In the late 1960s, a group of scientists, city planners, architects, and inventors proposed a new city of 250,000 people who would fix urban problems through technology. Overcrowding, pollution, and sprawl would be addressed through self-driving roads, waste management reprocessing, modular housing, and underground tunnels for utilities, while a huge geodesic dome could regulate climate. Land was selected in a woodsy part of northern Minnesota, federal funding was acquired, and a 10-year construction timeline was drawn up. The idea was to start fresh with the American city, and then implement proven innovations on urban design in metropolitan areas around the country.
This is not a spoiler for the new feature-length documentary The Experimental City, but the Minnesota Experimental City (MXC) was never built. Optimistic dreams of the 1960s waned, and the people of Swatara, Minnesota, were not thrilled about having their local landscapes dug up for a space age metropolis and its nuclear power plant. Even in Minnesota, it became a footnote in midcentury history.
Experimental City director Chad Freidrichs delved into archives of audio recordings, film reels, photographs, and conceptual drawings to revisit MXC, and interviewed its participants and protestors. The documentary premiered at the Chicago International Film Festival in October 2017.
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.