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Carbon-Neutral Ziggurat Could House 1.1 Million In Dubai

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the big-brother's-wet-dream dept.

Earth 393

Engadget is reporting that a new pyramid-shaped city of the future, dubbed a "Ziggurat," is being touted by Dubai-based environmental design company, Timelinks. Claiming that their design allows for an almost self-sufficient energy footprint and, obviously, economy of space, the real trick would be getting 1.1 million people to live in such close proximity. "Martijn Kramer, managing director of The International Institute for the Urban Environment told WAN: 'As a general reaction the Ziggurat Project 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's initial reaction to 'Ziggurat' also raises a very important issue: are people willing to live in a mega building of 2.3 sq km? Will the thought of living in a machine comfort people?"

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393 comments

Hi! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24742295)

That's all!

Article says "won't be KOSHER" with inhabitants? (0, Redundant)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742475)

Well, that's great. Culturally sensitive - as always. :-)

In Dubai, you might better describe things as "won't be Halal", no? Or is Israel's plan to own everything on earth expected to be complete by the time they break ground on the project?

Ziggurat (1)

Urger (817972) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742303)

Doesn't this mean that we're one step closer to Neuromancer?

Re:Ziggurat (4, Funny)

mcpkaaos (449561) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742359)

Or one step closer to training Abominations.

Summon more ziggurats!

Re:Ziggurat (4, Funny)

everphilski (877346) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742423)

Once you turn to the dark side, forever will it dominate your destiny! and your dental plan ...

Re:Ziggurat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24742371)

Seems that way to me too.

Spindles, Arcologies, whatever you wanna call them. We already have the internet, advances in direct neural interfacing, etc.

Seems a lot of steps closer at this point, we just need the wacky tessier ashpools and their cryogenic executives.

Let's find out. (3, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742311)

Will the thought of living in a machine comfort people?

Let's find out from some people who live in an actual machine. Morpheus, what do you think?

Morpheus: The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.

for an opposing viewpoint, let's ask Cypher. Cypher?

Cypher: You know, I know this steak doesn't exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize?
[Takes a bite of steak]
Cypher: Ignorance is bliss.

and, finally, for another insight, we'll ask Agent Smith:

Agent Smith: Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost. Some believed we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe that, as a species, human beings define their reality through suffering and misery. The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from. Which is why the Matrix was redesigned to this: the peak of your civilization.

Re:Let's find out. (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742431)

You forgot to get the opinion of the savior, The One himself, as to what he thinks of these Ziggurats.

Neo: Whoa!

So there ya have it.

Re:Let's find out. (3, Funny)

Mesa MIke (1193721) | more than 5 years ago | (#24743035)

> You forgot to get the opinion of the savior,
> The One himself, as to what he thinks of these Ziggurats.

Why should the people of Dubai care what Senator Obama thinks?

right up till... (5, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742317)

Someone crashes a A340F full of explosives into it. Or sets fires in it, or...
Well you get the idea. Good idea but a great target.

Re:right up till... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24742419)

Ok, ok, we'll build a fence around it. Sheesh!

Easy target (0)

Jimmyisikura (1274808) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742517)

I agree there is no easier target than a single building with 1M plus people in it. I haven't seen the structure, but I am pretty sure a pyramid can be easily unbalanced. It would be cool though.

Re:Easy target (2, Informative)

repapetilto (1219852) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742629)

actually arent pyramids the most stable possible structures. Its been awhile since static equilibrium so i dont remember the math or anything but I mean its wider at the base than the peak so its gotta be stable right?

Re:right up till... (1, Redundant)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742539)

What? Violence in the Middle East? Naw...

Re:right up till... (4, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742893)

Be fair. It could happen any place.
Toyko, Oklahoma, or the Middle East.
One of the sad rules of the Universe is that it is a lot easier to destroy than to create. It only takes a few evil nut jobs willing to die to create a lot of misery.

Re:right up till... (5, Interesting)

merreborn (853723) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742643)

right up till... Someone crashes a A340F full of explosives into it. Or sets fires in it, or...
Well you get the idea. Good idea but a great target.

