When it comes to sustainability, there may be lessons to be learned from ancient Mesopotamania. An environmental design company called Timelinks (based in the surprisingly environmentally innovative Dubai) has come up with an idea for a city complex that rivals the pyramids.
The ancient ziggurats were towers of receding stories with a temple at the top (better for the priests, apparently, to escape rising flood waters). Timelinks envisions its Ziggurat to be a carbon-neutral city of as many as a million people living in 2.3 square kilometres where cars aren’t allowed. Much like a pyramid-shaped Masdar. The prototype will be exhibited at Cityscape Dubai, a business real estate convention in October.
The Ziggurat will be almost totally self-sufficient energy wise, according to Ridas Matonis, the managing director of Timelinks. Powering the city will be through steam power and wind turbine technology. Part of what makes Ziggurat so sustainable is piling people on top of each other means using less space. The developers believe that whole cities can be accommodated in less than 10% of the original land surface.
Traveling around the Zigurrat would be done through 360 degree integrated networks, kind of like elevators or subway cars that go sideways and up and down. It’s a neat concept, but how viable is it?
In an interview with World Architecture News, Martijn Kramer, managing director of The International Institute for the Urban Environment says that the general reaction is the Ziggurat is viable from a technical point of view. “However, reflecting from a more sustainable holistic approach, we do wonder if the food supply and waste system are taken care for, as the concept seems rather based upon carbon neutrality and energy saving,” Kramer says.
The company has applied to the EU for a grant to look at developing the project further.