Sustainability Debate – The Reds


The Reds represent the sundry forms of socialism. Although one might expect them to have been discredited by the downfall of the Soviet Union, their worldview is very much alive. They find validation in the chaotic and horrific economic conditions that the rise of bandit capitalism has brought to contemporary Russia, a country whose economic machinery now benefits a minority at the expense of a materially and socially disadvantaged majority. The growing and worldwide gap between rich and poor confirms the Reds’ analyses, which are as accurate about poverty and suffering as the Blues’ observations are accurate about growth and change. While Blues focus on the promise of growth and technology, Reds focus on its shadow and try to discern its root causes. They view labor—one aspect of human capital—as the principal source of wealth and see its exploitation as the basis of injustice, impoverishment, and ignorance. The Reds generally have little to say about the environment, seeing it as a distraction from fundamentally important social issues.

After participating in the debate and hearing all the different views, arguments, propositions, counterarguments and the overall feedback:

(1) Summarize in 400 words what makes the new project of the Pink Lake City in Senegal a sustainable one according to the value system of the Reds.

(2) Write another 400 words on issues that the city plan fails to address according to the value system of the Reds.

(Sustainable Development in Cities, USP 514 Class Discussion)


7 thoughts on “Sustainability Debate – The Reds

  1. Akram Yasin Abdulrahman
    Professor A. Gohar
    USP 514
    21 October 2016
    Debate : Summary

    Project : Benefits
    The Pink Lake city project, which is located in the most stable country in Africa; Senegal, is a very progressive and interesting project. Since Senegal is growing economically, there will most likely be a convenient atmosphere for the citizens. Speaking from a ‘’red’’ perspective, we believe that the multiparty system would bring political stability to the region through democratic process and with the presence of higher education; citizens will be able to enjoy the growing economy. The urbanized environment will create many jobs on all scales and the exchange of services will make sure that labor workers i.e. the working class citizens will live comfortably and thus making sure workers have their rights. The public space should first and foremost be served and catered to the pillars of society namely the workers, thus by having an expansion of the project will create jobs on all levels and therefore will serve the society well. As far as the how the plan looks, with all the jobs and the profits that will be generated it seems like it will benefit all the socioeconomic backgrounds and make it sustainable for people of all income levels. Through the self-regulating market, we believe that the gaps between rich and poor will tighten rather than expand.
    The reds also believe that if Senegal is able to create this business city and regulate the profits domestically, the people may avoid exploitation from foreign companies and politicians which we consider a very serious issue. In addition, the project seems to address that citizens will be able to take part of all aspects of society. Whether it is access to school, hospitals, and sports event, it will serve as a means to integrate all citizens to partake in the great services that the city will offer. We consider that to be a just society even though there might be some income discrepancies, however as long as everyone has access to wealth then through the services the society becomes a sustainable one in which every one may benefit. By focusing on a micro-level of employment, it helps the society to be just and at that point having multiple corporations on all scales should not be a problem. The market and the opportunities should as the plan is presented to be adequate enough to provide for everyone, thanks to access to wealth in all scales.

    Project : Disadvantages
    On an opposing note, the city also fails to address how certain issues and elements will be tackled. As well and established the project seems to look, it was never mentioned nor emphasized how the funding will be taking care of. Through our perspective, we generally see the public sector to be the ideal source of reallocating wealth making sure it access to all levels of society. It never mentioned how the funding would be assured and also how people would get access to the great services that the project will eventually offer. From a red-lens point of view, it is fundamental that security in the form of well-being of the working class is functioning to the fullest and with that being said society must do its best to provide the given needs of its citizens. While many of the future aspects that the project will provide sounds great, nowhere is it emphasized on how the social justice for workers primarily will be coordinated in order to make the society sustainable. As mentioned, the key aspect of a sustainable environment is undoubtedly affordable services and the presence of private hospitals and institutions usually cater to people of higher income. In fact, an open market that is not necessarily regulated can lead to exploitation and social inequalities if not sufficient policy is implemented that assures citizens from all socioeconomic backgrounds to get access to wealth and important services including health care and education. In addition, workers are the pillars of society and in order to create a just society we need to make sure that they have their ultimate rights. Not just the workers, but the plan fails to address how and in what terms affected people will be taken care of. Senior citizens, sick, people with disabilities, these are citizens that need extra attention and from a Red speaking point of view, the society should be obliged to take care of them.
    So, as these issues have been raised we need to present the idea that the likes of taxes need to be regulated in order to create well-fare society. The income of a citizen should not determine their future status and access to fundamental sources that are essentially given human rights, such as education and health care. The plan also failed to address common social issues that might cause problems for example integration, therefore a strong public sector would be needed to regulate the necessary social components that we highly value.


