MEtreePOLIS is the city of the future where POWER PLANTS harness natural energy sources and significantly impact the urban fabric of the past. Like a forest, the cityscape is best understood in strata. At the top is a canopy of biologically enhanced POWER PLANTS that captures energy from the sun and water from the clouds. The canopy stays low in open, suburban areas and lifts off the ground in the dense remnants of urban downtowns. No longer a 21st century city of simple high and low, skyscraper and street, MEtreePOLIS is blessed with a middle datum that spreads urban life along a new dimension creating a new citywide funscape.
The undifferentiated surface of the landscape enables new types of hyper efficient traffic organization. Hydrogen powered pods roll over the landscape with swarm intelligence, creating semi-natural conditions that are enjoyed like river banks by the inhabitants of the city. Unlike the cars of today, pods are sized to specific needs to maximize efficiency. A series of non-piloted mail carrier, private vehicles, and larger venue pods move slowly through the shaded underworld of the MEtreePOLIS, turning transportation into a social condition.
MEtreePOLIS is a new chapter in the evolution of cities that grows from the historical fabric of the built environment. The old forms, and traces of the past, become part of a new organism. Through this combination, the past is updated and preserved. The surviving 20th century buildings adapt to this biogrid and survive off the energy it provides. They are at once both built and natural constructs. They have changed from resource consumers to power producers.
The bioweb has spread out evenly over the city and with it the population has followed. The city of the future is composed not of segregated urban and suburban enclaves, but is a carpet of demographic richness where different socioeconomic groups live in vertical harmony and mingle in the continuous horizontal public canopy. 22nd century construction innovates from the advances of the POWER PLANTS. They are symbiotic towers that engage the mighty root system of the bio-grid to lift off of the Earth’s surface to the sunny greenscape of the canopy where life is sweet. Traditional single-family dwellings have evolved into a new aggregated typology of community that coexists with nature.
The city of the future is a prosperous and enjoyable place to live. The fusion of land and cityscape introduces recreational and natural qualities into the daily routines of its denizens. POWER PLANTS eliminate wasteful urban energy consumption, which accounts for 40% of today’s total energy needs, while simultaneously cleaning air. The city of the future owes its economic and intellectual wealth to the richness of enhanced nature – and the genius of today’s creative thinkers.
Only through progress can we undo the damage of the past. Recent discoveries suggesting a shift from technical to biological innovation make it hopeful that this is possible. It is the responsibility of architects, engineers and visual artists to communicate and promote these new ecological ideas that surpass sustainability to create an entirely new conception of the way people interact with the natural world.