(Unedited) Podcast Transcript 435: The First City on Mars

This week we’re joined by Tufts professor Justin Hollander to talk about his new book The First City on Mars: An Urban Planner’s Guide to Settling the Red Planet. We talk about the importance of urban planners in thinking about cities on Mars, what we can learn from Antarctica and the International Space Station, and what a Mars metro region might look like.

To listen to this episode, go to Streetsblog USA or find it in our hosting archive.

Below is a full unedited AI generated transcript:

Jeff Wood (2m 34s):
Well, Justin Hollander, welcome back to the Talking Headways podcast.

Justin Hollander (2m 37s):
Great to be here.

Jeff Wood (2m 38s):
Well, thanks for being here. Before we get started, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I know that we had you on episode 350, and we talked about a lot of topics including, you know, how the built environment impacts people’s minds. But for those who may not have listened to that show or, or may not know who you’re, maybe give us a little bit of background. Yeah,

Justin Hollander (2m 54s):
Happy to do so. So I teach urban planning at Tufts University, and I have been interested in the challenges that we face here on Earth, the places that we all live in, and trying to do research and teach around different physical planning, real estate development, land use, and have done some, a lot of work around urban design. That’s, I think, was the bulk of what we talked about last time. So a lot of my research is around, you know, what does it mean to create experiences that people are gonna feel comfortable in in public spaces, and how do we create cities that are gonna attract people and make them feel good about themselves and make them have low stress and wanna come back to those same places?

Jeff Wood (3m 44s):
For sure. Well, let’s chat about Mars a little bit. What made you wanna write a book about space urbanism and specifically aimed at the Red Planet?

Justin Hollander (3m 53s):
So this project started about five years ago, and if you might remember, that’s when The Martian came out. This was a film that was based on a, a bestselling book, and I just, I think a lot of people got kind of caught up in Mars Fever. And there was this sense that this was definitely gonna happen. We got Elon Musk was out there promising to build cities on Mars, Jeff Bezos, nasa. So there was just this kind of like groundswell. And I was offended because while a lot of, a lot of smart people were involved in this, a lot of scientists, astrophysicists, engineers, they didn’t have any urban planners. The urban planners weren’t around.

Justin Hollander (4m 33s):
And I felt like, you know, if this is gonna happen, we have a lot to offer. My discipline, my field, we’ve been doing this for thousands of years, and, and I wanted to kind of see, well, what is it that urban planning could offer to this conversation? It was pretty, pretty absurd idea of settling another planet, but let’s, let’s put it out there. So that was the genesis of the project.

Jeff Wood (4m 56s):
Why do you think that urban planners were left out or not involved, or people didn’t think about those specific issues and items?

Justin Hollander (5m 5s):
So I think there are a few reasons, and I think it, it has to do with the nature of this type of endeavor. It’s so speculative at this point. And people I think are really worried and concerned about the pragmatics of getting humans there and having them survive for the, you know, first week, 30 days, something like that. And even though there’s like these movies or illustrations about what, you know, it might look like in the future, there hasn’t been a lot of serious attention to that. The serious attention has been to that, that journey to get there. And then making sure that people even have water to drink and, and air to breathe.

Jeff Wood (5m 48s):
What exists though, there must be something, I mean, I read the book, there’s a few things that exist on space urbanism, but what exists out there ahead of, of your work?

Justin Hollander (5m 56s):
There’s quite a lot of fiction, a lot of people have speculated and, you know, some of it is really impressive. Some of it’s kinda well-researched and I’ll point to the Red Mars series. But there, so within the science fiction community, there have been quite a lot of work, and I did try to build on that as much as it was practical. In addition, NASA and other science agencies have sponsored research that has looked at some of these questions. A lot of it is really focused really on more on the architecture side. And then some people have kind of like taken that, that work and, and kind of built out kind of larger architecture. But yeah, what I had not seen in my literature review in, in searching was really this kind of a serious look at the city scale.