  2. The proposed Pink Lake City project in Senegal will be evaluated from a socialist viewpoint based on a presentation on it in class. Despite the presentation lacking some key information on the project, it’s benefits and concerns are addressed below:

    Benefits: The Pink Lake City Project is sustainable from the perspective of socialism because it promotes a more egalitarian society due to the multi party governance, provides access to quality healthcare and higher education, and uplifts African culture which has historically been oppressed. Because the city is planned to be mixed use, and self sufficient in many regards, this promotes the idea that working class people will have many opportunities to live well here. The city is also supposed to be an international business hub on top of being a cultural showcase for Africa – this will garnish a larger base of support and appreciation for African culture which has been historically taken advantage of, and because socialism is about addressing inequities this is of vital importance. Multi party democratic governance will help to ensure that inequities are better addressed for a more fair and equal city. Because the city is centered around the pink lake, this becomes a sort of collective ownership of the lake for the cities residents. Networks of public parks also connect many parts of the city, which is another shared public good, and help make nature equally accessible to the city’s residents.

    Concerns: However, the Pink Lake City Project fails to provide some information that is of critical importance to socialism. Assuming that the economic system of the city is “free market” capitalism as many are, how is wealth inequality addressed beyond just multi party governance? Is there an established minimum and maximum wage/salary? How are taxes redistributed and collected? Although quality healthcare and higher education will be “available”, are they publicly owned or privately owned – and more importantly are they affordable for their users? Is affordable housing guaranteed for all, or is this city just catered to the wealthy and educated elite? Do the cultural centers celebrate all aspects of African culture, including traditional lifestyles that may not be seen “economically successful” such as hunter gatherers and agrarian societies? What will happen to the salt miners that work gathering salt from the Pink Lake now – will they continue to be able to do this once the city is built or will their livelihoods be forced to change? Do the local peoples want the Pink Lake to be completely developed with a city surrounding it? How does the city plan to address transportation – whether it be public transit or private vehicle usage? Socialism promotes the use of common shared goods, and public transit is a common good that helps economically disadvantaged and physically impaired peoples get around, while also being more environmentally friendly, so a well developed public transit system should be implemented in the city. Also, a proposed large golf course takes up a large portion of the Pink Lakes waterfront, which could otherwise be left natural or for public use. Assuming this golf course operates as all others do, this is catered to only serve a small percentage of the population, being the able bodied affluent elite, as well as being a source of environmental pollutants and runoff that could potentially damage the Pink Lake.

    Overall, The Pink Lake City Project is not any more socialistic than any other international development project. There was nothing in the presentation that emphasized affordable housing, wealth redistribution, equal access to amenities such as healthcare and education, and the general sense of an egalitarian society. In order to present this project as such, it is a large stretch with omissions and assumptions that have to be made. While the multi party governance will theoretically help ensure a more egalitarian society, this can only happen if such ideals are a part of the cities ideologies or frame of law. The city is set up well for socialism in some ways: it is mixed use and largely self sufficient, has accessible green space, has quality health care facilities and schools, and promotes African Culture. But access to these amenities are largely determined by public transit, and economic status or public funding, both of which was left out of the presentation. Overall the presentation was too vague to be adequately assessed from a socialistic lens, but seems to not be a truly socialistic city and rather a neoliberal and capitalist one. In order to be a more socialist city, wealth and labor classes would have to be addressed more directly and ideally be made more equal.


