One of the most common complaints about nearby construction is the potential for new structures to block the views of existing residents.
Existing residents in a neighborhood occasionally attempt to block nearby construction (often coming up with extremely implausible reasons as a smokescreen), when the real reason is that they just don’t want their current view blocked (Figure 1).
Fortunately, modern technology provides a solution that will satisfy the existing residents and allow new construction to proceed: the “window periscope” (Figure 2), a submarine-style periscope that elevates the view from a particular window.
This is a great plan for suburbs and cities alike! It may pose a moderate engineering challenge due to high winds, moisture, and the difficulty of accessing such a structure for maintenance. But that will just create more jobs, so it’s really a plus. (For example, one could imagine a “chimney sweep”-style profession dedicated to maintaining these window periscopes.)
PROS: Preserves existing views even when new construction is placed right next door, thus reducing the amount of NIMBY-ism that frequently stalls construction.
CONS: May make it difficult or impossible to open the window. If this system becomes widespread, it could lead to an “arms race” of dueling taller and taller periscopes between adjacent buildings. Evidently this situation has historical precedent in the towers of San Gimignano, in Italy.