Spaceception

Vertical cities

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The Earth's population is over 7.3 billion right now, by 2050, it'll be more like 10 billion, so in order to feed, water, provide jobs for, and provide energy for, we may have to think, not by building cities across large land masses that could disrupt ecosystems, and create a large carbon footprint, but rather, building cities that go from the ground up, or maybe even the ground down, this is where vertical cities come into play, they could house hundreds, thousands, or even 10s of thousands of people, large land masses would go back to the animal kingdom, and areas that produce our food would grow hydroponically, or aeroponically instead of traditional farming, greatly reducing the amount of land it takes to feed humanity (Fun fact: the amount of land needed to grow food for humanity and livestock is the land area of Africa and South America combined, with a little less than a million miles of excess room). Also, would you be willing to eat lab grown meant? As long as it looks, smells, and tastes like meat?

Water purification systems similar to those used on the ISS will be used (Fancy drinking someones liquid like an Astronaut? :D)

Wind turbines and rooftop solar at the top will provide (Some) power, while offshore wind farms, solar arrays, and nuclear reactors will provide the rest.

CO2 scrubbers on the building of heavily polluted areas will help take out excess CO2 out of the atmosphere, releasing the Oxygen, and using the Carbon for 3-D printing

3-D printing will turn junk into materials, making the use of (Most) metals obsolete as 3-D printing makes a large amount of materials almost, or as strong as metal, putting less of a strain on the amount of metal used on Earth, put simply, vertical farms, like space colonization, will greatly help reduce humanity's carbon footprint, and allow ecosystems to recover.

Here's some videos to enjoy :)

02-tallest-skyscraper-shanghai-tower-670

6.jpg

 

So my question to you is, would you be willing to live in a vertical city?

Edited by Spaceception

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Why the heck build up? Wouldn't it be much easier to dig down, Dwarf Fortress style? (Apologies if this was addressed in one of the vids, I didn't watch them)

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Just now, Robotengineer said:

Why the heck build up? Wouldn't it be much easier to dig down, Dwarf Fortress style? (Apologies if this was addressed in one of the vids, I didn't watch them)

Or build a good ways into the ground, and then up, maybe half of the building in the ground, the other half above it :)

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We already have vertical cities. They're just a bunch of vertical buildings. 

I think ergonomic cities are the way to go. They're doing some experiments in some areas. Cars go underground while people and buildings are above ground. The streets are geometrically designed to have a nice breeze.

Lab grown meat is fine, as long as it's exactly like normal meat. It takes thousands of liters (as in, literal metric tonnes) of water to grow one kilogram of beef. If we can lower that by any good amount, it's friggin worth it.

I also think we have to find a way to combat water shortages, urban sprawl, and a whole lot of other issues. 

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Just now, Bill Phil said:

We already have vertical cities. They're just a bunch of vertical buildings. 

Lab grown meat is fine, as long as it's exactly like normal meat. It takes thousands of liters (as in, literal metric tonnes) of water to grow one kilogram of beef. If we can lower that by any good amount, it's friggin worth it.

I also think we have to find a way to combat water shortages, urban sprawl, and a whole lot of other issues. 

True, but I'm talking about fully fledged vertical cities, not just a few here and there, but maybe the entire city being one giant building.

We need moar research!!

Isn't that the point of vertical cities?

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Just now, Spaceception said:

Or build a good ways into the ground, and then up, maybe half of the building in the ground, the other half above it :)

That might make sense, allowing people to see stuff out of windows might help with depression. I do support denser cities, having lived/traveled through a few that have huge sprawl.

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5 minutes ago, Spaceception said:

True, but I'm talking about fully fledged vertical cities, not just a few here and there, but maybe the entire city being one giant building.

We need moar research!!

Isn't that the point of vertical cities?

I know what you're talking about. But we already go really vertical. 

Urban sprawl has nothing to do with vertical cities. Urban sprawl is a not yet realized problem caused by cultural influences. During the 50s it caused many major cities to go bankrupt and increased transportation costs of people in the suburbs. As the average and median wage go down, it should solve itself, but we live in a world of credit and loans. There's not much we can say about the future. But urban sprawl has to be solved by changing social attitudes, not by building monolithic cities.

