The hollow cities

05_azIn the comic strip Carapaces, which Luc Schuiten and his brother François created in the late seventies, the artist created an imaginary solar-powered city inspired by the traditional type of construction built by the Native Americans of New Mexico: The Pueblo. This ancestral wisdom was used as the canvas on which was depicted a series of new technologies such as mobile greenhouses, whilst a pyramid-shaped spire of solar panels was placed in the middle of the city, topped by a large wind turbine.

The plans for this sustainable city can be implemented today at a cost which is much lower than that of our present-day cities, thanks to the major part played by public transport. The master plan has been drawn up by Jean-Louis Maupu, an engineer and researcher from INRETS, and author of the book “the hollow city for sustainable urban development”. This city is neither compact nor dispersed. It is constructed entirely around a tramway loop and an underground service ring road, with a perimeter of 10 to 20 km, for 20-100,000 inhabitants. It forms a string of mixed and friendly districts located around a large green “hollow”. It can grow like knitwear by adding new stitches. The city is self-sufficient in terms of energy. At the end of each row of houses there is a mixed energy power station combining solar power, wind power and power from methane gas, produced by the decomposition of the city’s organic waste.

05_bzFresque Berlin