House and Building Seeds

Have you ever noticed that long-time vacant land will sometimes spontaneously sprout a new subdivision or office park or other structure, seemingly overnight? I think I’ve figured out what happens.

Backstory: A little over a week ago I went to Phoenix to participate with my eldest daughter in the annual JDRF One Walk. This 5K walk is an annual fundraiser for Type 1 Diabetes research. Last year I supported Ali in her walk; this year I also walked the 5K myself.

The walk took place around the Chicago Cubs’ spring training park. As we walked, Ali noticed that a parcel of land that had been vacant about 6 months ago was now fully-built with an apartment complex. Shortly after that, we made a turn and I saw vehicles rapidly moving along the 202 Loop. Without prompting, my brain came up with this obvious conclusion:

Cars and trucks are the method that existing buildings use to spread their seeds to vacant land and therefore propagate their species!

As proof, I offer the following:

  1. You very rarely see a building that isn’t near a road of some kind.
  2. Buildings that *aren’t* near a road tend to be run down and decayed, as though they’re not being pollinated or fertilized to maintain their health.
  3. The larger the road, the more buildings there are near it, and the faster they grow. As an example, a dirt road, with few cars or trucks traversing it, will likely only have a few, widely-spaced buildings (farms or ranches), because the seeds can fall off the vehicles anywhere. At the other end of the spectrum, an eight-lane limited-access highway will have lots of cars and trucks on it, with only certain places where they can exit and deposit the building seeds. This is why so many buildings are seen at the on- and off-ramps.
  4. The higher the speed limit on the roads, the faster the building species spread. This is because, like water, fast-moving cars and trucks can carry more and larger seeds than slow-moving ones. This further explains why you’ll see clusters of buildings near the on- and off-ramps – as the vehicles slow down, they drop their cargo of building seeds, which then take root. It also explains why you don’t see many buildings in between the ramps: the cars and trucks drop the heavy seeds at the ramps, while those on the highway continue to carry their seeds past the fallow ground between the ramps without dropping any.
  5. Buildings compete with each other for sunlight and water, just like other species. This explains why they grow taller and taller in crowded areas, and not as tall where there isn’t as much competition. Instead, they tend to spread out and stay closer to the ground. Tall buildings know they can’t propagate as well in a crowded area, so they deposit their seeds on cars and trucks that circulate around, under, and through them, hoping that these seeds will eventually be deposited on a fertile piece of vacant land.

I admit this isn’t a fully-developed theory, and that it needs more research. But I think I’m onto something, here.

2 Comments on “House and Building Seeds

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