Justin Hollander (6m 40s):
You know, what do we really need to be thinking about and, and what are some of the lessons that we can bring from Earth?

Jeff Wood (6m 46s):
Should we want to go to Mars?

Justin Hollander (6m 50s):
Maybe not, but if there’s something that I can say for sure about humans is we will try. And it’s not just us. I was talking to my friend the other day, I mean, you have ants in your house, Jeff, I mean, ants, we can think about them, they’ll go anywhere they spread out, but they’re not, they’re not alone. All animals, and we are animals, we’re all like that. And if ants could get to Mars, I can guarantee you they would, might not make it once they’re there. But yeah, so it’s, it’s just kind of like baked into our genetics that we wanna expand and we wanna go out there and people will try. So in many ways I think about this project of mine as, you know, if you’re gonna try, I’m hopeful that this will be a template that will guide you so that it’s more likely that you’ll be successful than otherwise.

Jeff Wood (7m 41s):
I’ve been really appreciative of folks and, and even pop culture that kind of looks at the realistic side of space travel, of, you know, those types of things. And I think, as I mentioned before, the show we just released today, today’s May the fourth, and we just released a Star Wars show, which is science fantasy. Right? It’s, it’s, there’s a lot of things that maybe you could take from it, but for the most part, you know, there’s things like hyperspace that, you know, oh, maybe we could come up with at some point, but it seems very fantastical. But I’m wondering about the realism of some of these science fiction shows and, and ideas and what you think of those. I mean, my personal favorite is The Expanse, right? So I don’t know if you’ve seen that show on Amazon Prime, but basically it feels like they show a realistic vision of what it would be like to have a, a actual cities and colony on Mars, and also what would happen to humans if they came back to Earth, right?

Jeff Wood (8m 28s):
Like the gravity differences and this physiological impacts of space. And so I’m wondering what you think about those types of realistic attempts to portray a kind of space faring civilization.

Justin Hollander (8m 41s):
So those kinds of attempts are responsible for entertaining their audiences, right? So they’re not accountable for a, you know, accurate accounting of the pressure of the air pressure, the, the air and the water. So I mean, I, I feel like we should look to those forms of entertainment or, or science fiction writing as useful. I mean, it’s, these are important expressions of the human experience, but I’m trying to do something in this project that’s different and that introduces a, a much higher level of, of rigor and accountability. I have sources, you know, I mean, actually I’ve cited my sources. You’re not gonna see that in the Expanse.

Jeff Wood (9m 22s):
How much do you think planning on Earth can be translated to planning on Mars in terms of urban planning?

Justin Hollander (9m 27s):
Yeah, well, certainly when we’re talking about challenging environments on, on earth, you know, so, you know, we’re looking at, there’s like a whole kind of way they call them the Winter Cities movement. So I drew a lot on, on different research in those communities. Places where, you know, it gets really super cold, you know, it’s winter for a long part of the year. And you know, we’re talking about also in the, the polar regions. These are places where access to plant life is minimal or non-existent. And then deserts, deserts also we can learn a lot from in terms of challenging access to water. You know, how do you conserve water, how do you recycle it? And so, you know, all those things are really applicable.

Justin Hollander (10m 9s):
And another thing I talk a lot about in the book is Low Earth orbit. No. So we’re not talking about earth anymore, it’s low earth orbit, but we have, we have colonized low earth orbit. It’s the tens of thousands or more of different space debris and satellites, but it’s also the International Space Station. People have been living up there for decades. So, you know, we have a lot we can learn from our experiences, our human experiences, both here terrafirma on the ground, but also, you know, up there.

Jeff Wood (10m 41s):
Well, tell me a little bit about is s and, and kind of how that informed your thinking because I think that it is actually much better kind of indicator of, of what’s needed to be done than say, science fantasy or science fiction.

Justin Hollander (10m 52s):
The advances that they’ve made in terms of being able to recycle air, recycle water, recycle and manage waste. It’s really extraordinary. And so, you know, I think, I think a lot of those lessons are directly applicable, the ability to be able to grow plants and food in the space station. And this is all stuff that I drew on extensively in my research to be able to kind of talk about, you know, what it would take to be successful on Mars.

