Greening the City

Redesigning cities

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Ville et biodiversitÚ

Imagining the green cities of the future

Lilypad, a half-submerged floating city inspired by the waterlily, which would accommodate climate refugees; Dragonfly, a 600-meter-high tower in the heart of Manhattan that would be home to offices, apartments and farms; and Anti-Smog, a building that would help to reduce air pollution, set in the heart of Paris. The Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut and his virtual architect's office, Vincent Callebaut Architectures (1), which he set up with ten young colleagues from all over the world, are busy imagining the cities of the future.    A city that has no choice but to be green. "Rather than just accepting the ecological disruption of the planet, we have chosen to provide some solutions," explains Callebaut, who describes himself as an 'experimental architect'.  To do this, he is proposing a radically novel vision that runs counter to contemporary architecture, which in his opinion is too inert and fails to question our current way of life.  According to Callebaut, tomorrow's towers will be genuine urban neighborhoods, bringing together different social classes and activities.Such vertical eco-neighborhoods will provide their own energy from a battery of solar panels and high-tech wind turbines. "In addition," Callebaut explains, "our buildings are designed in such a way that nature will take them over.  Lilypad, for instance, would be surrounded by aquaculture units, which would act as niches for wild species."  By densifying cities, such 'islands of Nature' would free up space for biodiversity in their immediate surroundings. 

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CNRS    sagascience