City in the sky proposal
Name : Simpson Chin Jiunn yih
ID number : 0318154
Subject : Element in Natural and Built Environment
Intake : February 2014
Investigation and Data Collection: Ancient City 5-7
Investigation and Data Collection:Present City 8-12
Investigation and Data Collection: Future City 13-17
Inspirations and ideas 18-19
Airome : Home for all 20-29
Perspective drawings 30-32
Reference list 34
For our final Elements in Natural and Built Environment (ENBE) project, we are required to
do thorough research about an ancient city of our choice, a present city, and also a future
city. We were told to imagine ourselves as a mayor of a city - “X” City, where the city was
destroyed by natural disaster and is humans can no longer stay in that city. As a mayor, we
have to think fast and come up with an idea, and propose a future city to revive your “X”
City. Our city should be unique and also liveable. We were given options of underground,
underwater, up in the sky or skyscrapers, beside a river or sea, and lastly a city flowing on
water. Our future city should be sustainable and very lively.
There are several factors to consider when brainstorming for the future city. Such as the
shape and structure of the city, the zoning of the city, the people, the infrastructure,
services, sustainability, transportation, and finally the defence system.
[sit-ee] Show IPA
noun, plural cit·ies.
a large or important town.
(in the U.S.) an incorporated municipality, usually governed by a mayor a
nd a board of aldermen orcouncilmen.
the inhabitants of a city collectively: The entire city is mourning his death.
(in Canada) a municipality of high rank, usually based on population.
(in Great Britain) a borough, usually the seat of a bishop, upon which the
dignity of the title has beenconferred by the crown.
A good city
There are several factors for a good city. A good city has to be sustainable and eco-friendly.
They should use renewable energy to power the city. Connectivity has to be smooth for
people to move from place to place conveniently. Everything in the city is energy efficient.
Also, for a city to be good, it has to have the lowest amount of carbon emission. Lastly, a
good city is a city where people look forward to stay in.
What is a future city?
It is very difficult to explain what a future city really is because nobody really knows how the
future is going to be like. All we can do is imagine.
For me, I think that a future city is a place for humans to stay in after the destruction of
Earth or maybe when the Earth is not suitable for humans to stay in anymore.
The future city will definitely be more efficient than our present city in terms of technology.
If the future city is well developed, it should be sustainable.
So, basically, a sustainable city is a future city.
Investigation and Data Collection
Ancient city – Lisbon
Lisbon is the largest city and the capital of Portugal. It is the oldest city in Western Europe –
predating London, Rome, and the like.
Archaeological research has shown that iron age people have occupied the site since the 8th to 6th
City plan of Lisbon
Lisbon experienced important earthquakes in the 14th century and five important
earthquakes in the 16th century
On 1 November 1755 Lisbon was destroyed by another earthquake, which killed between
60,000 and 90,000 people and destroyed eighty-five percent of the city.
After the 1755 earthquake, the city was rebuilt largely according to the plans
of Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, the Marquess of Pombal;
Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, 1st Marquis of Pombal, 1st Count of
Oeiras (Portuguese pronunciation: [mɐɾˈkeʃ dɨ ˈpõbaɫ]; 13 May 1699 – 8 May 1782) was an
18th-century Portuguese statesman. He was Secretary of the State of the Kingdom of
Portugal and the Algarves (the equivalent to a today's Prime Minister) in the government
of Joseph I of Portugal from 1750 to 1777. Undoubtedly the most prominent minister in the
government, he is considered today to have been the de facto head of government.During
the earthquake, Melo survived by a stroke of luck, and then immediately embarked on
rebuilding the city, with his famous quote: What now? We bury the dead and heal the living.
Despite the calamity, Lisbon suffered no epidemics, and within less than a year it was
already being rebuilt.
Rua Augusta Arch, Downtown Lisbon
The new central area of Lisbon was designed to resist subsequent earthquakes.
The buildings and major squares of the Pombaline Downtown of Lisbon are one of Lisbon's
main tourist attractions: they are the world's first earthquake-proof buildings.
The most relevant anti-seismic provision of the ‘Pombalino’ Buildings is the existence of a
three-dimensional timber structure named ‘gaiola pombalina’ wrapped up inside masonry
interior walls above the first floor. The intention of the ‘gaiola’ three-dimensional timber
structure conception was to provide resistance to horizontal forces. There are doubts about
possible intention of allowing the overturning of the façades (masonry walls without timber
elements) without the collapse of the building. Another anti-seismic provision was the limit
three stories for the buildings.
After reading the article about Lisbon, I’ve learnt that natural disaster can wipe out a city or
destroy it in a big scale.
So, I will adapt the idea of quake proof buildings, so that when the city is launched into the
air, no building will topple or be damaged.
Investigation and Data Collection
Current city - Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal with a population of 547,631 within its
administrative limits on a land area of 84.8 square kilometres (32.7 sq mi). The urban area of
Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of over 3 million on
an area of 958 square kilometres (370 sq mi)
Lisbon is recognised as a global city because of its importance in finance, commerce, media,
entertainment, arts, international trade, education and tourism.
It is one of the major economic centres on the continent, with a growing financial sector and
the largest/second largest container port on Europe's Atlantic coast.
The Lisbon Metropolitan Area is heavily industrialized, especially the south bank of the Tagus river.