Jeff Wood (11m 22s):
So let’s talk about the conditions of the planet itself on Mars. I mean, when you’re thinking about Mars, what would future residents have to plan for? What would be the things that were the most necessary in order to not only just get there and, and, you know, hop around for a few days, but actually, you know, sustain life there?

Justin Hollander (11m 40s):
Mars is much further away from the sun. So on average, much colder. So that is a challenge for, for humans to be able to be properly heated. And so we, in our template that is presented in the book, the idea of living below ground was really a big feature that helps to kind of modulate temperatures. And so, so that’s one kind of consideration. The other is just, you know, air, how do you breathe? And that’s gonna be really hard. There’s a lot of science that has, you know, developed techniques around extracting oxygen from the Martian atmosphere.

Justin Hollander (12m 20s):
Various types of test cases have been done here on earth. And so there’s some confidence level that that might be successful. And then there’s water, there’s a question of water. There’s pretty strong scientific consensus that there is abundant water sources on Mars. Most of it is subsurface pretty far, and in the soils in the regular. So, you know, that’s not gonna be so easy to extract, but it is possible and that you can also actually extract water from the atmosphere. There’s believed to be sources of H2O hydrogen oxygen in the atmosphere, so that could be extracted as well. So you know, those, if you can cover those, you know, you’re, you’re kind of halfway there.

Justin Hollander (13m 3s):
And then in terms of the kind of like urban planning stuff that we talk about here on Earth, that’s around managing mobility, thinking about different land uses and how they interact with each other. And then kind of coming back to something that I spoke with you and the other episode a year and a half ago is really how do you create environments that people are gonna be comfortable in, they’re gonna not gonna be stressed out and that they’re gonna wanna spend time in. And that means certain types of shapes and forms. I’ve written under research about this extensively. My book cognitive architecture talks a lot about this. But yeah, so to be able to kind of bring those concepts and principles into the design of that built environment, I think that’s just as important.

Justin Hollander (13m 44s):
It’s gonna be just as important on Mars as it is here on earth.

Jeff Wood (13m 48s):
One of the things that, you know, I feel like gets cut early on in terms of, you know, trying to go to other planets or even spending money to get to certain places are the details, right? So you’re just trying to, to do the basic thing and you know, get the basic thing done and make sure that you do it when keeping people alive. I’m wondering, you know, the things that we care about and that are really important, but maybe, you know, sometimes get left on the cutting room floor, especially even here in our urban environments, right? You have all these strip malls and things like that, that actually don’t, you know, attempt to, you know, relate to people. I’m wondering how much with limited supplies, with the want to keep people alive, how much could we make sure that your first principles are employed on the planet?

Jeff Wood (14m 30s):
Make sure that we are designing so that we see ourselves in our buildings. And so I’m wondering like how you make sure that we let people know that these things are important and they shouldn’t be cut for cost considerations or resource considerations.

Justin Hollander (14m 45s):
Yeah, so, so that’s always gonna be attention. You know, one of the things that has been really fun for me is that book I mentioned the cognitive architecture, so that, that came out in 2015. And then we did a second edition just two years ago in 2021. And in all those years I’ve been doing additional research with collaborators and, and we’ve really been able to find that these ideas are more than just kind of add-ons and nice cities that they’re really so kind of fundamental and, and we’re talking about, you know, whether this first Martian settlement is gonna be the next Jamestown and basically everyone’s gonna die, or is it gonna be the next, you know, New York City.

Justin Hollander (15m 25s):
That’s really the question. And if you pay attention to the research that I’ve been talking about, if you pay attention to the psychological dimensions, then you can have a positive outcome in that. And that when the stakes are so high, the stuff is not optional.

