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A different vision for cell towers

December 30, 2013

Recent news stories have discussed the concern for the "viewscape" along the river and how it might be impacted by towers for cellular and other communications networks. May I (only partially in jest) suggest some "out of the box" possibilities?

BLIMPS: Google and other companies have been looking into the use of airships to provide wi-fi and cell service in Africa and elsewhere. Blimps could be designed either to blend in unobtrusively with the natural surroundings, or be brightly and attractively colored like hot air balloons.

New "electro-optical camouflage" technology could even be deployed to enable the blimps to change appearance, chameleon-like, depending on atmospheric conditions.
CAMOUFLAGE: Speaking of camouflage, see images.businessweek.com/ss/06/08/tower/source/1.htm for a slideshow of ideas for concealed cell tower designs—disguising the towers as trees is, of course, the most obvious for our situation.

ART: But here's my favorite idea: sponsor a competition for artistic designs for the towers. Rather than trying to conceal them, maybe we could create towers that complement and enhance the natural beauty of the area, and that could in fact be attractions in and of themselves. (A pity that Christo is no longer with us; he'd know exactly the kind of thing to do.)

Our area, after all, is blessed by the presence of many talented and visionary artists; I'm sure that a design that is not only functional and beautiful but also environmentally respectful could be found.

So let's see if we can turn a challenge into an opportunity.

Skip Mendler
Honesdale PA