Urban Planning Dreams

submitted by: H. Roice Nelson, Jr.

Urban Planning Dreams (England East Mission, British Mission, new prototype city, urban planning)
-0.1741761 51.4996922 1970-1972
In presenting context for my dreams, it is critical to describe my first day in London as a full-time missionary. There were about 24 of us reporting to the England East Mission in the same group. We had all been called to the British Mission, the oldest Mission in the Church. The Mission name had been changed between our call, our time in the Mission Home in Salt Lake, and our reporting to the Mission in London. Having made the trip many many times since then, I think we must of arrived early in the morning. We each told our version of the first vision to the Mission President, and then we were taken to White City, a large cement Counsel Housing Project in London, to tract. As we went door to door in this cement jungle, I was blown away people could live in places like this. I have often said since this introduction to the poor of London, "My Dad's cattle had better living conditions than these people."
I wrote my friend Ray Gardner about what I saw and how bad the housing was. This started a correspondence which continues to today regarding building a prototype 21st Century Community which demonstrates a better way to live. This became my passion. As I see it now, urban planning is a spatial problem. Geophysics, and specifically 3-D seismic and lightning analysis and interpretation are spatial problems. If I have intelligence, it is most likely spatial intelligence. It is certainly not emotional intelligence or social intelligence. This concept of the new city has become a backdrop for all of my professional and religious thinking.
My first attempt to put this down in writing was when I was assigned to Harlow New Town, one of the members who lived in the nearby town of Sawbridge went away for a week, and were asked to stay and watch over place. It was the vacation week of my mission. I wrote a tome about my urban planning ideas and how I saw these ideas related to my understanding of the gospel I was sharing with the English. Ray Gardner had sent me images from Paleo Soleri's book "Archology, The City in the Image of Man." From an architectural standpoint, these images formed the basis in my mind for the underground city I feel destined to build. Image 3 is of the cover of Soleri's book.