Jeff Wood (15m 38s):
You did mention in the book also McMurdo a base that is on Antarctica that a lot of countries have, you know, signed a treaty and have access to and you know, nobody owns it necessarily taking over more efficient and time tested building types to that place. And, and how that relates to the idea of urbanism on a place like Mars as well. Do you have the boxy forms that are easy to erect or do you build something like the cha that’s more special and feels more human?

Justin Hollander (16m 6s):
Well, so I, I think that Antarctica has a lot of important lessons for us as we think about, you know, colonizing Mars or, or the moon or elsewhere. It is a very unpleasant place to be. From the research that I’ve done, people are very unhappy there. And the built environment is definitely a factor. The chalet the main headquarters, that that’s a building, that is something that people have remembered that this is a building that they, they connect with and that’s really important for shaping people’s emotional wellbeing, but the other ones are not. And, and I think that the future of Antarctica is not bright, in my opinion.

Justin Hollander (16m 46s):
And then it has a lot to do with the fact that there hasn’t been good planning, certainly hasn’t been good urban design. And that’s, that’s something we’re gonna have to kinda keep in mind as we think about these future colonization efforts.

Jeff Wood (16m 58s):
There are important urban design considerations that you can take from that too, because of the snow and the wind and the blinding whiteness of it all to Mars because of the need to protect humans from some of the atmospheric dangers, et cetera. There’s a roundedness that is necessary, those types of things. What did you learn about those types of protections from an urban design standpoint?

Justin Hollander (17m 18s):
Yeah, so, so there’s no question that certain forms, the, the ut has held up for probably more than a thousand years as a, a design form that’s very effective in, in protecting against wind impact. So that’s something that has been employed in inclement climates and, and I think we can, you know, learn from that. A lot of the stuff that we kind of learned from Antarctica is about snow. So we’re not, we don’t really see snow. We don’t see snow on parts,

Jeff Wood (17m 47s):

Justin Hollander (17m 47s):
I mean, I can’t say definitely because I’ve never been, but right, there’s, there’s no historical record of snow in the recent history. So yeah, so there it’s more about like, how do you get vehicles around? One of the things that I r wrote about was the value of in a, a heavy snow area of compacting roads and then pouring ice on them, just like some techniques that have developed, you know, through practice. So clearly we have lessons learned with respect to, to the Martian road system, you know, what, what, what is it gonna involve? And so one of the things I wrote about was that in terms of roads, you, you probably do wanna do something that’s akin to that where you’re gonna crush up the regular, make sure that it’s heavily compacted before you start driving rovers over, over those roadways.

Jeff Wood (18m 32s):
Something else to consider is when you’re choosing a site where you might put housing units or domiciles or the, the buildings themselves or you know, where the, where the roads might go or transit or those types of things. H how do you figure out where you’re going to settle on a planet that people have never been to?

Justin Hollander (18m 51s):
Well, for, for that part of my book, I was able to rely heavily on a lot of work that NASA has done. You know, not only have they kinda identified some po possible landing sites for, for future exploration, human exploration, but they’ve also convened large groups of, of experts to kind of consider, well, what even should be that criteria, you know, I mean, if we’re gonna be taking some length on, you know, where do we wanna be? And so it’s kind of interesting, like a lot of folks will talk about how you wanna start off with a very kind of flat area. Mars is covered with all kinds of sized creators and then also has the largest mountain volcano in the entire solar system of Lius man.

Justin Hollander (19m 35s):
So that’s not necessarily a good place for new settlement is in, in their opinion. But there’s other people who talk about, you know, the, the value of being close to the equator, where that’s certainly gonna be warmer just like it is here. You are gonna get better solar exposure. So, you know, these are, I think some of the kind of considerations, you know, we on earth are really, really sensitive to, you know, access to water, both fresh water and water for travel, for transportation. I think there’s still so many o o open questions about, you know, where water sources which would most likely be subsurface would be. So until we know that a little more, I think you have to wait on pitching your tent.

