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Vertical cities keep everything under one roof

An artist's renderings of the J220 Sky City Changsha, in Hunan province. Some designers are increasingly looking to ideas for "vertical cities" as a way to deal with pressing environmental and overcrowding concerns. (WP:NFCC#4/Wikipedia/cc)

Skyscrapers have long been a fixture of cities. But what if they functioned as self-contained urban microcosms? As municipalities grapple with challenges that range from overpopulation to deteriorating air quality, the idea of a city-in-tower is gaining favor with some designers.  

Mark Hay reports for Good on a French architectural firm’s plan for a 1,400 foot high-rise in the Moroccan desert. The Sand Tower would provide all the amenities of urban life under one roof. It would feature housing for 1,000 residents, offices, a hotel, restaurants, green space and a massive vertical farm. The building also would collect and recycle rainwater.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail highlights a proposal for a futuristic luxury tower housing 2,500 to be built into the seafloor, likely somewhere in the Middle East. While these concepts may seem fanciful, Hay notes that the notion of a city in a building can be traced back as far as 1895. A few projects already are underway. Changsha, in China, has begun constructing Sky City, an energy-efficient, 220-story complex for more than 4,400 families, Good reports.


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