This Proposed City Could Be The First To Run On Algae
A winning design for a new sovereign city-state is completely car-free and carbon-neutral
This micro-state could be the world’s first that runs on genetically-modified algae. Liberland, a sovereign nation established only April of last year, held a competition for design ideas that would allow its measly 7 square kilometers (or 2.7 square miles) to be turned into a megacity.
The winning design was by Raya Ani, a firm based in New York. The vein of the megacity would be an urban transport system that sprouts communities skyward.
Modularity will allow structures to continue growth upwards. These units, partially made from wood harvested in the area, will allow each structure to have numerous functions. This is important to Liberland’s ideals where citizens handle public services voluntarily, where different services need to co-exist in a block.
The heart of it all would be Liberfree. Just like Grand Central Station, it will be a hub for urban transportation and will be littered with cafés and restaurants.
Aside from the algae, solar power will also be harvested from flat surfaces on the structures and waste will be incarcerated in a generator. Biodegradable waste will produce biogas for the country where it needs fire.
Liberland sits on a floodplain and this is a feature the masterplan wants to embrace. Ponds could collect the rising waters and flood-friendly parks will be scattered all around the country.
The contest brief partly read:
“It should be also flexible in terms of economy and settlement facilities, so that it can be possibly readapted to changing market conditions.”
The studio’s proposal answers to this through Reverse Archeology, where Liberland’s buildings dig up to discover new forms of its architecture. The plan pushes for building layer over layer of urban space with strategic form that allows light to still reach the ground.
Envisioned to be a tax-free paradise where innovators are free to create and where intellectual properties are shared, Liberland’s architecture will be unique. Given the country is still to turn three years old, there’s not much local design tradition to work with.