref. 48). However, Earthlike streets are not needed in the compact, closely-knit organization of the colony. Where typical street right of way in U.S. urban communities averages a little over 18 m, 15 m seems adequate for the colony. Thus, only one fourth as much area need be allocated to transportation in the colony as on Earth. The numerical value is 12 m^2/person.

Because of the relatively high population density (15,000 people/km^2) in the community, most of the circulation is pedestrian, with one major mass transport system (a moving sidewalk, monorail, and minibus) connecting different residential areas in the same colony. Elevators could also be used to travel through the spokes to the far side of the colony. The diagram of figure 3-2 suggests approximate areas and volumes needed for different modes of transportation in the colony. The chosen mode would be in addition to major arteries, secondary paths, collector paths and local circulation paths within the community enclosure.

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Curator: Al Globus
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