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Just now, Bill Phil said:

Urban sprawl has nothing to do with vertical cities. Urban sprawl is a not yet realized problem caused by cultural influences. During the 50s it caused many major cities to go bankrupt and increased transportation costs of people in the suburbs. As the average and median wage go down, it should solve itself, but we live in a world of credit and loans. There's not much we can say about the future. But urban sprawl has to be solved by changing social attitudes, not by building monolithic cities.

Oh.

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23 minutes ago, Bill Phil said:

I know what you're talking about. But we already go really vertical. 

Urban sprawl has nothing to do with vertical cities. Urban sprawl is a not yet realized problem caused by cultural influences. During the 50s it caused many major cities to go bankrupt and increased transportation costs of people in the suburbs. As the average and median wage go down, it should solve itself, but we live in a world of credit and loans. There's not much we can say about the future. But urban sprawl has to be solved by changing social attitudes, not by building monolithic cities.

I'm not sure I get what you're saying.

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I remember a study someone did where they created a rat utopia, but then ramped up the pop density. As the density increased they saw more and more aberrant behavior in the rats, they started eating each other even though they had enough food and things like that. There seems to be something about dense cities that sparks increased crime and other problems, probably because our monkey brains are evolved to handle 150 social relationships at max, anything beyond this and we start seeing people as scenery or obstacles. If we ramp up density like this you're going to have to take into account the psychological stress and have quite a bit of focus on community building. 

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Astronauts have nothing against drinking their own, recycled urine. Some even remarked that water on ISS tastes better and is cleaner than tap water available in their dirtside houses. Besides, every drop of drinking water on Earth went through dinosaur kidneys at least twice - so we are already drinking lizard juice :P

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Vertical cities and vertical farming are cool ideas, but sadly they don't make a lot of economic sense...

More compact urban development would require much higher transportation costs.  Theoretically the oil supply beginning to dry up and being unable to keep pace with demand could drive this, but electric cars will ultimately allow us to just power our automobiles with coal and wind power... (preferably Wind, it's actually the cheapest power source- as coal produces a lot of pollution and CO2 that is not accounted for in its direct costs- some estimates indicate the TRUE cost of coal is as much as 3x the cost currently paid by consumers- as the ecological, health and property damage from the sulfur and nitrogen emissions, increases in lung-cancer and acid-rain from a coal power plant are not currently paid for by the consumer of the electricity...)

As for more compact farming- there are a lot of solutions to obtain more food from less land we're already not making use of.  For one, genetic engineering of crops is still really just in its infancy compared to the increases in crop yields we could obtain with more aggressive adoption of the technology.  Further, multi-cropping (that is, planting multiple crops in the same field- such as vegetables beneath apple trees, or potatoes in the same fields as brussel sprouts...) really doesn't see enough use either, mainly as it's difficult to automate and thus requires a lot of labor.  New technologies to permanently improve the soil such as Biochar hold a lot of potential to improve the base fertility of farmland as well.  And finally, there's a lot to be said for growing crops underground in manmade caves, Dwarf Fortress style (just without the giant man-eating spiders), with growth-lamps, as doing this allows you to carefully control the temperature, humidity, and keep out many pests/weeds entirely (in fact, some studies have shown it's CURRENTLY economical in certain abandoned mining tunnels, with the gains in productivity making up for the costs of electricity).  All of these will see more widespread use as increasing population drives increases in the the cost of food, driving farmers to increase yields in progressively more expensive ways, long before we start making serious use of vertical farming...

 

EDITL

Scratch that- it looks like we're ALREADY starting to make use of underground farms in some places (notably London), even if it's still just a novelty at this point:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/agriculture/farming/11706406/Londons-first-underground-farm-opens-in-WW2-air-raid-shelter.html

http://growing-underground.com/

http://www.gizmag.com/growing-underground-subterranean-urban-farm-london/38297/

 

Regards,

Northstar

Edited by Northstar1989

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You will need:

  • oxygen tanks up high 
  • really good structural stuff 
  • really fast elevators 
  • and lots of other stuff, like really tall cranes. 

Plus, what happens when a building collapses? That would be very bad...

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This will likely go the way of the previous megastructure movement of the 1960s.

 

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The unavoidable robotization of industry and farming will unavoidably reduce both the cost of production and amount of people occupied in production of something.
As most of people will either be unoccupied or do unneccessary job, an average salary will be permanently decreasing.
This will suppress small companies and cause an agressive competition between the large corporations.
Also this will force all forms of unification and virtualization of the human lifespace (watch "Cloud Atlas" and the remake of "Total Recall" as an example), which will lead this competition to the battle of prices.