Jeff Wood (20m 16s):
You mentioned the soil types too. I mean, there’s different types of soil over the planet. There’s probably a dusty type soil, there’s probably rocky stuff like limestone types of things. What would be consideration for that specifically in terms of the dirt that you’re actually gonna be putting down streets or, or roads or, or whatever on? Yeah,

Justin Hollander (20m 35s):
So there’s no question that the, that that is gonna matter. And I think the, the biggest thing is really just how easy is it to extract moisture from that, the soil? And so if it’s gonna be really dense, very rocky, you know, might, might be harder. So I think those are the kind of considerations that are gonna drive settlement decisions.

Jeff Wood (20m 55s):
You know, on earth we tend to be lazy about consumption to a certain extent. And I feel like some sort of mission to Mars would be, have to be more, you know, aligned with the ideas of preserving life that we’re working on here for climate change. You know, you have to have zero waste. You have to, you know, do a lot of recycling, those types of things. How much of that perfect kind of world do we need to translate over in order to actually sustain life?

Justin Hollander (21m 24s):
Right? And we, you know, we talked about the International Space station earlier, the iss, I mean the, the idea of a closed loop, that’s what they strive for up there, but you know, they’re, they’re not even able to do it. So, you know, I don’t think we can expect any kind of a a hundred percent closed loop on Mars, but, you know, for the purpose of conservation, you’d wanna get pretty, pretty close to it. Especially when we’re talking about conserving air, breathable air and water. But, you know, I mean in terms of like food and waste, I mean those are, those are also things that you wanna try to be careful about. And, you know, managing waste is a big deal. I was just reading about in today’s newspaper, I, I’m in New York City, you know, they’re, they’re still still trying to figure it out.

Justin Hollander (22m 5s):
They, they’re deciding whether or not they should come up with a new system so people don’t just throw their garbage bags out on the sidewalks. So yeah, so th so we’re, we haven’t quite figured out waste here, so I think there’s still some learning going on, but, but that would have to be pretty well thought out before we arrive.

Jeff Wood (22m 22s):
Cars, trains, bikes or walking,

Justin Hollander (22m 27s):
Well, biking is gonna be of course different given the gravity and atmospheric pressure on Mars. But I am a firm believer if we think about biking as one of the most efficient, lowest energy sources of transportation, and we kind of think about that as a way to build the city, build, build it out, I think that we’re gonna be in good shape. The proposal I’ve come up with at the end of the book really kind of builds bicycle and pedestrian movement as the primary way that people get around. But as you think about a city that’s, you know, large scale, you do need to have other ways. And, and so there we built a network of underground trains that transport people, but ultimately you will still need surface transportation.

Justin Hollander (23m 10s):
So, you know, we also conceive this network of above ground rover paths that would allow for some level of, of getting around that, that way as well.

Jeff Wood (23m 21s):
It’s interesting to think about how transport might work in a place where, you know, you start out small and then you grow over time. And I’m wondering how that consideration plays into things like if you’re just starting a colony or whatever you’re doing, whether that’s settling or just visiting for a small amount of time. You, you might start very small, but you probably need to think about kind of the long term expansion if you’re gonna be creating a civilization there. So what, what kind of things go into that thinking? Not just one small domicile or, you know, research center, but actually a, a metropolitan area, I guess if you think about it that way.

Justin Hollander (23m 55s):
Yeah, if you think about like how hard it is to excavate a tunnel after a city’s already been built, that is what we’re talking about. That, you know, if you, if you kind of can be forward thinking and, and, and plan out where those excavations can occur, or in the case where there’s underground lava tubes, there’s a naturally occurring tunnels are all over the subsurface of Mars and craters as well. So if you kind of like, you know, build that into the original design thinking, then you know you might be able to be more efficient later on.

Jeff Wood (24m 29s):
How do you design a place also with light consideration? Humans need vitamin D, we need light, we also need, you know, to keep us from getting the radiation that comes from the sun that we are protected from by our, our atmosphere here on earth. And what considerations do you have to have in designing buildings with light?