I just saw the NOVA episode about NIST's report on the WTC collapse.

One interesting fact they mentioned: in the event of a disaster, sky scrapers are not designed to be evacuated. There isn't enough room in the stairwells to get thousands of people down dozens of floors in a timely fashion.

In the event of fire, people are supposed to generally stay in place, while a few floors near the fire are evacuated. Fire is then fought in place on the effected floors.

If it's not possible to get a few thousand people out of the WTC in an hour or two, then there's no way you'll ever evacuate a million people from a single building.

Re:right up till... (5, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742999)

It's pretty dangerous to exit a skyscraper from the side halfway up. A pyramid, however, can have dozens of exits all over it's surface. They may not be all that safe, depending on the slope, but better than straight down. After all, it's an emergency exit.

Re:right up till... (4, Interesting)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742723)

Someone crashes a A340F full of explosives into it. Or sets fires in it, or...

If it's that large, nothing short of a nuke will take it out quickly. A big fire might take it out eventually, but it will take a while.

You did remind me of something though.

the real trick would be getting 1.1 million people to live in such close proximity.

Why not put the poor in there? Putting poor people in close proximity housing [wikipedia.org] is a great idea!

Re:right up till... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742791)

You don't have to destroy it destroy it.
A few hundred thousand dieing in a panic rush to the exits. If fire that suffocates a few thousand while leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.
Remember the WTC wasn't taken out by the planes but the fire.

Re:right up till... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24742749)

but it will be in Dubai, it's in a incredibly stable region of the world. The Arabic people have been incredibly peaceful throughout history. Nobody there would dare to do that.

That's like hiding soldiers and arms inside a Mosque.

Re:right up till... (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742957)

That's not a problem since the Blizzard devs anticipated this. They set ziggurat base armor to 5 ;)

Cool! (5, Informative)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742343)

Dubai considering building Arcologies [wikipedia.org] ! =)

Re:Cool! (4, Funny)

TinheadNed (142620) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742553)

Massive massive props to them. I could never get the population up high enough in Sim City 2000. What was it, about 90000 required before you could build them?

Give them 10 years and they'll get bored and turn the disasters back on.

Re:Cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24742599)

porntipsguzzardo

Re:Cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24742655)

Dubai now hiring sandmen.

Re:Cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24742777)

Why is this modded "funny?" It's more insightful. The Ziggurat would be an arcology.

vapor? (3, Insightful)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742353)

The blurb is certainly buzzword compliant, but where are the specs and data? On the face of it, the project is utterly ludicrous, but sounds really cool.

Who cares? Show us something real.

It is a horrible idea (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742769)

> The blurb is certainly buzzword compliant, but where are the specs and data?

Yea, but utter BS. Which greens eat up without question, notice the Slashdot editors did.

Carbon neutral my ass. That sucker is going to need either a huge electric feedline or an internal nuke plant and since it is a 'green' project nukes are out of the question. (Half of a tech site such as this are dead set against anything with the N word attached, in the general green crowd it approaches 100% enough to egnore the outriders.) Then it will need a major railhead to bring in the food.

This isn't hard people, even with efficient solar power the population is a 3d volume powered from a 2D surface. And if you cover the whole surface with photovoltiac collectors where to you get the sunlight for a food source?

But as for getting people into it were it to actually be built, this is Dubai we are talking about; the government tells people to live in it they will live in it. Actually I'd like a few built here.... solve the low income housing problem overnight. Just tell people their choice is to get off their ass and fend for themselves or accept the 'free' government (ware)housing. I suspect most would be horrified enough at the concept of being forced to live in such conditions they would find the motivation to get their life into order. Be a great boost to the economy. And ones who did go in, well out of sight out of mind.

Re:It is a horrible idea (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742913)

Half of a tech site such as this are dead set against anything with the N word attached.

What's wrong with Naked? You some sort of prude?

Control of personal space (5, Insightful)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742355)

People can live in very different conditions if their basic needs are met, if there is a cultural web to participate in, and if they have control over their personal space and possibility of advancement.

I see challenges of propinquity here, but there are very crowded, thriving urban environments to use as examples.

