The term “mile high” isn’t just for airplane action anymore- British firm Popularchitecture has proposed a mile-high eco tower for London that’s sure to be just as exciting. At a full mile tall and housing over 100,000 people, this concept tower really is just that: a cool, uber-green concept. With 500 floors would contain schools and hospitals to shops and pubs, and everything else under the sun. While it will likely never be realized, the design does push our thinking forward.

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The mile-high tower also illustrates the ecological advantages of living tall, as building up instead of out holds more people in a smaller footprint. This in turn reduces ecological impacts and the time needed to transport them. Close-knit living is also a way to rebuild disconnected communities, and to make life safer through the ‘natural surveillance’ created by populating areas 24/7.

Drawn up by Popularchitecture and intended for Tower Hamlets in East London, the giant skyscraper would be three times larger than anything ever built in the capital, creating 12 new ‘villages’ in the sky. However, despite the project’s ‘almost unbelievable proportions’, practice founder Tom Teatum does not feel the scheme is that crazy, insisting there are developers who are interested, ‘in particular because of minimal land value in relation to accommodation… occupying a scale far beyond anything that currently exists in London, the tower would allow the city’s population to expand without significant impact to the architectural fabric on the ground.’

At the center of the structure would be a ‘vast internal void’ lit by circular openings every 20 storys. Each of these ‘holes’ would be used as either public squares or for specialist activities such as ice skating, botanic gardens or swimming pools. Nice idea and nice visuals but it looks like it’ll be firmly rooted in our imaginations for the time being.

+ Popularchitecture Via Skyscraper City and Fazyluckers