Justin Hollander (24m 47s):
Yeah, no, it’s, it is a real paradox, but like you said, people do need light. We need psychologically and also for, you know, vitamin D and other benefits, but you get radiation with that too. So the answer’s really about filtering out as much radiation as possible and also being exposed to that light at certain times of the day and being aware of the potential for different types of different, there are different types of radiation, so there are definitely ways that that can be managed, but people will need to spend a lot of their time, especially when they’re sleeping away from natural lights and protected from radiation.

Jeff Wood (25m 25s):
You’ve been working on this book for a while. You’ve probably talked to a lot of people about the book. I’m wondering what is a question that you haven’t been asked but wish you would be,

Justin Hollander (25m 36s):
You’ve asked them, you know, really great questions. I don’t know if there’s anything else.

Jeff Wood (25m 42s):
Is there something that everybody asks about?

Justin Hollander (25m 45s):
They all ask me if I’m planning on going? Well, the answer is no. I have no, no plans. I mean, if anything, this whole experience of doing the research and writing it has made me appreciate the ability to be able to just go outside, read the air, feel the sunshine, walk around.

Jeff Wood (26m 4s):
That’s, that’s the feeling I got from reading your vote too. And I, I feel like, I mean, I, I appreciate the thinking behind it all and the urban planning ideas and the need to actually build civilizations that reflect good planning. But at the same time, I do like being able to just not worry about whether I have oxygen or not, or you know, not worry if I have food or not. And, you know, they have, we have a drought even after so many rains. I’m sure we still have a drought here in California. And so that’s constantly, and in the west we’ve, you know, the Colorado River and, and Phoenix has that problem too. But you know, for the most part, we don’t necessarily have to worry about whether the sun’s gonna kill us or not if we go outside for two seconds.

Jeff Wood (26m 45s):
So, you know, those types of things made me think, well I think I’m probably a land lover and stay here. I love science fiction, I love space, I love the idea of it. I love thinking about, you know, settling the moons of, of Jupiter and things like that. Those, I mean, there’s lots of really cool ideas out there, but I think that for me, I, I’ll I’ll watch it from a distance.

Justin Hollander (27m 7s):
Yeah, I’m with you on that one, Jeff. The other

Jeff Wood (27m 9s):
Folks can, can do that.

Justin Hollander (27m 11s):
But it does help us, I think, appreciate what kind of planet we have. I mean, we have an extraordinary planet that can give us all of these things, all of our, all of our needs. So

Jeff Wood (27m 20s):
The first spaceship. And another thing is, I, you know, on one of the examples that you were giving, cuz there’s other people that have looked into some of these ideas and you know, Kozak had a design that was really, really fascinating. And one of the things, and I was looking at the detail of the design, I noticed that, you know, there were thinking actually in the future about hospitalization and there was, you know, there was an ambulatory ward and then also an isolation room, which caught my eye. Why would you need

Justin Hollander (27m 47s):

Jeff Wood (27m 48s):
Why, why would you need, well covid, but like is it for, you know, is it for mental health? Is it for covid, is it for disease or some is it for anthrax that breaks out on, on the Marsha pla. Like those are the types of things that people think about. And I, I find that just fascinating.

Justin Hollander (28m 5s):
Right. Well, you know, you imagine like any movement of humans or animals to Mars is going to bring with us. Anthrax gonna, it’s gonna bring it with us. Covid, influenza, right? All those things. So,

Jeff Wood (28m 22s):
Well that gets the other question about like, you know, you mentioned also, you know, we’ve colonized places before and it ends up with poor results and people being killed and people being enslaved and those types of things. So there’s something to be learned from a history of earth in terms of colonization. And I’m not just talking about, you know, the British colonies or European or anything like that. It’s happened through centuries and centuries of human existence where colonization has negative impacts that we should be worried about, even if it has no human life form. There is an, an existing ecosystem there. What should we worried about?

