Coming Soon: Cities That Are EcosystemsS

The future of the city may be the country. At least, that's what a group of future-minded architects and city designers now believe. To make cities sustainable and carbon neutral, we will have to design buildings to be more like ecosystems or living organisms.

The BBC has a great article this week on these future living cities, and they feature several incredible designs from a New York ecological design group called Terreform. Above you can see one of their ideas for a living city, with towers full of algae that can be used for fuel. These gorgeous, energy-generating buildings would be part of the eco-city's public resources. The metropolis would, essentially, provide its own power.

Coming Soon: Cities That Are EcosystemsS

And here's another concept from Terreform, for a house that looks like something out of Nicholas Roeg's crazy 1970s alien movie The Man Who Fell to Earth (yes, the movie with David Bowie as an alien — you should watch it!). According to BBC Future:

Terreform’s concept for a shelter is built from a range of materials – including lab-grown pig skin cells. The skin is merged with gums and plastics.

The idea of using lab-grown tissues in architecture is another cornerstone of the living city idea. Materials for building these cities will probably come out of synthetic biology labs. The hope here is that we can use a combination of biology and technology to make buildings that can repair or heal themselves in a disaster situation — making the city both safer and less vulnerable to wear and tear. Nothing could be more sustainable than a city that is a well-balanced ecosystem, in a world where technology is no longer at odds with the environment.

Read more, and see more incredible concept designs, on BBC Future