We really mean it when we say that design will save the world, and we've gathered up 15 incredible underground cities, vertical farms, bio-fuel power plants and skyscrapers that we think illustrate that point quite nicely. Taking inspiration from the cities around the world for which they were conceived, these incredible new designs comprise advancements in sustainable development, clever re-use of materials, and mixed-use buildings, but they also give us hope that we do have what it takes to cope with burgeoning population growth and spatial decline. Flip through for a comprehensive look at what the future of our world might look like.
This shipping container skyscraper by Luca D'Amico and Luca Teslo consists of an exoskeletal framework into which modular shipping container homes are set. Every 100 feet there are large platforms that create a micro city inside the skyscraper complete with parks, walkways, and other outdoor spaces.
Already nostalgic for the loss of our once pristine landscapes, this building revives them - at least for agricultural use. Lee dongjin, Park Jinkyu, and Lee Jeongwoo envision the vertical farm for South Korea with spiraling platforms of grass fields.
What happens to the rigs when the oil runs out? Well, Ku Yee Kee, Hor Sue-Wern from Malaysia say turn the structures into habitable living space. Which is exactly what they've done with this design, which relies almost exclusively on all kinds of green energy to keep it powered.
The Underground Metropolis in China turns a dirty habit into an underground city by converting old coal mines into livable spaces. By Fan Shuning and Zhang Xin.
This incredible skyscraper called the FLEX Mod is designed to be molded to suit each occupant's needs. Using state of the art materials, this building allows for individuality without sacrificing an overall sense of community. Designed for the US by Nick Ochoa and Sabrina Brenner.
Rochambeau Cyrille, Bertin Joel, Herizo Randrianarison designed Vertical Paris with that city in mind. It was no easy feat given the city's historical context - so this building strikes a deal that balances the past with the present. Included are quaint Parisian parks, shops, housing and cultural facilities.
André Serpa, Bernardo Daupiás Alves, Egle Bazaraite, Jutta Rentsch, and Marco Braizinha from Portugal have conceived this absolutely stunning Voronoi Skyscraper. The concrete honeycomb building nurtures everything we need in an urban environment, including a vertical transportation system, residential units, offices, shops, and entertainment.
The Hamburg Skyscraper had to fit into a strict set of municipal guidelines. A mixed-used complex that combines hotels, offices, and housing in one place, along with comfortable public space, the design keeps it isolated from traffic noise. Architects: Julia-Elise Hoins, Arnd-Benedikt Willert-Klasing, David Blezinger, Nikolaus Türk
This attractive skyscraper reduces the need for pollution and transportation by integrating vertical farms into the skyscraper. In a world of 9 billion people by 2050, the term rural will take on a whole new meaning - hence Rural Skyscraper. By Zsuzsanna Kiss-Gal, Gergely Kiss-Gal, Margo Petro, Peter Debreczeni
The Montpellier Skyscraper was designed in the context of France's notorious medieval city. Included in its repertoire are solar panels, water harvesting, hanging gardens, and wind turbines. Architects: Eric Gangaye, Frédéric Velaye Andy, Alvin Pakeeroo, Yann Terrer, Thomas Liaigre
The city of Lima, capital of Peru has a population of 10 million people - a melting pot of cultures resulting from colonization, immigration, and indigenous influences. This South American capital transforms salt water into potable water and creates agricultural opportunities. By Luis Longhi, Christian Bottger, and Carla Tamariz.
The Urban-Agro structure for Jerusalem takes into consideration that Israel's holy city has virtually no room for expansion. By combining city life with agriculture, the Israeli architects Michael Leef and Tahel Shaar solve the dual problem of population growth and dwindling natural resources.
They Hydrothermal Skyscraper in Taipei heals the nearby river while using it to extract heat from the transportation infrastructure. A very dynamic building by Wendy Teo Boon Ting and Linda Hagberg in the United Kingdom.
Potentially one of the most visually interesting, the Porifera Skyscraper in Paris harvests solar, wind, and kinetic energy and has plenty of space for hydroponic gardening. By Nicolas Jomain and Boriana Tchonkova.
The laminated wood skyscraper is an interesting concept envisioned for Brazil, where deforestation is such a crippling issue. Using laminated wood construction, Tomas Kozelsky, Patrick Bedarf, and Dimitrie Andrei Stefanescu showcase the ultimate is sustainable design for the heart of the Amazon.