Are you sure you want to delete this post?
There's gotta be a profound and pervasive paradigm shift from what we consider conventional human existence. Ban car commuting. Even better, develop housing/working/walking proximities even within the same buildings. To a significant extent already taking place what with former warehouse and factory spaces now "lofts" within walking distance of city workplaces.
Rising sea levels or storm surges make present cities impossible to maintain even by "Venicification", there's so much open land in this country and in others too (think Russia). Start from scratch and build integrated commercial and residential "foci" here and there, kind of what could be called "future-oriented townships" but complete with highrises . . . . or, perhaps subterranean development would be more advisable in that being surrounded by earth surely decreases heating and air conditioning costs. Lighting? Macro-fiberoptics.
Already London has drastically curtailed automotive entry, I believe. Considering what I saw on the highways into Boston, the fuel waste and pollution to get into the city from (perhaps average 30) miles away at the rate of average 10 mph . . . . should be criminalized. And those thousands of cars creeping along . . . where the hell do they put them? Even in the Post Office Square subterranean garage (7 levels -- the construction phase to which I delivered was astounding) . . .only so many cars can fit in that and the other labyrinths.
We created a distribution of people and places based on nostalgia (open land, even if just a big yard) and economics (cheaper the further from the city). For awhile this was a kind of utopia. But with population growth, it's become a total ecological disaster still called "progress". It's become a time-slavery (commute/work/commute and maybe a couple hours "free" if you want a decent night's sleep. The gain? The cost of gas, depreciation and deterioration of the spacecapsuleyacht 5 passenger vehicle that costs at least three whole days' income for payments and insurance and excise and unexpected major expenses.
So there's 2 days a weekend (for most). With a sane scenario of life-style and work logistics, the family could cruise to wherever in their pw/ps/heated 8-way seat with memory/30 speaker satellite radio/self-parking/backup camera/ tire pressure display, touch screen dash/gps . . . . . . they could use it to drive in. Getting the ever increasing mpg (each model-year) while actually moving along.
Regarding "cities from scratch" . . there's precedent. Salt Lake City, Utah. A rather unlikely location but look what the Mormons put together. Also notable, Israel (which could be considered a big, diversified city as well as country. And Dubai.
Built for practicality, highest level sustainabiity and other tech, maximized efficiency, minimized mobility requirements of the populace, a new "trans-urban" generation of development may be required in order for developed-world humanity to survive various threats.
Whether man's atavistic (livin' in the country) and atrocious (commuting back and forth) activities are the cause of the "changes they are a timing" now . . . is beside the point other than -- even if we just might be causing global warming, we should stop the specifics of causation as much as possible. And as soon.
The issue and looming necessity is that we start planning ahead. And part of that will have to be less energy usage (even solar). Less pollution (by creating less waste inclusive of substance and emissions). Less water consumption (by "gray-water" re-use for "brown-water" flushing) and otherwise just plain less water use by law and/or by substitution of actual biota for lawns -- or artificial grass (the sales spokeswoman in the ads would be named Faye Klohnn).
Actual inundations and erosions already creating crises, impending increments of sea levels inspiring engineering-level articles suggesting how some of Boston's streets could be converted to canals (a la Venice), it's past the point of placid "perhaps . . . perhaps . . . ." ponders.
We wait too long to start restructuring our existence, it may be not only a matter of "past the point of no return" to submerged cities. It may be too late for survival as we know it.
As for those billions in foreign, sea level realms, the recent Philippines should be the example -- of no way to get there and even if there were, nowhere to go because "there" is already over-occupied by others.
A premise that the priority has to be maintaining the level of satisfaction, happiness, possession, choice, and in our culture de facto wastrel indulgence -- thus we can't think of decreasing or denying the people -- rather, we must be sure we come up with "alternatives fuels" (for example) is utopian delusion. The predicament of man is that the bases, the requirements, of his satisfaction, happiness etc. etc. . . . are excessive, may very well prove unsustainable by "sustainables". B
But of greater existential threat -- the natural state it is a-changing. And our expectations and demands as if entitlements may be foreclosed by the geo-dynamic system's cycles, submersions, cryonics.
Rather than research into self-driving cars, funds should be going into developing prototype paradigms (and even trial establishments) of self-perpetuating urban alternatives on a higher level . . . .
On a levels, yes not just altitude, but ethos and efficiency and ecology and so much more engineered into a new paradigm of human existence.