Author: Sara Zanotto
Publication date: 05.08.2023
Climate change is one of today’s most debated subjects. The Earth is constantly changing and along with it the human lives that inhabit it. How can humans cope with global warming and its impact on the ecosystem and biodiversity? Some architects and designers are planning futuristic cities to face the challenge of climate change.
What is climate change?
Climate change is a phenomenon that refers to long-term alterations in temperatures and climate patterns. For the past two centuries, human activities have been the main reason for climate change. In particular, individuals release large quantities of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Then heat is trapped by the greenhouse gasses and it leads to the "greenhouse effect.” Eventually, the Earth’s temperature rises more and more leading to global warming.
How does climate change affect our life?
Climate change represents a remarkable threat to our health. One of the main sources of the greenhouse effect are fossil fuels. These fuels are the cause for respiratory diseases that can lead to death. Moreover, intense temperatures can increase the risk of mental health issues.
Lastly, hotter countries are brimmed with mosquitos and ticks. These kinds of insects can transmit illnesses and viruses that are potentially dangerous for humanity.
Moreover, air pollution and the emissions of CO2 in the atmosphere have a direct impact on the nutritional content of the fruits and vegetables. Actually it makes them less nutritious. The acceleration of plant’s photosynthesis causes plants to grow with lower amounts of essential nutrients. So, the accumulation of toxins in food is often caused by human activity.
Climate change has an incredible impact also on ecosystems and biodiversity. Many species are at risk of extinction. To survive they have either to move or to adapt. Unfortunately, often species can’t adapt quickly enough. Apart from that, moving is becoming more and more difficult due to habitat destruction. Concerning sea life, global warming is leading to coral bleaching.
Today’s cities are wasteful and uneconomic. Most buildings have a short life span and a structure that contributes to air pollution. On the contrary, future cities are expected to be more efficient and sustainable. Let’s delve into the blueprint of some futuristic cities that are already under construction in order to face climate change:
Smart Forest City - Mexico
Smart forest city is designed by architect Stefano Boeri and it focuses on modernity and low environmental impact. The central concept of the city is a circular economy. In particular, it can host up to 130.000 residents and it is completely self-sufficient thanks to solar panels and agricultural fields. Furthermore, green spaces will take up 400 hectares of the city’s surface.
Telosa - USA
Bjarke Ingels Group is planning to build a futuristic city called Telosa on a desert in the USA. It can host up to 5 million residents and it aims at becoming the most sustainable city in the world. The main concept of the project is to build a city in which humans and nature are connected, offering a higher quality of life. So, the city will make use of sustainable energy resources and self-driving transportation, all promoting the principle of “Equitism”.
The Line - Saudi Arabia
The Line is a project wanted by Saudi Prince Mohamed Bin Salman. It has been presented as an eco-friendly paradise. The Line is composed of two rows of skyscrapers separated by a green space 200 meters wide. In total, the construction will take up a 170 km area. What’s more, in the city there will be no roads or cars and only renewable energy will be used. Thanks to the implementation of green spaces and the elimination of infrastructures, clean air will be available for everyone, improving the air quality.
Oceanix Busan - South Korea
Oceanic Busan is the first sustainable city designed to float. It can host up to 12.000 people on a surface of 6.3 hectares. The city includes six comprehensive systems that work together seamlessly. These include circular systems, net-zero energy, innovative mobility, and coastal habitat regeneration. Also, the entire construction will be self-sustaining. Therefore, all the necessary energy will be generated using floating and rooftop photovoltaic panels.
Biodivercity - Malaysia
Biodivercity is composed of three islands connected by a central transport network. It covers 1821 hectares and includes different districts. It also aims to establish Penang Island as a renowned and sustainable global destination. Actually, the primary focus is on fostering both economic and cultural growth.
However, at the same time it ensures the conservation of the island's coastal zones and natural habitats. What’s more, BIG, the organization behind the project, plans to construct buildings using a blend of eco-friendly materials. This materials include bamboo, malaysian timber, and “green concrete”.
Futuristic cities to face climate change
As climate change continues to transform our lives and ecosystem, architects and designers are planning futuristic cities. Their aim is to prioritize sustainability and harmony with nature. These cities embody a shift towards a more responsible and resilient way of urban living. So, by cooperating and embracing the principles of these ideas, we can make the planet a better place for generations to come.