Bocachica, Texas, used to be an isolated coastal community, considered a haven for retired people, Snowbirds and outdoor people who like to ride cross-country bikes, fish or hang out by the water. Today, there are only six local residents left, as well as starship facilities at SpaceX, the US space exploration technology company.
Ambitious: mask is applying for the construction of the American space city for Mars as soon as possible
During the day, tourists lined up on the road to take a photo with SpaceX's stainless steel spacecraft under development. At night, the excavator plows the soil on a busy site. Before each test or test flight of the starship, residents will be informed in advance to advise them to evacuate temporarily for safety. So what will the future of the Texas community look like? In March, elonmusk, SpaceX's chief executive, tweeted that he wanted to build his own city around bockchica and its surrounding areas.
Mask even has a name for even city, which he calls Starbase. "Consider moving to stabeth, Texas, or bigger Brownsville and South Padre, Texas," mask tweeted this week, encouraging friends to do so! SpaceX's demand for engineers, technicians, builders and basic support personnel is growing rapidly. "
Building a new city can bring several benefits to SpaceX. In theory, this could help the private space company attract future employees, create a friendly political atmosphere for it (because it is destined to be a noisy neighbor), and even pave the way for the development of various amenities that may appear near potential transport hubs.
"Corporate city" has a precedent
In fact, mask is not the first entrepreneur to consider building a new city for his own company. As early as the late 19th century and the early 20th century, there were many examples of "corporate cities", among which Hershey, Pennsylvania, centered on chocolate production, was one of them. In 1903, Milton Hershey, the founder of goodtime chocolate, started chocolate manufacturing there, and then became the "sweetest place in the world" and gradually expanded into a city.
As technology entrepreneurs are increasingly dissatisfied with the government's restrictions, the idea of "corporate city" has revived. In Nevada, the governor even allowed technology companies to build their own cities. "In my opinion, Nevada is a new way of doing business and a new way to try to avoid common challenges for some companies in the past few years," said jaredmondschein, a physicist at Rand, who studies the digital transformation of cities
Historically, the "corporate city" was usually formed to attract workers to new workplaces. Mining and smelting industries often place their work places away from population centers, which is not convenient for daily commuting. Tracyhaddenloh, a researcher at the Brookings Institute, a Washington based think tank, said corporate cities are necessary to cope with the cost of management overruns.
At the end of the 19th century, the smelter and refiner of the United States established smeltertown in Texas, focusing on copper and lead mining. It's still run by El Paso County, but U.S. smelters and refiners operate corporate stores that are closely related to workers' finances, provide credit, and deduct purchase costs from employees' wages. The company also provides many resources for the residents of smeltertown, including subsidized vocational training, and has funded the construction of roads to the town's Catholic Church.
"In general, these facilities and relationships between companies and communities may be beneficial to all, but in some ways they are also a form of control," said monicaperles, associate professor of history at the University of Houston Such arrangements have brought the company town a reputation for exploiting workers. Many employers pay not cash, but vouchers that can be exchanged for goods in the company's stores. In some cases, employers also own workers' houses and deduct rent from their wages. Because companies have the power to set prices and to lend credit, workers may find themselves in debt.
Smeltertown is no longer in existence and was demolished in 1973 nearly 100 years after its prosperity, due to air pollution lawsuits against the company and concerns about lead pollution and poisoning among children in the town.