Justin Hollander (28m 58s):
Right. Well, so, so I mentioned the Red Mars series, Kim Stanley Robinson science fiction author, you know, he does this really great job across the trilogy of, of engaging with those questions, the, the kind of planetary preservationists, you know, who, who really feel like Mars is just beautiful and it’s perfect and we shouldn’t change it. And then the other people who not only do they bring with them their diseases, but they actually terraform the planet by introducing CO2 and the atmosphere emissions and they warm up Mars to make it more habitable. So, so there’s this really, really fascinating debate that kind of goes throughout the, the books.

Justin Hollander (29m 38s):
And so I think that it’s a good question in that what you’re raising that, that we’ve struggled as humans, as we’ve spread out a across this planet and even places where, where there were no people, just the way that we’ve destroyed and damaged the national environments, you know, is that, is that justifiable? And I think that that, that is an open question and I don’t, I’ve been weigh on, weigh in directly in my writing on that. I think that’s something people need to figure out.

Jeff Wood (30m 7s):
The book sets up 30 planning principles for a Mars colony. Do you need to follow all the principles or is it kind of like a pattern language where you pick and choose the ones you like the best?

Justin Hollander (30m 16s):
Yeah, I think that it’s up to the people who are going there to figure out if any or all of the principles are helpful. I do have a number of caveats, which is that as new technologies are invented and new science advances, you know, those principles will need to be modified. But at least it’s a start. It’s a beginning of, of a framework that allows us to envision a, a city there that is built on this long and rich history of whether it’s the colonization or experience doing, doing transportation right, or addressing other dimensions of the project. So that’s my hope is that, that those principles will hold up on some level and maybe not all of them, but at least most of them.

Jeff Wood (31m 1s):
And you take those principles and you develop your own city. I’m trying to lf, is that how you say it?

Justin Hollander (31m 7s):
Olive? Yeah, olive.

Jeff Wood (31m 9s):
What do you like most about your idea?

Justin Hollander (31m 11s):
Well, I have to acknowledge that it was built on all of the examples. I mean, this is not, I wouldn’t say it’s my idea. I mean it’s, it’s the expression of everything that was presented before in collaboration with my students. I had a lot of help with my students in conceiving it. And you know, I think, you know, just trying to show what it could look like rather than saying, you know, you should build this exact city. You know, I’m just trying to join this conversation about colonizing Mars and offering this as one, one vision. I think it would be a nice place to live, I think would be okay. And I think it, it does put the human experience at the center.

Justin Hollander (31m 54s):
You know, I’ve seen quite a lot of other designs, something I didn’t include where it’s, it’s just like this beautiful work of art from plan view, but like you have to actually live there and many of these would be just awful. They’re like a Amazon warehouse, you know, I mean it’s just like nobody’s gonna wanna live there. So yeah, so, so I think that’s, if there’s one thing I take most pride in is that the, this particular plan is very human centered and, and tries to draw on some of the principles from from this other research on urban design and experience that I’ve talked about before.

Jeff Wood (32m 24s):
How do you want people to use the book?

Justin Hollander (32m 26s):
Well, I think my hope would be that as plans move forward and they are moving forward in a lot of different, both public and private, that this book ends up being a reference as people who are very serious and have resources to actually plan a trip. That they actually use the book as a reference. They put it on their shelf and that they refer to it and it helps them be successful.

Jeff Wood (32m 50s):
I like that. Well the book is the First city on Mars and Urban Planners guide to Settling the Red Planet. Where can folks find it if they want a copy?

Justin Hollander (32m 59s):
I think Amazon’s easiest, Barnes and Noble too.

Jeff Wood (33m 1s):
You’d also get it at your local bookstores, I imagine they’ll order it for you too. Going to Bookshop or IndieBound or anything like that. That’s where we usually send people to go and get their books.

Justin Hollander (33m 11s):
Well, I would prefer that. Yes.

Jeff Wood (33m 12s):
Well, Justin, thanks for joining us. We really appreciate your time. Nice

Justin Hollander (33m 15s):
To meet with you and I wish you all the best. Thank you.


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