  3. The Pink Lake City, in Senegal, is a proposal to a new city that will be located around the Pink Lake, 30 km north-east of Dakar. This city will be the new highlight of Senegal, offering an attraction point for the whole globe. The city is built on the basis that it is for everyone, from someone who works in the service industry to international CEOs. The Pink Lake City will be the place where people come together and experience equality. The multi-party government will ensure that the people of the city have a voice in the government and through combined efforts, Pink Lake City will be at the forefront of democracy. There will also be various job opportunities. As mentioned earlier, the city will provide jobs ranging from anything being a small shop owner, to being a manager of a larger global cooperation. The introduction of primary and secondary education institutions will ensure that people in the city will have the chance to get educated and become whatever they aspire. The private hospitals will provide state of the art medical assistance that is more efficient than public hospitals. In the past, western society has been oppressing the southern culture. Pink Lake City will set an example that African culture stands its grounds and can even shine on a global level. There will be attractions where the African people will be able to freely showcase their culture. Senegal has been known to be very diverse. Three major cultures will be united within the city, namely Islamic, French and African culture. This will ensure that nobody will feel left out or that they do not have a right to express themselves. Since Pink Lake City will be an attraction point for major international governments and corporations, it will also attract massive amounts of resources that will stay within the city. People do not have to fear that the city will be a source of resource extraction for the western world because it will be one of the first major cities in Africa that will produce global goods and keep it within its city for all people to share. It will also ensure the creation of long-lasting jobs. In summary, Pink Lake City will set an example of what equity on a city level will look like. It achieves that through providing resources, education, healthcare, jobs and cultural embracement.

    The city proposal gives some very promising characteristics of the city, yet it fails to address how it will ensure that the city will be for everyone. There is almost no government in the world that is free of corruption, even if it is a multiparty government. There will be major international key player coming to the city that has a lot of money and influence. As we have seen it in the past, elections can be bought, so what will make Pink Lake City different? What mechanics will ensure that there won’t be such corruption within the city? The proposal mentioned that there will be a variety of jobs, but it is not sure if these jobs will create a living wage for the lower middle and lower class. Looking at the trend of other major cities such as San Francisco and New York, housing prices will soar to very high prices and many people won’t be able to afford such prices for very long. Primary and secondary education will be introduced, but there was no word about if it will be free for the citizens or if it will be modeled after a for-profit model such as the American model. It is also unclear what values will be taught in such an institution since western values often do not apply to southern values. This brings up another issue with the proposal, how will they ensure that the culture won’t just become an attraction but rather part of the city structure. It sounded to me as if the culture will be displayed to the tourist on multiple streets, or if the tourist really wants to get a “feel” for the culture, they can just visit the African culture amusement park. It seems like that the African culture is commodified, which would not be healthy for the people living there. We need to make sure that the city is built for the people living in Senegal, and not for the tourists that come visit the city for a week or two. Private hospitals might be more efficient than public hospitals, but often they are also extremely expensive, causing lower income people to take out loans just so they can get treatment. In summary, there has to be a solid policy in place that will protect the common people from any exploitation.


  4. LaShan Wiley
    USP 514
    Sustainability Debate

    The pink lake city master plan project is located in West Africa city Senegal. Currently the lake is used to harvest salt and the closest city is Dakar. This project has many pros and cons in terms of sustainability. I had the pleasure of being the red team. The reds believe the best way to grow a city economically is through its labor. Labor will create wealth for the city and reduce income inequalities. This sustainable project incorporates many job opportunities for city growth. By dividing the city into many sections, it creates something for everyone. The city has a multi-party government, so all voices are heard. The project is designed to enhance the local region as well as attract international travelers through its European, French, and African ideas. The health care resort creates jobs for health care providers and provides services for locals and tourist. The scenery of the ocean and pink lake creates a relax atmosphere, great for healing services. The business city provides technical jobs and offer new age ideas for city growth. The brain city offers higher education opportunities learn new skills or enhance current levels of learning. I thought the city overall plan was good because it caters to middle and higher income, which is needed for diplomatic and economic growth. Those who don’t have to skill set to work in the tech industry could eventually by becoming a student in the brain city. Those with different types of skill sets have opportunities in retail at the local mall. Also pink lake project will attract people from all over the world with its incredible soccer stadium, creating more jobs for locals. With so many different types of job opportunities, the city first master plan is bounded to be a success.

