A National R&D Program to Develop a Model Bio-city - RiverU Proposal by Shoshana Chipman and Richard Wang

An Act to appropriate $500 million to the National Science Foundation for the creation of a model Bio-city.


Shoshana Chipman and Richard Wang

Shoshana Chipman and Richard Wang

  • Construct a model, self-sustaining, ecologically sustainable Bio-city of 4,000 inhabitants that produces zero emissions and has a net zero impact on the environment.
  • Create a 500 million USD research and development program for innovative “green” technology, systems and processes to support the Bio-city that are transferable to other communities nationally.
  • Commence a national search to identify an appropriate site upon on which to build the Bio-city.
  • That resultant technological advances produced in correlation with the Bio-city project will be open-source, to allow for widespread production and implementation in communities across the country.


The Bio-city will be an unprecedented opportunity for environmental technology innovation, development, and practical implementation. Over the past 5 decades, it has become clear that our society is traveling an unsustainable path. Human activities in the form of discharge of waste water, chemicals and various gases are creating significant impacts to the ecology, the climate, and the public well-being:

  • Ecology

 In the 2010 update of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, at which 17,315 species were listed as vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered, human activities accounted for the majority of the causes. We currently live in an era that is known as the sixth mass extinction, or the Holocene extinction. About 895 extinctions that occurred between the years of 1500 C.E.–2009 C.E. are documented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources; however, scientists believe that the vast majority of the extinctions that happened during this period remain undocumented, which is largely due to the lack of understanding in regards to the natural world.

  • Climate:

According to the National Wildlife Federation, the melting of sea ice is accelerating rapidly, and as it melts and ocean levels rise, coastlines and low-lying areas like New Orleans, Miami and New York are threatened. Global warming is a major problem, which affects our daily lives. As the average temperature goes up, the snowpack on the mountains are declining, as well as melting earlier. This causes ecological disturbance in rivers downstream. Scientists also expect lake levels to drop as the climate continues to warm up. Lake Superior — the largest of the five Great Lakes — is 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it was in 1980, and water levels in all of the Great Lakes have generally declined since 1986.

  • Public well-being:

As human beings continue to exploit the resources of planet earth, our very existence is threatened. Over 19 million Americans get sick from the viruses and bacteria that are in the water each year. These are unnecessary public health threats, and could be easily eradicated if we had more innovative technology that could sustainably use the resources.

Arguments in Opposition

  • “500 million dollars is a large sum of money. What will be the source of the funding?’

The United States of America has a population of over 313.9 million, of whom over 138 million are taxpayers. By diverting fewer than 4 tax dollars per person into the Bio-city research and development fund, we will accumulate 500 million dollars easily and painlessly. Alternatively, we could redirect 500 million from the military. America could cut its military budget by over 400 billion dollars and it would remain the largest in the world.

  • “Why should my taxpayers in New York support a project (such as the Bio-city) that may very well be built in Nevada?”

This is not a local project; it is a national project, transcendent of state lines. Taxpayers do not contribute as New Yorkers, but as Americans, creating a better and brighter America. That being said, the Bio-city researchers will have to select a site for the Bio-city, and New York is a prime candidate to make a bid to host that site. New York experiences all four seasons (making it the ideal test location in regards to climate), and boasts an astonishing number of technical universities and corporations (Clarkson University, IBM, etc.) that would likely make bids for grant money. If a sufficiently convincing case is made, the Bio-city could very well be built in New York. Additionally, the technology pioneered in the Bio-city will be implemented in cities nationwide–including the cities in which your taxpayers reside. The Bio-city is a monetary investment now for financial and quality-of-living returns down the road.

  • “This is the role of commercial industry. Why is the government interfering with the market?”

This is not the role of the market. The creation of the Bio-city is the role of the government. The Bio-city is an innovation program, and is a direct response to global warming and world-wide unsustainable resource management. The Bio-city will have national and international effects and ramifications–and it is a poor government that allows international affairs to become the province of a corporate industrial empire. Just as the space race was a government run program of scientific innovation that is now yielding commercial benefits, now so with the Bio-city.