Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Cities of the future, imagined

Here is a post at Futurism showing artists’ imagined futuristic cities.

I do think it is a good idea to keep in mind what, say, Prague looks like today. That is, it looks a lot like it did 100 years ago (I presume). This will be less true for countries where the government decides to knock down all the charming old buildings and construct soulless boxes in their place, which I know happens from time to time. I’m thinking of Fushia Dunlop’s comments about her repeated trips to China and the changes she’s seen in some of the cities there.

But quite a lot of cities will probably look roughly the same in 100 or 200 years.

But what fun would that be for an artist, right?

So:

For five years now, the Seasteading Institute has been working toward building Artisanolopolis, a floating city that runs on solar and hydroelectric power.

To make food production sustainable, the entire city would feature greenhouses, and a desalination plant would be responsible for the production of safe drinking water. The floating island would be protected by a massive wave breaker designed to prevent water damage to the structure.

Last year, the Seastanding Institute signed a memorandum with the French Polynesian government to begin construction on this ocean domain by 2019. If everything goes according to plan, the world’s first floating city, operating with significant political autonomy, may be ready for habitation as early as 2020.

Well, yes, when you construct a whole new type of city from scratch, that’s different, of course. The pictures do not look a bit like a city, though. They look like a kind of resort. It’s hard to imagine anybody actually living there as a citizen.

Then we get Martian colonies — I’d love to see that. Figuratively speaking. I’d love for Martian colonies to exist, but I definitely wouldn’t plan to visit. Not even if I were younger. Not unless they totally terraformed Mars so you could walk around without a suit, or even a mask.

Again, these pictures do not look a bit like a city. They look like a base for exploration or something, not somewhere you’d move to bring up children. I think the artists were not necessarily clear on the concept of “city” as “a place where people live their full lives.” Well, let’s see what else we have . . .

Okay, here’s one I hadn’t heard of: An … ocean spiral?

Japanese architectural and engineering firm Shimizu is toying with the possibility of building a fully sustainable, eco-friendly underwater city. They assert that we have yet to tap into the benefits of living in Earth’s deep sea, which they say “offers enormous potential for ensuring effective and appropriate cycles and processes in the Earth’s biosphere.”

Dubbed the Ocean Spiral, the structure is a massive undertaking that, according to the company, would cost around $26 billion to construct. A floating sphere around 500 meters just below the surface of the sea would house the business, residential, and commercial zones. This massive pod would be connected to the ocean floor by a spiral structure 15 km (9.3 mile) long, and scientists would be tasked with finding ways of mining energy sources from the seabed.

Appropriate cycles and processes in the biosphere. Alllll right, that’s totally meaningless, but I grant you, the thing looks neat. NOT LIKE A CITY, but neat.

Okay, and the last one has quite the Elvish vibe: Oas1s — there is a 1 in place of the “i”, which I’m sure looks futuristic and cool — but it seems to suggest kind of turning buildings into giant trees.

Their architecture basically reinvents the traditional concrete skyscraper into one that features wood and leaves that would allow it to gather sunlight, collect water, and provide oxygen. The firm uses recycled wood, high-value organic insulation, green walls, and triple glazing in the design for their off-grid, self-sufficient homes.

Pilot projects include eco-resorts in Ontario, Canada, across which they can bring these treescrapers to life.

Hmm. Looks like the architects are kinda envisioning these things set into an actual forest. I wonder how it would work to instead set up, say, a hundred thousand or so in a group. Like you would, in a city.

Anyway! Click through to take a look if you have a moment.

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