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Ask HN: What has happened to YC's residential development research project?
97 points by baybal2 on June 22, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 22 comments



They are still their slowly plugging away at projects: https://harc.ycr.org/.

Edit: You haven't heard from them because they are aiming very high so it will take years before any of their work hits the general public.

Edit 2: From my understanding, they are still working on their Universal Basic Income Research as well and have chosen Oakland as the testbed: http://basicincome.org/news/2017/04/httpswww-youtube-comwatc....


Do you have any contact with them?


Nope. I just follow Bret Victor, who is in Y Combinator Research, very closely.


I remember last time I looked at their projects page it was very underwhelming. Doesn't seem like that has changed.


These things take time. Good original research does not work in the same timeframe as front end frameworks.

Edit: I feel a bit bad about this joke. I know that Front End Frameworks take time too. For example React wasn't deployed internally in Facebook till 2011 and that was after two years of research and development on it. Then it was open sourced in 2013, so that's like 4 years of development before it was ready for public use. But jokes depend on culture and the culture of HN is: "Front End frameworks: lol".


Ok, here is a cheap shot of a dream. Future cities like mega malls with a thousand shops facing inside and a thousand homes facing outside, one to one. Roads would be marbled floors and cars would be electric scooters with a basket enough to buy groceries around.

For those who like the outdoors, just get your off road vehicle and face the indomitable and untouched nature. No paved roads, no concrete, nothing outside these habitable malls interconnected by hyperloops. Of course there will be supply roads for trucks but they will be just like highways interconnecting mega farms to mega malls.

Nah, scratch that, there is nothing like a house in the suburbs with a huge yard and a barbecue.


I could hardly imagine a worse dystopia.. If I somehow ended up as a dictator, my only decree would be to ban malls.


You're just describing mega-malls they have in SE Asia. Singapore and Thailand have some of the biggest ones.


Your dream is similar to that espoused by futurist filmmaker Samuel Hyde in his TEDx talk. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-yFhR1fKWG0


So basically Disney's original vision for Epcot? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWgKEI7Tfa8


I'm on board, but Urbanists would never let you build that. They already complain about regular old skywalks "destroying the urban fabric".


In the "The Cave" by Jose Saramago there's something like that.


Have you ever been to Singapore?

The massive underground mall-halls are sort of like this.


Sam Altman spoke about it recently: https://medium.com/the-naked-founder/sam-altman-on-yc-univer...

AFAIK, Ben Huh is still in charge of the project.


We're letting the cheezburgers dude redesign the future of cities?


I know what you are saying... However, I met Ben Huh and I think he's a capable individual. When he joined, he took the "job" for six months. Not sure if he will continue to work on it. No updates from the YC folks on that matter.


Two weeks ago, Jonathan Edwards [1] announced on Twitter that he left/leaves HARC [2] but didn't elaborate on the reasons.

[1] http://www.subtext-lang.org/AboutMe.htm [2] https://twitter.com/jonathoda/status/871784998113882118


I dream of cities without cars!

longer distance travel via electric cars is fine, just give me a city without the cacophony, polution and general obnoxiousness of traffic.


Did you mean the New Cities Project?


What do you expect from it?


Just curious to see findings. I'm very enthusiastic to see the issue getting more coverage.

I used to have a lot of interest in architecture and design. When I first came to North America, I was surprised by disfunctional urban planning, and even more so by the fact that very few Americans were giving any concern to that.


Car culture is so big in the US that outside of the few cities with really bad traffic problems, nobody cares about sprawl.

The vast majority of everyone's experience of public transportation is shitty, slow busses and commuter trains with limited schedules and stops that you drive to. So cities that force you to use public transit sound really unappealing to people that haven't experienced something like Tokyo.

These two factors are why Americans don't have much concern about urban planning.




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