National Geographic : 2019 Apr
Office Hotel Residential Wind turbine DESIGNING TO SCALE URBAN HUBS In a densely developed hub, sustainable land use within and outside its borders helps people thrive by providing water, food, and recreation. High-capacity transit reduces emissions and speeds commute times. Contamination cleanup Instead of being covered or buried, hazardous sites and contaminated soil near cities are cleaned. Green roofs Solar panels and roof gardens are common atop buildings, encouraging sustainable energy and small-scale farming. Mixed densities A mix of housing types within each district provides diverse workforce housing and eases crowding. SPONGE CITY According to SOM’s design, all parks and infrastructure allow water to percolate through soil to recharge the water table. Such “sponge city” measures are already being tested in Shanghai. Automated recycling Waste collection and recycling centers are fully automated for faster and more compre- hensive reuse of waste. Compact neighborhoods Mixed-use districts provide all services within walking distance of homes and workplaces. Rainwater cleansing In lieu of gutters, bioswales (absorbent rain gardens) and pools collect and filter rainwater for reuse. Smart water Remote-sensing and information technologies maximize irrigation efficiency in city farms. Backyard and school gardens The value of local, organic, and sustainable farming is part of the curriculum in future city schools. Family life Open and green spaces, com- munity venues, and buildings with larger units foster hap- pier and healthier families. Social transit Regional high-speed rail stations become centers of business and social activities. Urban farms and gardens New communities and devel- opments take advantage of advanced hydroponic tech- nology for urban farming. Honoring heritage New uses are found for his- toric buildings, primarily to encourage cultural diversity and continuity. Buildings incorporate natural elements and are largely modular, leading to faster production with less waste. Spaces can quickly transform to meet changing housing, industrial, or business needs. The low glow Low-rise buildings allow more light and air to reach the ground, promoting health and well-being. Green streets Water filtration, environ- mental monitoring, and native landscaping are part of the streetscape. Natural lighting Bioluminescent materials cap- ture sunlight and illuminate infrastructure and buildings. Sky gardens Interspersed green spaces promote natural airflow in buildings while providing shade and social areas. Solar walls and windows Solar panels incorporated into all surfaces of the building’s facade during construction capture the sun’s energy. Energy enhancement Data-collection devices are embedded in all new devel- opments to monitor and boost energy performance. Autonomous vehicles Most future vehicles are self-driving and electric, especially those used for business purposes. DESIGNING TO SCALE SMART BUILDINGS PRINCIPLES OF CITY DESIGN Protecting upland water systems and rigorous collec- tion and cleansing of WATER stormwater improve water quality. Wet- land restoration and sponge-city measures revive habitats and protect against flood- ing and sea-level rise. In the city of the future, energy is 100 percent renew- able. Enough power is produced within or close to the city for it to be self-sufficient. Area buildings share energy resources, gen- erating as much energy as they consume. ENERGY The future city is designed around natural features and forces, protecting ECOLOGY wildlife habitat and natural resources. Based on a unified vision for the region, the city is compact and dense to limit impacts on the ecosystem.