A City Built from Scratch

When a city is created where there was none before, what are the considerations of those building the city?


This arc, Orange Banders were introduced to the city of Kalu Yala, a city being built in the jungles of Panama by a group of individuals interested in building “the world’s most sustainable city.”

After an introduction to the project by Orange Band helper and friend, Jessica, who worked and lived in Kalu Yala as part of her college work, the kiddos brainstormed a number of questions they had for the group involved in the project.


Resources (Water/Food)

Safety + Health

Education

Impact + Effects

Social + Population


To say that their questions were insightful and reflective of a deep understanding of the intricacies of how a city comes into being – and, perhaps, why and if it should come into being – would be a gross understatement…

Orange Bandโ€™s Questions About/For Kalu Yala

  1. What is the relationship between the city and the indigenous people?
  2. Do they have a stable plumbing system?
  3. How was it funded? Where did money for materials come from?
  4. How do they filter water? What is the water source?
  5. Is this a good idea for the indigenous people?
  6. What would they do if there was a natural disaster?
  7. Would you call this colonization? Why or why not?
  8. What inspired this project? Why Panama?
  9. How was the group allowed to build in Panama?
  10. How will this affect the animals/nature of the area?
  11. What will they do about medical emergencies/outbreaks?
  12. How will Kalu Yala affect the world?
  13. What are buildings made from?
  14. Who was living there before? Is it the same population of Kalu Yala now?
  15. Is Kalu Yala in a high-risk zone? What are emergency procedures/protocols?
  16. Who gets to live there?
  17. What does a completely sustainable city mean?
  18. Do they vaccinate?
  19. Where do the teachers for the school and teacher prep program come from?
  20. How do they respond to animal threats?
  21. Is there a cap on the number of people that the city can sustain? How will they decide how many people get to live there? How will they decide who gets to stay and who has to leave?