Imagining a City State

If you were given another life to live, it’s reasonable to pick James Lovelock’s.

Sometime ago he proposed that mankind should build more cities and hasten its migration to them so that we can get concentrated populations. His idea was that climate change is going to make saving all of the world impossible; so we might as well pick places we want to and do a better job.

Let’s assume one bought that theory for Tamil Nadu.

The state has a population of 72.14 Million. Its largest City, Madras, has a population of 8.91 Million in its metropolitan area. The metropolitan area occupies 426 square kilometers.

Now if we have citizens living in every other part of the state migrate to Madras and maintained its current density, the City will have to expand by about another 2400 square kilometers. That’s less than the size of the district that shares its borders with Madras: Thiruvallur.

Sounds like the most reasonable thing to do; that liberates all of the land in Tamil Nadu. We could also start the migration process district-wise to make it gradual. If a Chinese style order troubles our liberal conscience, there are always tax policies and the rest to incentivize instead of force. The incentives for public transport, movement away from feudalism and generally moving into the 21st Century all seem easier to design in this system. While it’s possibly also the biggest check on the anachronistic cultural hegemony that Brahmins in Madras enjoy.

And once every other state in India is reduced to a City, we can dissolve the nation state and have effective City states. Aren’t we all lapsed Romans, anyway?

One thought on “Imagining a City State

  1. BVN

    Good idea! didn’t we all live in that village once.

    For TN, the city state should be in Ooty, solve the weather and water problem in one go.

    Plus transport will be all air I guess between city states, let the forests eat the 4 lane highways.

    For agriculture and fisheries we should have gulags, people who get a lower score in engineering entrance will be send there.

Comments are closed.