The key question to answer is: What is the reason for the people to live there, rather than somewhere else? That's the question that builds cities - or ghost towns.

Re:Control of personal space (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24742525)

People can live in very different conditions if their basic needs are met...

Sex. There, that's my basic need. Sooooo, 1.1 million people in close proximity = The worlds largest Toga party? Sweeeet.

The key question to answer is: What is the reason for the people to live there...

Refer to my previous answer for my real reason. Now, where are all the hot chicks?

The reasons are convenience and the environment. (1)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742671)

That's right. Arcologies are supposed to be built so that you don't need a car. That means you could use public transportation to get everywhere in the "building". Since an arcology is self sufficient, these would be the greenest cities on earth.

Re:The reasons are convenience and the environment (1, Insightful)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742743)

Since an arcology is self sufficient, these would be the greenest cities on earth.

That is an empty, unsubstantiated pipe dream. I challenge you to demonstrate that it is even remotely feasible with hard numbers for volumes of air, water, energy, and food inputs, and waste air, sewage, and garbage outputs. Where will they come from? Where will they go?

This is little more than a cute fairy tale.

Re:Control of personal space (1)

Xelios (822510) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742795)

Blazing fast internet connections among 1.1 million people and the biggest LAN parties the world has ever seen.

Where does the food come from? (3, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742365)

Carbon and energy neutral food I mean?

 

Re:Where does the food come from? (2, Insightful)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742461)

Carbon and energy neutral food I mean?

From carbon and energy neutral farms. geeze! Stop with this whole analyzing and coming up with glaring holes in the idea! Its' a dream and PR stunt! Let's keep it that way.

Re:Where does the food come from? (3, Insightful)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742667)

Its' a dream and PR stunt!

You hit it right on the nose. Forget about where air, food, water, and energy come from or where wastes go, or about trapping a million people or more in a building for generations on end, or what happens in the event of a major fire or other disaster, etc, etc.

Let's just shut our eyes and think happy, unquestioning thoughts!

Re:Where does the food come from? (5, Funny)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742531)

Where does the food come from?

You know those people that live on the bottom floor? They're soylentalicious! Now that's thinking green.

If it has indoor golf courses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24742385)

Then it probably has just about everything you can do in Dubai (except the Gulf)

Beats mcmansions in Bakersfield (5, Insightful)

heroine (1220) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742415)

For all the billions Calif* spends propping up worthless mortgages, it could build gigantic ziggurats & actually house people.

Re:Beats mcmansions in Bakersfield (2, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742773)

As with mass transit, that's a great idea that everyone would support someone else taking advantage of. Are you interested in living in a ziggurat in Bakersfield? (Although at least it's culturally and climatically preferable to Dubai.)

Re:Beats mcmansions in Bakersfield (2, Funny)

wumpus188 (657540) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742873)

Well then obviously their Calif is not up to the task. Maybe they should try to get Emir too.

Willingness (4, Insightful)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742427)

are people willing to live in a mega building of 2.3 sq km?

Sure, why not. It's not like there won't be parks, squares, expedition, lanes, views.. dense cities are essentially one mega building already.

Re:Willingness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24742903)

Oh hell no. The older I get the more I detest being crowded in any way, shape, or form. I've already purchased some land in a remote area, and as soon as I retire (5-8 years or so), color me GONE.

That kind of population density would end up causing me to run amok with a big can of gasoline and some matches.

All bought with OUR lovely petrol DOLLARS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24742445)

Buy petrol - pay a terrorist to kill you or your loves ones // Makes a WHOLE lot of sense, doesn't it ??

Willingness to live there (1)

dapyx (665882) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742457)

are people willing to live in a mega building of 2.3 sq km?

This question makes no more sense than the question whether people would like to live in residential buildings with dozens of stories.

Why wouldn't they want to live there? (4, Interesting)

GroeFaZ (850443) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742463)

People live in large ships today which are much more of a machine and where there is decidedly less personal space, and, while on cruise, there is no chance for a change of scenery whatsoever.

People live in large blocks of flats today, and would anyone really prefer ugly, grey, and box-shaped over clean, high-tech, and pyramid-shaped?

