We need to plan for a population increase of about two and a half million people, and it will be quite some time before we would have the political capital to seize unoccupied foreclosures by eminent domain and reinhabit them. Even if we could, that and the Arcology combined would house maybe a third of the extra people we need to find housing for.
The Plyscraper concept started as a proposal to fill some of that gap. It’s a nice start, but even if we built a thousand of them that would still be only a third the capacity of the Arcology.
A Plyscraper is simply a tall building make of stressed-skin plywood. The proposal here is to come up with a standardized design for a building that can be built at four stories tall to accommodate current zoning requirements, and expanded to twelves stories and 96 units at such time as the zoning laws are modified. Larger plyscrapers have been built, for example https://thespaces.com/the-worlds-tallest-plyscraper-completes-in-norway/ .
One of the purposes of this program is to give the existing Portland construction industry a stake in our program. For smaller companies and communities – say, a POC carpenter who just got their general contracting license – we can help them organize and recruit until they *are* competent to put up a plyscraper. For them and for larger companies, we provide the building plans and project plans for free, and require that they hire a project supervisor from our staff to keep the project up to spec. Our supervisor will make sure no negligent shortcuts are taken, and have the power to stop construction and hold payments until such shortcuts or other incompetencies are corrected. This is a very good deal to any honest and honorable contractor, and a real deal-killer to crooks.
The design will have the features needed to stay within the Solarpunk aesthetics – external climbing gardens, offgrid power systems, rainwater collection, community spaces, and so on – and also have provision for intentional community development and low-cost housing within the building. While a tenant’s association doesn’t have nearly the clout of a formal government such as the Arcology will have, it can still have substantial impact on helping the tenants act in mutual aid for each other and develop a localized community.