The Smart City project in Paris wants to find ways to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 75% between now and the year 2050. That challenge is made more difficult by the world’s growing population and that fact that more people are choosing to live in cities rather than in rural areas.
Then you have the complex problem of how to preserve Paris’ many architectural treasures like the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and Montmartre while still planning for future growth. Working with engineering firm Setec Bâtiment, architect Vincent Callebaut has submitted some proposals that not only think outside the box, they smash it completely!
His ideas for a sustainable city include great residential towers featuring photovoltaic and thermal shields that produce all the electricity and hot water the residents require. Rainwater would be collected to run hydroelectric generators. There would also be vertical parks with “algae bioreactors”, bamboo towers with vegetable gardens, and bridges that seem inspired by jellyfish.
Are any of his ideas practical? Vertical gardens are gaining acceptance in the minds of many and sustainable, net zero buildings will surely be part of any future urban development. Callebaut’s ideas may be fanciful, but so were the imaginings of his countryman, Jules Verne.