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China’s plans for a floating city are breathtakingly futuristic, cool, possibly unworkable?
05.20.2014
08:11 am

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Science/Tech

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China
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AT Design
 
We’ve all seen some of the silly projections from earlier decades for future lifestyles that never panned out, most prominently the space age home of the Jetsons and similar inventions from the postwar era. We know how hard it is to envision with any accuracy genuinely transformative ways of living, and yet the yearning to be authentically impressed by visions of the future powerfully remains, a yearning most concisely captured by the name of the Scottish band We Were Promised Jetpacks.

These images here, of a floating city that may actually happen in the relatively near future, gives me that Jetson-y tingle like few things I’ve seen in a very long time. Whether these plans ever get realized or not, these images are just cool as fuck. I sure hope these self-contained cities come to pass in my lifetime.

The China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) has commissioned AT Design Office to design a floating island with an area of four square miles. The cities make use of technologies that CCCC is already using to build a 31-mile bridge to connect the cities of Hong Kong, Macau, and Zhuhai.

AT Design Office’s proposal involves a series of prefabricated hexagonal modules that “tesselate” to create the infrastructure needed for a city on water, including a transportation network of yachts and submarines and a floating hotel and entertainment complex. Apparently AT Design is waiting for “its newest blueprint” to get “approved,” which sounds like the project may be impressively far along, but who knows, it could just be hype. Here’s a useful summary by the My Modern Met blog:
 

The Floating City will have an above ground layer and an underwater layer. There are two designated areas for greenery and gardens, plus a network of walkways and tunnels that will allow people to traverse the city. AT Design Office is opting for electric cars to reduce pollution and they have ports for submarines to dock. They also have a series of canals and waterways that will allow boats to operate as a means of transportation. The city will have a farm, a hatchery, and a waste disposal center in order to be entirely self-sufficient. AT Design Office has plans for a hotel and an entertainment hub that will appeal to residents and visitors alike. The city’s link to the outside world will be an enormous cruise dock that will facilitate travel and tourism. If this plan becomes a reality, then floating cities may very well be the wave of the future.

 
The next two images demonstrate the modularity of the city’s sections as well as the multiple systems that the deceptively simple components would encompass:
 
AT Design
 
AT Design
 
Part of the rationale for the city is green thinking; the city is conceived as “a possible eco-friendly city expansion alternative to continuing on land. With the amount of pollution, deforestation, and other detrimental environmental impacts that are a part of our current city development system, the Floating City was created as an attempt to minimize our carbon footprint for a sustainable future.”

Looking at the images, it’s difficult to imagine too many people actually choosing to live in this city; the pictures of the people living in the idyllic underwater environment particularly smack of a world that just can never be, but again: who knows? Is there any way this thing could survive a hurricane? Are sheep ever actually going to live on something like this? 
 
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Posted by Martin Schneider

 

 

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