Vertical Cities

A privately owned Chinese company by the name of BROAD is promoting a 200 storey skyscraper city which it claims will be built in a sustainable way in 6 months from factory start to site finish.  Could this be the future of our cities.  BROAD touts its skyscraper as a car free city for 100,000 people.

It would be worthwhile to examine this concept further.  One would imagine that the complex would include housing, offices, shopping complexes, entertainment centers, restaurants and maybe even factories where people would work.  It would need to have schools and colleges and even sports venues.  It would need massive amounts of power, some of which it would probably generate from solar and wind sources.  It would have to dispose of its own waste or whatever is left over after recycling.  In short it would have to do pretty much everything that a regular city does.  The main advantage that such a concept would have is in its compactness and density.  It would of course make it unnecessary to own a car, since the only transportation would be vertically in elevators.  Even the elevators could be sustainable if they worked regeneratively, using gravity to produce power on downward trips to be consumed for powered upward trips.  Another huge advantage of this concept would be in the large energy savings in heating and cooling since the exposed surface area would be minimal compared to individual housing units.  Triple paned windows would provide insulation and heat loss would be minimal.  Power generating turbines would provide electricity and the exhaust from the turbines would provide heating, cooling and sanitary hot water.  The promotors claim 50% more energy efficiency than the power grid.

The other obvious advantage of this vertical city would be that it would free up surrounding land from development.  The areas surrounding it could be developed into green cover which itself would more than offset any carbon emitted from the vertical city.  One would think that the negatives would be in the energy required to move raw materials vertically but at least in the case of water supply, some of it could be harvested at different levels in the bulding so that they need not be pumped too far.

All in all, I think this is an idea worth considering, especially with the urbanisation of the worlds major population centers.