Re:Why wouldn't they want to live there? (1)

mveloso (325617) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742991)

In addition, there are a ridiculous number of people that live in crushed-in squalor today. They'd trade their current sqalor for a nicer squalor anytime.

How much... (1)

Sta7ic (819090) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742545)

...for a suite with a window seat when the arcology launches into space?

-oh wait, this isn't SC2k.

Book Plug (3, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742555)

I don't remember much else about this book, but the idea of a giant city-building stands out.

_Oath of Fealty_, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

http://www.amazon.com/Oath-Fealty-Larry-Niven/dp/0671532278 [amazon.com]

Re:Book Plug (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742665)

Also the source of the phrase "Just think of it as evolution in action" applied to someone who was determined to kill themselves and remove their possible contribution to the gene pool.

Also appropriate to the Darwin Awards

Dibbs! Level 3-top Corner, North East facing (3, Interesting)

topham (32406) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742557)

I got not particular problem with spending a substantial amount of time indoors. I like to get out in nature now and then too, but within a city? Who cares?
I do however like decent view.

If the hallways are design appropriately, and there are some largish open spaces within also designed appropriately it's an easy sale.

Re:Dibbs! Level 3-top Corner, North East facing (1, Informative)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742931)

Well, here are a few numbers for you. With a 2.3 km^2 base you have a base length of 1.5 km. Assuming a classic Cheops shape, that gives you a height of 1 km, and a surface area of about 10.8 km^2, and .8 km^3 volume. So while you have 700 m^3 per inhabitant (or 300 m^2 assuming a 2.3 m ceiling), you only have less than 10 m^2 surface area. You will end up with a lot of long hallways, and one window in the last room. More likely, you will end up with 100,000 people having very nice window apartments, and 1,000,000 peons.
Or, since your environmentally advanced, you want to catch most of the sunlight, leading to 20,000 people with north facing windows, and 1,080,000 in windowless holes behind your solar arrays. Somehow, this sounds like a bit of a marketing challenge for the less than optimally placed units. So it does make for a nice "Bladerunner" scenario.

Arcology (5, Interesting)

braindrainbahrain (874202) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742577)

Architect Paolo Solieri [wikipedia.org] predicted this sort of thing decades ago. He designed several self contained cities he dubbed Arcologies [wikipedia.org] .

All predictions aside, I'd be surprised to see this ever happen. After all, the first one [wikipedia.org] built in Arizonba never did fare that well.

Re:Arcology (3, Insightful)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742875)

I grew up in Arizona, and my dad took us to visit Arconsanti when I was in grade school. It was an interesting afternoon. It was pretty obvious then (late 70s) that it was not going anywhere. I'm really surprised it's still there. I always point at it when we go by on our way back to Phoenix from Strawberry. Should probably take my kids while I can.
 
This kind of thing is always much, much easier to think up, draw, plan, etc. than to actually build and use.

EMF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24742579)

How high would be the electromagnetic fields in that thing. Wouldn't it be like living under a power pylon?

Think of it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24742613)

Think of it as evolution in action. Obscure reference to a major author.

Culture vs. Need vs. ...? (4, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742621)

Culture obviously plays into whether or not folks would be willing to live in something that is hyper-dense or not.

OTOH, something that doesn't seem to be taken into account is, what happens when families change? A single guy only needs 'x' amount of space. Now when that single guy gets married*, has 4 kids, and a parent becomes decrepit/disabled and decide to move in...? Obviously there's going to be a lot of change in how much space the guy can be comfortable living in, no matter what culture we're talking about here.

Also, what happens when some fatal communicable disease starts making the rounds? shutting folks into their 'homes' will only work for so long before even the most gregarious human being starts to get cabin fever (for lack of a better term).

There's also the chance that the local economy could contract as well - you can only fit so much stuff into one space, and it's not like, say, Home Depot could do a whole lot besides sell wallpaper, paint, and light fixtures to the folks (just as example).

Some folks here will happily cry against the "McMansion!" and think they're being the smartest guy in the room, but consider this: those things do get sold for a reason, especially as our society gets more and more 'crowded'... Suburbs, as much as they're derided, are actually a compromise between the comfort of wide-open spaces (and a buffer from 'the world'), and the conveniences of living in a city.