The primary cost of goods and the time of deliverance will become absolutely critical.
This will force the mass urbanization, a burst-like growth of urbanistic aglomerations (megalopolises) and dissipation of small towns, as their population will intensively migrate into there (first the youngest ones then everybody who don't like to live in a derelict town).

This will cause the limitation of intra-city transportation lines to become an ultimate priority.
(Currently the urban transportation costs are higher just and only because of more privileged city conditions, not due to the physical laws. )
You can place millions of people more or less comfortably in a huge building several hundred meters in size - and thus you will need no city transport at all.
All you need to deliver anything from one side of such city to another: a several hundred meters high elevator (welcome to Dubai skyscrapers) and a electric carriage to move it 500 meters sideways.

So, probably the city of future is known as Arcology

And this will look like a fractal cylinder a kilometer or two in diameter, consisting of several hundred meters high buildings, connected in a single pattern with their lower layers and horizontal... er... catwalks?.. no! dinosaur-walks above!

Of course, with no windows, but with air conditioning and wall- and ceiling-screens, used as TV, virtual wallpaper, light sources and so on.
(Just because you can't have a window when your room is 50 meters deep inside the building).

tyrell-building-1l.jpg

a18.jpg

 

Edited by kerbiloid

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I already live in one.  Hong Kong.  Although most of the land is not used, they still will build a skyscraper on anything under a 45 degree slope

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1 hour ago, Robotengineer said:

I'm not sure I get what you're saying.

Urban sprawl is a social problem and can't be solved by monolithic cities.

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Two major issues with building arcologies and similar mega-cities.

We're still very much tied to ground. Many peoples' life goal is to own a house and property. Even if you buy a condo, you don't truly own the space; you're at the whims of the ultimate owner of the building. Similarly, no matter the draw, you're never going to get environmentalists and naturalists to live in there. It's a nightmare for introverts and claustrophobics.

Secondly, we're not designed to live in societies where we interact with thousands of people a day. Todofwar mentioned it above. Our brains can only hold about 150-200 people as actual people. The rest are objects with moral tags attached denoting them as 'potential people.' It's why everyone is a bit racist/sexist/nationalist. They're mental shorthand to classify the other 7 billion people on the planet. This is biological, not societal. The irony of the megapolis/archology is that the best way for them to work would be for it to be divided into near-autonomous cells of about 300-500 people.

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1 hour ago, Stargate525 said:

Two major issues with building arcologies and similar mega-cities.

We're still very much tied to ground. Many peoples' life goal is to own a house and property. Even if you buy a condo, you don't truly own the space; you're at the whims of the ultimate owner of the building. Similarly, no matter the draw, you're never going to get environmentalists and naturalists to live in there. It's a nightmare for introverts and claustrophobics.

Secondly, we're not designed to live in societies where we interact with thousands of people a day. Todofwar mentioned it above. Our brains can only hold about 150-200 people as actual people. The rest are objects with moral tags attached denoting them as 'potential people.' It's why everyone is a bit racist/sexist/nationalist. They're mental shorthand to classify the other 7 billion people on the planet. This is biological, not societal. The irony of the megapolis/archology is that the best way for them to work would be for it to be divided into near-autonomous cells of about 300-500 people.

The majority of cities end up getting those divisions anyways. Streets, blocks, and the like. Houses or buildings that are nearby, apartment buildings and complexes...

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But this is nonsense, we could build like that in times when our main transport vehicle was horse, but today we have small, easy to use and fast vehicles that can transport us on large distances very fast... but we are making towns vertical and put speed limits on cars instead of go other way and build larger horizontally towns with good access for parking spots and roads.

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3 hours ago, Stargate525 said:

Many peoples' life goal is to own a house and property. Even if you buy a condo, you don't truly own the space; you're at the whims of the ultimate owner of the building.

