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proposal for megatowers for London...

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  • Christopher Miller
    Just came across an ambitious proposal reported on in the Gizmag blog ( http://www.gizmag.co.uk ) and picked up from Populararchitecture (
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 18, 2008
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      Just came across an ambitious proposal reported on in the Gizmag blog
      ( http://www.gizmag.co.uk ) and picked up from Populararchitecture
      ( http://popularchitecture.com/supertower/ ), for 1.5 km tall towers
      to bring huge numbers of residents into London. The assumption is
      clearly that no surface space could be converted from channeling or
      storing private automobiles to residential purposes (or that
      "existing housing stock that is at the end of its lifecycle" could be
      redeveloped at somewhat higher density...

      Pictures available via the Gizmag page.

      =====================================================================

      Could 1.5km tall Vertical Villages be the solution to London's
      growing population?


      The proposed London Supertower could hold up to 100,000 people.

      March 18, 2008 One of the key challenges in urban architecture over
      the next 50 years will be figuring out how to squeeze vast numbers of
      additional people into urban areas that are already extremely
      crowded. London, for example, will somehow have to deal with a
      projected 100,000 extra inhabitants every year until 2016. The
      current plan of building new "commuter towns" on the city's outskirts
      causes a raft of problems - but architecture think tanks are working
      on ambitious solutions that go vertical instead of horizontal in
      search of space. Could 100,000 people be comfortably housed in a
      single structure? Could one building realistically be a whole new
      town, with schools, parks, public squares and hospitals?
      In terms of population density, London is one of the least crowded
      major cities in the world - five times fewer people per square
      kilometre than Paris, for example, and 8 times fewer than Cairo. But
      the fact remains that the city's population is growing at a rapid
      rate, and horizontal expansion into the surrounding areas is eating
      up increasingly important agricultural land, as well as intensifying
      all the transport issues that come with urban sprawl.
      Popular Architecture would propose a radically different solution -
      one that would generate homes for a year's worth of new arrivals,
      while maintaining London's old-world streetscape at ground level and
      eliminating greenbelt expansion.
      The proposal is to go upwards, with vertical towers of unprecedented
      size, each representing an entire new town by the time it's
      completed. Each tower would be 1500 metres high, its top floors
      nudging the cloud layer. Each would house 100,000 people in total,
      but beyond mere accommodation, each tower would function as an entire
      town unit, with its own schools, hospitals, parks and gardens, sports
      facilities, business areas, political representatives and community
      spaces.
      The vertical village towers are conceived as hollow tubes, with large
      holes to allow light and air through the entire construction.
      Occasional floor discs spread throughout the height of the building
      will give inhabitants large central areas in the middle of the tube
      to use as gathering spaces. Such a density of population could help
      lower the individual energy requirements of each inhabitant, reducing
      the ecological impact of the population as a whole.
      While the building itself is unlikely ever to be seriously considered
      for construction - imagine the number of elevators it would need, and
      the practicalities of moving produce, furniture and other equipment
      between the floors, let alone the safety implications of open areas
      at such heights and with such wind exposure - the concept can serve
      as a conversation-starter for urban planners looking to face the
      challenges of the current and coming centuries.


      Christopher Miller
      Montreal QC Canada
    • Ed Beale
      Hi, I saw an interesting alternative vision of the use of towers in London at an exhibition called Greenhouse Britain recently, an exhibition by two American
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 3, 2008
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        Hi,

        I saw an interesting alternative vision of the use of towers in London
        at an exhibition called 'Greenhouse Britain' recently, an exhibition by
        two American artists Newton Harrison and Helen Mayer Harrison. They are
        thinking differently about housing solutions to climate change and
        propose towers shaped as an arc on the ground rising to a point,
        housing 15,000 people each and also having community gardens and food
        growing space on suspended floors. The biggest difference is that they
        propose that the entire ground space around and between the towers
        should be forested! They do not go into any details of how the
        transport might work but there are no roads visible at ground level in
        their drawings.

        The exhibition can be viewed online at
        http://greenhousebritain.greenmuseum.org/exhibition/virtual-exhibition/

        Best Wishes,
        Ed

        --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Christopher Miller
        <christophermiller@...> wrote:
        >
        > Just came across an ambitious proposal reported on in the Gizmag
        blog
        > ( http://www.gizmag.co.uk ) and picked up from Populararchitecture
        > ( http://popularchitecture.com/supertower/ ), for 1.5 km tall towers
        > to bring huge numbers of residents into London. The assumption is
        > clearly that no surface space could be converted from channeling or
        > storing private automobiles to residential purposes (or that
        > "existing housing stock that is at the end of its lifecycle" could
        be
        > redeveloped at somewhat higher density...
        >
        > Pictures available via the Gizmag page.
        >
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