    In terms of the disadvantages of the pink lake project, the video left many unanswered questions about funding, its current use, how to incorporate all elements of an urban city, time frame, and how does the main objective truly benefit locals and tourist. It seems as though many jobs will be created for those with higher education levels vs. lower education level. This is a problem because reds main objective is to create a city with a strong workforce for economic growth. The plan does not give enough detail on how this is achieved. The higher residential units help increase property values in the area which means greater taxes, but are those taxes enough to sustain the city? The plan has no breakdown of how the city grows financially or sustainable. It also does not discuss how the pink lake is currently used to harvest salt for locals to keep their fish fresh. Once the city is built, what happens to the locals harvesting salt? How this city is going to be different from other major urban cities is not really discussed. It is important that the city caters to all walks of life in order to be successful. Most urban city is designed as tourist spots for the higher income that needs a change of scenery. It would be great if they include a time frame, how the plan is funded, and how to include locals and attract tourist while maintaining its diverse culture.


  5. Nicholas B. Evans
    USP 514

    The Pink Lake City will be a socialist paradise. The city is being designed to reflect a world community. One which, was built for a world population of people. The Pink lake city will be one of the best cities in Africa. The growth of Signal is a steady increases and is projected to double in the next ten years. With this economic growth the pink city will be able to pay wages that are unrivaled in the country. “A living wage” will undoubtedly be established and the people who work and live in the Pink City will be rewarded for their labor with a lifestyle for everyone. In this system workers receive social value for their labor. These workers would be contributing to different aspects of the Pink City and without the people to staff the city many of the sections could not be built and would not run properly. An example of this would be the tourist area of the pink city in which the infrastructure relies on a work force to clean, cook and staff in the hotels.
    There are many Benefits that the Pink City will for everyone. Starting with everyone will have access to a job. It will be the people’s city. This is why the Red hats think it is a good idea for the city to be built and be a top priority for the government of signal. Access to the best medical care in the region will be included when you live in the Pink City. Education is a major point in the Pink City’s platform, another reason why the red hats think this is the best design for a city. Access to the top educational universities, and being able to have cohesion with people from across is a foundation to the new ideas of a world socialist view. The Red hats would want all medical and educational costs to be affordable to the people of the Pink City.

    The major hurdles of this project is the cost of the city itself. Preservation of culture is also a close second. The cost of building and providing these services will astronomical compared to the land value. This is also a major problem with the red hats, this being a blind investment into human capital with no expectation of a reward. It is hard to make medical services and education completely free or even affordable. It can be done but it takes cooperation by the government and specific institutions, also lots of funding. This is something which was not explained in the video. Where is all the money coming for this project? The investors could change anything they want unless the funds are mandated by the government, this is not covered in the video and left up for the viewer to decide.
    All aspects of this project sound amazing, but unfortunately nowhere other than a multi party government is there going to be insurance that the workers of the Pink Lake City are being protected and not taken advantage of. Another problem with the presentation is that in the slides there is no explanation for a public transportation system. How that is going to be affected and how workers are going to move about the city.
    Socialism is great if its well funded by the people, it won’t work if there is no money for programs and people go without basic needs of living. The plan should include an outline for the public welfare and how the city will change the lives of people who do decide to live there.


