Plan B Purpose
We know that our plan will not go exactly as we have imagined it, but if we were unable to continue with it, we would need an alternative. For the village design, we think that our design is relatively plastic; the structure of the village itself can be changed if need be, especially since our plan already has numerous places where we expect resident input to guide us. The floating airport is a riskier venture, and if we should fail to convince the military to relocate to the floating platform, we propose consolidating all the air traffic on Baltra’s airbase. The floating structure would remain as a portal for ships, and a way to monitor how effective SICGAL is in preventing invasive species from entering the ecosystem.
If Some Refuse to Comply
We feel it would be irrational to suggest that every single person move. If we have done our job right, the majority of the population will view the move as a beneficial and happy arrangement, but we know that some will resist. These people will be allowed to stay in their homes. Luckily, the footprint of our restructured cities is vastly smaller than that of the current cities, due to more effective use of space and a larger number of two story buildings. Additionally, much of the space that will be residential in the restructured city is commercial now. In all likelihood, anybody who doesn’t have to move will live outside the boundaries of the new city, and will be allowed to stay.
Hopefully, as the village develops its own cultural significance and appeal, there will no longer be any reason, sentimental or otherwise, for people to want to live outside its boundaries.
Should No One Wish to Move
At this point, we will have realized that our plan was a failure. If after the preliminary years of tests, nobody thinks that our project is worthy of attention, then we will conclude that it is not. Although it may sound trite, at this point we would go back to the drawing board.
Should People Move and Wish they Had Not
Since the houses of those who make the move will be recycled in to newer ones, there will not be an option to move back, after a few weeks time. If somebody is very unhappy, we suggest the following.
The first step would be to find out exactly what the problem is. If it has to do with personal space, it is very possible to move the unhappy resident to the end of one of the parallels where there is more space. This obviously can not happen to everybody, but there will be approximately 25 parallels. Aditionally, somebody who wanted to pay extra from their own pocket to increase their house in some way (size, technology) would be allowed to do so.
If somebody is dissatisfied with the design of their new house, or with its worksmanship, and construction is still underway (as it is likely to be, since the process takes around 12 years), they can be assigned to a new house, and allowed to oversee its construction. If they wish to change the design they may do so.
As a last resort, the dissatisfied party would be allowed to move to a farming village and live in exactly the kind of house they desire, outside of the confines of the village.
If the persons wish to leave the Galápagos, they have every right to do so, and although we do not want our project to fail, a decrease in population is favorable for the island ecosystem.
Currently airports are active on Baltra, San Cristobal, and Isabela. The airport on Baltra manages between four and five round trip flights each day and currently serves as part of the Ecuadorian Air Force. San Cristobal is a civilian airport averaging one commercial flight per day while the small airport on Isabela provides for only small, five seater craft. While closing the airports on Isabela and San Cristobal to centralize quarantine and immigration can both be easily justified, doing the same on Baltra raises serious questions about military propriety that we have as yet of failed to fully resolve. While under our primary proposal all three of these land-based airports are closed and replaced by a floating airport off of the southern coast of Isabela, we feel it is essential that a plan B (and C) exist.
Assuming Baltra remains open as a military airbase, San Cristobal and Isabela should both be closed and their land restored to its previous ecological state. The system for managing SICGAL on the floating airport should be applied to Baltra with the same shifts in funding and support as provided by the trust and commission under the current plan. In this case while the floating island would no longer support an airport, it could potentially be built to clear all boats entering and exiting Galápagos as well as providing the same storage functionality currently proposed for the floating airport design. The GPS tracking facilities would all be located on this island as would a station for the coast guard to facilitate patrol of the regions around Isabela best suited to illegal fishing.
Should no financial justification exist for constructing a floating base should it not support an airport, the most significant changes that will have to take place revolved around strengthening the enforcement of port of entry processes by ensuring people are always ready to check ships when they arrive and that they believe in the legislation they are enforcing. To do this effectively new structures would have to be built during the phase take down and still others trainer to interact with locals.
From our position at MIT we have tried our best to give reasonable answers to the tasks we were given. We are, however, new to this project, and far away from it physically. We assume that we have gotten a few things wrong despite our research. Plan B provides a reality check for our project – a way of saying that, much as we would like it to succeed, we are committed to the happiness and success of our vision overall, not these exact plans. If they need to be changed, they will be.
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