It’s hard to argue that after physiological and safety needs are fulfilled humans yearn for more and in fact need more. Maslow had some interesting thoughts on this.
1. Belonging needs: This psychological aspect of Maslow’s hierarchy involves emotionally-based relationships in general, such as friendship, sexual intimacy and having a supportive and communicative family.
2. Self-esteem needs: All humans have a need to be respected, to have self-esteem, self-respect and to respect others. People need to engage themselves to gain recognition and have an activity or activities that give the person a sense of contribution, to feel accepted and self-valued, be it in a profession or hobby.
3. Cognitive needs: All humans have the need to increase their intelligence and thereby chase knowledge. Cognitive needs are the expression of the natural human need to learn, explore, discover and create in order to get a better understanding of the world around them..
4. Aesthetic needs: Humans need to refresh themselves in the presence and beauty of nature while carefully absorbing and observing their surroundings to extract the beauty that the world has to offer.
5. Self-actualization needs: Self-actualization is the instinctual need of humans to make the most of their abilities and to strive to be the best they can be.
6. Self-transcendence needs: Maslow later divided the top of the triangle to add self-transcendence which is also sometimes referred to as spiritual needs.
What if we set up our cities and communities, and our economic and political systems, to meet all the needs of its citizens? Of course, we start with biological and security needs, but we don’t stop there. We work together to help each other and ourselves meet higher human needs.
What if we were able to find what we need – biological, security, higher needs – without the single-minded focus on increasing wealth? What if we could succeed without the capitalism that has driven the earth’s ecological systems to the brink of failure?
What if citizens could totally “opt out” of working within the corporate capitalist system and still earn “a living?”
How do we train the focus of the lens of our cameras on this type of future? Obviously, budget will force us to show sparingly pieces of the visual future we imagine. Also, we believe our cameras we will be shooting mostly at human scale in anthropometric dimensions. Our characters will be mostly in walkable urban villages or neighborhoods. Our -50 | 0 | +50 careful futurism predicts that much will look the same in 2064 as it does in today. Just as much of St. Louis – at human scale – looks the same today as it did in 1964. That will leave a lot of city locations for us to use. This careful futurism strategy will keep our creative conceits in check and be an interesting challenge for producers, writers directors and actors.
Yes, we also have a social point of view. That is that systemic change in our economic and political systems are necessary if we are to survive the clear and present dangers of our times — global warming and biosphere destruction; the new gilded age, and the massive inequality of wealth and opportunity it imposes; corporate capitalism and the plutocracy it has created; and the destruction of our delicate representative democracy.
All the world’s a “sustainable” stage. In developing the series concept, we asked: What would it be like to live in a future more like Roddenberry’s Star Trek than Huxley’s Brave New World? What would life be like in a sustainable city? What would it be like to live in a place that practiced good old fashioned conservation of resources and at the same time developed advanced technology to do the same? A place that practiced “New World Business.”
Stories, film and television can help people bridge the gap between what is now and what is possible. Gateway: the City’s Reason envisions a future with mostly positive outcomes – where good old American optimism touches everyone. That’s the stage on which Gateway stories take place. And we think it’s a stage that citizens should see more of today.
A series Bible is a reference document used by writers, directors, producers and actors for information about characters, settings and other elements of the show. In many ways, we are only beginning our research into what a sustainable city will be like in 50 years. Even so, we’ve decided to publish portions of the Gateway-TCR bible in order to share the foundations of Gateway: the City’s Reason with you. We want to describe “the stage” upon which our stories will be told and we welcome your ideas.