  6. The new project of the Pink Lake City in Senegal is beneficial to the surrounding area. This poor and underdeveloped city has a lot of room for improvement. The proposed project will turn Pink Lake City into the first international city in Africa. Transitioning a poor community into an international city will have an abundance of benefits to the surrounding area. The project divides the development into five different stages or “cities”. Developers divided it into the wellness city, West Africa business city, brain city, sports city, and African cultural city. With these different areas embedded in the development, the economy will begin to start ascending. More revenue will come in because more travelers will start to see this as a tourist site. The implementation of a leisure resort area that gives visitors an exceptional view will bring more people from around the country into this area. They are making good use of this land by diversifying the areas to meet the needs of the people. The economy will also grow with the development of the sports city. This will be used for sports arenas of sorts. Shops and malls will also be implemented in both the African Cultural city and the wellness city. These shops will provide necessities needed to people the travel into the area.
    The multi-party government in this area allows for everyone to have a voice. It allows for people from different backgrounds to come together, which is what this development emphasizes. It will be beneficial to everyone in the surrounding area. Job opportunities will be available to people across a variety of backgrounds. There will be opportunities for people to work in the malls, sports arenas, hospitals, and many of the other proposed infrastructures. In conclusion, Pink Lake City allows for people to come together within the different sub cities in the area. With the implementation of a variety of infrastructure, many jobs will be provided and will gain attraction on an international scale, which will boost the economy.

    This project does propose a lot of advantages that have potential to be quite beneficial. But there are still some questions that need attention. I did not see any information in the video that addressed the estimated cost of the project would be. With development, it is hard to make everyone satisfied on the finished product. Some people will find it beneficial while others will feel ignored. In this project, we are unaware of the cost of all of this development. We also do not know a projection on the return on investment that will come with the different malls and resorts. We also do not know exactly who is funding this project. Who funds projects can be a major issue in development. The investors can have a huge impact on the outcome of the project. With this in mind, development can be altered when developers realize they will not have enough resources to follow through with it. What developers and investors care about is their return on investment. With this being said, they will build the projects that will return their money at a faster rate. A possible outcome can be that campuses and hospitals may be made smaller or more expensive. One other thought I felt is necessary to bring up, as a disadvantage is the amount of government corruption that continues to persist around the world. This is major issue, especially in areas that are poor and underdeveloped. Even though they have a multi party system, government officials will continue to make decisions that benefit them over anyone else. One other issue that I had was with the cultural city. I was unable to differentiate if it will either be more of a tourist attraction or for a place for the locals to celebrate their culture. At a glance, it seems like it will be more of a tourist attraction since a theme park and mall shops will be implemented.


  7. Liana Derus
    USP 514
    Debate – Red

    The Pink Lake City project is sustainable because it is providing new jobs with the promise of a sustainable economy. It is crucial that jobs are the focal point of this project because labor is the most valuable source of wealth. Keeping unemployment low or nonexistent in Senegal will benefit the town greatly. It is good that the jobs will mostly remain stable since there will be a demand for long term employment at all the new businesses, rather than just creating temporary construction jobs. The housing being constructed will also house the workers, which allows for easier access to their work and housing stability. Another great aspect is that education and building schools is an important priority. The creation of new hospitals will also aid the community because having more locations makes them more accessible to people. The publicly accessible parks are also a benefit to the community because there is no pay wall to visit a beautiful natural outdoor space.

    The City plan fails to address the fact that this entire project is a capitalist venture. The main motivator of this project is to generate profit. Providing amenities to the community is an obligatory gesture in order to get the green light for such a large development. The new development is largely catering to the upper class people who can afford traveling, golf, and luxury services. One of the ways the development was described was as a “cultural theme park,” which leads one to assume that the local African culture will be monetized and exploited. Too often there are tourists with colonial mindsets that want to “discover” Africa and exoticize it. The local community does not benefit when Western tourists will be looking at them as spectators just as they would view animals on a Jeep safari.
    Increased wealth inequality in Senegal will lead to a path of gentrification where residents are pushed out in order to make room for newcomers with money who want to be a part of the “best city in West Africa.” Though there are new stable jobs created at the development, there is a low chance of there being wealth redistribution since there is still a class structure that remains in tact. This project is not particularly socialist or equitable, and does not receive a “Red” seal of approval.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s