From that point, it begins digging deeper into some fundamental human psychology - how does a human being deal with being more and more crowded in society?

* yes, we could pack the city with programmers and handily solve the marriage problem, but we're talking people here...

Re:Culture vs. Need vs. ...? (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742945)

OTOH, something that doesn't seem to be taken into account is, what happens when families change?

The same thing that happens now.

it's not like, say, Home Depot could do a whole lot besides sell wallpaper, paint, and light fixtures to the folks (just as example).

They can't do more than that to apartment/condo owners either.

This is essentially a mega-sized apartment building. The problems it has will likely be patterned on those same problems.

This in space and i'm there (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742645)

Seriously. Self sustaining enviornment = future space homes. A well thought out design could be carried over into space. Lets start experimenting here on earth first.

Tyrell Corporation anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24742649)

This ain't new, the Tyrell Corporation built one back in 2019(1982) as seen in Blade Runner...
http://bladerunner.wikia.com/wiki/Tyrell_Corporation

Cracking Target Gromit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24742651)

It would be a superb target for a suicide bomber. These things must be taken into account.

Integrated greenspace is a must (2, Insightful)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742653)

as are varied views within the structure. No one wants to live in a big, faceless glass box, nor look at big, faceless glass boxes. But if you have a large structure with integrated greenspace and human-scale details within the superstructure, to help fix the eye and give a sense of place, then it's not hard to imagine a million people living within it happily.

Think Central Park--There are tens of thousands of people in it at any given time, but because it's made of little hills and dales and stands of trees you never see more than 20 people at one time and it doesn't feel crowded. If you did a similar thing in three dimensions it could work.

Live in a bathroom! (1)

GoNINzo (32266) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742725)

I'm not sure how that would work. A family of four would have a total of 99 square feet, IF the entire thing was devoted to living space, which it won't be. Otherwise, it's down to 24 square feet if you have individual places, and I don't know many people who want to live in a 4x6 room, about the room of a small bathroom.

HR Geiger already envisioned this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24742783)

I saw this before in one of HR Geiger's books, I think in Necronomicon I or II about 15 years ago. He proposed something like this to Sweden's Parliament and they thought he was insane, which he is but he's always been a visionary. They labeled him as a "horror artist" and didn't take his idea seriously. Who's laughing now huh?

YO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24742829)

WHATS UP SCROTE?

Logan's Run (1)

BearRanger (945122) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742841)

For some reason I look at this and that's the image I get. Killing all the residents as they reach age 30 would sure go a long way towards remaining carbon neutral. Especially when you add in a little "Soylent Green" action.

I'll Do It (1)

Setherghd (942294) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742869)

are people willing to live in a mega building

Sure. Who wants to join me?

This sounds like an intentional community.

Kramer? (1)

MisterTeabag (664494) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742885)

KRAMER: Levels.

JERRY: Levels?

KRAMER: Yeah, I'm getting rid of all my furniture. All of it. And I'm going to build these different levels, with steps, and it'll all be carpeted with a lot of pillows. You know, like ancient Egypt.

Alternate uses... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742909)

...the real trick would be getting 1.1 million people to live in such close proximity.

Make it a prison. Of course that would only hold 1/2 of the U.S. prison population of 2.3 million (first in the World - go USA!), but almost 2/3 of Chinia'a of 1.6 million (not counting, umm, "administrative" detainees). Using recent stats, about 9 Ziggurats should hold them all.

Who Came First (2, Interesting)

AngrySup (1003688) | more than 5 years ago | (#24742921)

Gibson, Niven, Pournell, the Matrix, they're all 'Jonny come lately's. The earliest mentions I recall are Asimov with "City" and "Caves of Steel" and Paolo Solieri with his archologies. Who was really first?

Sure.. (1)

speedingant (1121329) | more than 5 years ago | (#24743043)

But will it run Linux? I'm serious. I'd be afraid to live inside that "machine" if it ran Windows. I'd rather live in a cave.
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