Nobody "truly owns the space". Any landlord or housekeeper must pay estate taxes to let his/her property stay his/her.
Also usually he/she must pay money to keep the property intact and beautiful to honour municipal rules and to avoid penalties which can easily bring him/her to a bankrupcy.
So, are you "owner" or not - in fact you take your property in lease from sovereign (person or state), of course if you are not a king yourself.
You can probably change a sovereign of your property, but not the principle itself and sure not with immovable property.
(Sovereign means somebody who guarantees that your neighbor will not manage your property without your permission, otherwise this neighbor will be punished.
So, you take in lease from sovereign your rights to manage some property, while the sovereign delegates these rights to you,)
 

The most expensive and comfortable apartment you can own is just a volume of space filled with air and separated with stone/glass planes.
The heap of bricks of glasses it is made from costs definitely many-many times less than the apartment.
Because owning an apartment in Beverly Hills - first of all you own a right to use privileges of the district you live in. The bricks and glasses are just expendables.

So, "owner", "property", "price" are totally defined by the comfort of the district where your property is situated.
If you own a derelict skyscraper in an empty town, it can be easily  worse than to own a flat inside an arcology. Just because there you have water, electricity and medical assistance.

3 hours ago, Stargate525 said:

Secondly, we're not designed to live in societies where we interact with thousands of people a day.

Just calculate:    length of your daily road to your job and back * width of the street * 100 m. Then divide it by the number of people you meet there,
You will be surprised what a small volume you indeed use.

Edited by kerbiloid

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4 hours ago, Northstar1989 said:

Vertical cities and vertical farming are cool ideas, but sadly they don't make a lot of economic sense...

More compact urban development would require much higher transportation costs.  Theoretically the oil supply beginning to dry up and being unable to keep pace with demand could drive this, but electric cars will ultimately allow us to just power our automobiles with coal and wind power... (preferably Wind, it's actually the cheapest power source- as coal produces a lot of pollution and CO2 that is not accounted for in its direct costs- some estimates indicate the TRUE cost of coal is as much as 3x the cost currently paid by consumers- as the ecological, health and property damage from the sulfur and nitrogen emissions, increases in lung-cancer and acid-rain from a coal power plant are not currently paid for by the consumer of the electricity...)

As for more compact farming- there are a lot of solutions to obtain more food from less land we're already not making use of.  For one, genetic engineering of crops is still really just in its infancy compared to the increases in crop yields we could obtain with more aggressive adoption of the technology.  Further, multi-cropping (that is, planting multiple crops in the same field- such as vegetables beneath apple trees, or potatoes in the same fields as brussel sprouts...) really doesn't see enough use either, mainly as it's difficult to automate and thus requires a lot of labor.  New technologies to permanently improve the soil such as Biochar hold a lot of potential to improve the base fertility of farmland as well.  And finally, there's a lot to be said for growing crops underground in manmade caves, Dwarf Fortress style (just without the giant man-eating spiders), with growth-lamps, as doing this allows you to carefully control the temperature, humidity, and keep out many pests/weeds entirely (in fact, some studies have shown it's CURRENTLY economical in certain abandoned mining tunnels, with the gains in productivity making up for the costs of electricity).  All of these will see more widespread use as increasing population drives increases in the the cost of food, driving farmers to increase yields in progressively more expensive ways, long before we start making serious use of vertical farming...

 

EDITL

Scratch that- it looks like we're ALREADY starting to make use of underground farms in some places (notably London), even if it's still just a novelty at this point:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/agriculture/farming/11706406/Londons-first-underground-farm-opens-in-WW2-air-raid-shelter.html

http://growing-underground.com/

http://www.gizmag.com/growing-underground-subterranean-urban-farm-london/38297/

 

Regards,

Northstar

This, its an question of costs, very high buildings are prestige projects, not something you do to save money / costs. See how large my **** is basically. 
Exception has been to put all the offices in one building has benefits and you want to put this downtown for easy travel and good address. Not sure how important this is anymore with less paper. 
It might well make economical sense if the location get well known and it becomes an fancy address by itself. This however only work with signature buildings who tend to be put at good addresses from the start. 
In short we will likely get more high buildings as construction costs are cut and more people want to live in cities, we will not get many kilometer high building outside of mine is bigger than your fights :) They will all be in city centers. 

Vertical farming makes even less sense, the construction cost is the real killer here, yes its an lack of good farmland, however its far cheaper ways to make it than skyscrapers, ways who has been used in thousands of years. Even standard greenhouses are far cheaper. Energy cost its also an issue, if you have to supply heat and light it cost far more energy to transport the fruit a 1000 km now anything except expensive fruits make zero sense outside of a few settings like fresh salat in space or an base in Antarctica 

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