(post edited to fix links)
Yesterday, we were supposed to go to the gym. Instead, we watched this wicked cool Extreme Engineering episode on the proposed Japanese urban development project known as the Shimizu Megacity Pyramid.
Everyone knows Japan has a major overpopulation problem, and this futuristic proposal aims to allieviate land needs by building a gargantuan pyramid over Tokyo Bay. At 1 kilometer high, this hollow structure would be home to 750,000 people, living and working in 24 skyscrapers suspended from the tubular trusses forming the pyramid itself.
The tubular trusses are also hollow, made from carbon nanotubes. The trusses would house the mass transit system, transporting people from section to section, building to building in the pyramid. They would also be coated with photoelectric panels to convert sunlight to power. The city would also be fueled by wind and wave and hydrogen.
Sounds awesome, right? However the technology to build and power the city doesn’t yet exist. Mass scale production of carbon nanotubes is still in the research and development stages, and the building and raising of the trusses also is still in development, as it is likely to require a robotic workforce (the show implied robotic spiders weaving the carbon nanotube trusses onsite).
And it would be HUGE! It would be the largest man-made structure on earth, situated in the middle of one of the most siesmically active regions on earth. There’s a lot of saftey issues designers are still working out.
It’d be a cool-ass thing to see happen though. I’ll probably be dead before its done.