It's 2100. Humans haven't gained control of their carbon emissions. The earth has warmed up. The oceans have risen. Millions of ecological refugees have nowhere to go. Unless, of course, they had the foresight to build Lilypads.
The brainchildren of Vincent Callebaut Architectures, the Lilypad is a design for an auto-sufficient amphibious city. If you've seen Wall-E, it's a bit like the Axiom spaceship – a giant city with everything needed for humans to survive a major catastrophe. It also looks a bit like something that might be built off the coast of Dubai.
As Lilypad's creators suggest, though, anything built on or off the coast of Dubai right now will probably be under water by 2100. A floating ecopolis, however, will be immune to such problems, rising above the water, no matter how much of the polar icecaps melt. Watching your atolls sink? No problem. Add a Lilypad. Instant atoll.
Lilypads have a further benefit. Build one or two off the coast of Dubai, Hong Kong or Monaco – and, flood or no flood, you can significantly increase the size of your kingdom or principality. Lilypads house 50,000 people, as well as plants and animals. They have lakes and mountains, schools and multiplexes.
Inspired by the great lilypad of the Amazonia Victoria Regia, the floating eco-city is designed to be made of titanium dioxide, which absorbs atmospheric pollution. It'd also be carbon-neutral, self-sufficient and entirely recyclable. Nice idea. RM
Images: copyright VINCENT CALLEBAUT ARCHITECTURES