Whatever you may think of Dubai (and however much of it is actually true), you can’t deny that those people know how to dream big. The Dubai Chamber of Commerce has apparently green-lit a plan for a self-sufficient off-grid ecotopian zone, dubbed (with what one presumes is as much hope as anything else) “Food City”. And here’s the proposal from architectural outfit GCLA:
GCLA has described their proposal for Food City as the “the marriage of landscapes and urbanism”. Their project integrates a variety of proposals to decrease overall energy use — concentrated solar collectors, towers covered in thin-film photovoltaic cells, piezoelectric pads in pedestrian areas, and methane harvesting through sewage percolation tanks.
GCLA also proposes water conservation measures critical to off-the-grid survival in water-starved Dubai, like atmospheric water harvesting, solar desalination through concentrated solar collectors, grey water recycling, and application of hydroponic sand to minimize water loss. Essentially, GCLA’s vision is an amalgamation of nearly every urban sustainability initiative in the past few years. It’s certainly utopian, but it may ultimately prove necessary.
Necessary, perhaps; but plausible, practical or realistic? Even assuming the best about Dubai, I’ll be surprised if the application of money and architectural talent alone can build a self-sufficient garden city in one of the dryest places on the planet… but it sure does look pretty. [image copyright GCLA; reproduced under Fair Use terms, contact if takedown required]