Map of Lisbon
Lisbon's public transport network is extremely far-reaching and
reliable. The Lisbon Metro as its main artery, connecting the
city centre with the upper and eastern districts, and now
reaching the suburbs. Ambitious expansion projects will
increase the network by almost one third, connecting the
airport, and the northern and western districts. Bus, funicular
and tram services have been supplied by the Companhia de
Carris de Ferro de Lisboa (Carris), for over a century.
Transportation System in Lisbon: Trams, Trains, Automobiles,
Bridges, Air travel, Ferries
A traditional form of public transport in Lisbon is the
There are four commuter train lines departing from
Lisbon: the Cascais, Sintra and Azambuja lines (operated
by CP –Comboios de Portugal), as well as a fourth line
to Setúbal (operated by Fertagus) crossing the Tagus river,
over the 25 de Abril Bridge. The major railway stations
are Santa Apolónia, Rossio, Gare do Oriente, Entrecampos,
and Cais do Sodré. The city does not offer a light rail service (tram line 15, although running
with new and faster trams does not fall onto this category), but there are plans to build light
rail lines to provide service along the city's periphery.
There are other commuter bus services from the city:
Vimeca, Rodoviaria de Lisboa, Transportes Sul do
Tejo, Boa Viagem, Barraqueiro are the main ones,
operating from different terminals in the city.
The city is connected to the far side of the Tagus by two important bridges:
The 25 de Abril Bridge, inaugurated (as Ponte Salazar) on 6 August 1966, and later
renamed after the date of the Carnation Revolution, was the longest suspension
bridge in Europe.
The Vasco da Gama Bridge, inaugurated on May 1998 is, at 17.2 km (10.7 mi), the
longest bridge in Europe.
Lisbon's Portela Airport is located within the city limits. It is the
headquarters and hub for TAP Portugal as well as a hub
for Easyjet, SATA International, Luzair, EuroAtlantic
Airways, Portugália, White Airways, and High Fly airlines. It has
been proposed that a New Lisbon Airport should be built.
Another way of crossing the river is by taking the ferry. The
company is Transtejo-Soflusa, which operates from different
points in the city to Cacilhas, Seixal,
The city of Lisbon is rich in architecture; Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline, Baroque, Modern
and Postmodern constructions can be found all over Lisbon.
The city is also crossed by historical boulevards and monuments along the main
thoroughfares, particularly in the upper districts.
After doing research on modern Lisbon, I have learnt that transportation in a city is a very
important factor to a good city.
Therefore, I will adapt the fastest and most convenient mode of transport to my future city.
Also, connectivity of the city has to be smooth so that people can get access throughout the
I have to plan my future city wisely so that the connectivity will be smooth for my citizens.
Investigation and Data Collection
Future city – Japan’s City in the Sky
Japan is now in talks to make their ‘City in the Sky’ project a reality. Conceived by the
Shimizu Corporation two decades ago, developments in building materials and other tech-
nologies have now made this unique concept possible.
The Mega-City Pyramid will be 14 times higher than the Great Pyramid of Giza, and will
house 3/4 million people, with an additional 1/4 million people using the upper levels as
office and recreational space.
Sitting 730 meters above sea level, the pyramid is will help answer Tokyo’s ever-condensed
A new superstructure
The unique megatruss structure — an assembly of regular octahedral units composed of
shafts made from lightweight materials such as carbon fiber — makes possible to a huge, liv-
able pyramid city measuring two kilometres high.
“An inspiration” The Tyrell Corporation building, from the 1982 film Blade Runner.
The structure will be a multi-purpose city extension combining business, residential, com-
mercial, research, cultural, and leisure facilities.
The larger, lower levels (layers 1 — 4) will comprise residential and office buildings, whilst
the upper layers (5 –8) will house research centers, leisure facilities, and a number of unique
How it works
The city’s basic construction units, each measuring 350 meters per side provide structural
support from all directions. Each octahedral unit is formed by vertically joining two square
pyramids at their bases. The scope of this project is massive, with each pyramidal structure
is about the same size as the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas.
It’s important to note that there is no glass ‘walling in’ these pyramids. The wind-permeable
design reduces wind load, while each octahedral unit supports a contained building on all
sides. Together with vibration-control devices and clever load distribution, the construction
method used allows for a massive structure of great structural integrity.
Each octahedral unit can be configured to hold sets of high-rise residential pyramids, entire
100 story office buildings or even skyparks and playgrounds.
Octahedral unit containing a residential pyramid configuration
And another containing an office building configuration
Ingenious construction exposes the interior spaces to abundant sunlight and fresh air. The
three-dimensional trusses are slender pipes, allowing sunlight to reach deep into the infra-
structure and creating a highly livable environment.
New building materials , new possibilities
When the project was conceived, at the beginning of the 21st century, it was not able to be
built with materials available at the time, due to their weight. However, now, with the avail-
ability of super-strong lightweight carbon nanotubes, the project can become a reality.
The shafts used to construct each unit are made of the latest lightweight materials (includ-
ing carbon and glass fibers) for superb strength and durability.
Horizontal shafts, 10 meters in diameter, will contain electrical and communication net-
works, corridors, and distribution networks, as well as two new transportation systems and
The diagonal shafts, each measuring 16 meters in diameter, will house plumbing and electri-
cal networks, two elevators, and a distribution network.
The nodes at which shafts join will serve as strategic transportation hubs. Each node will be
covered with a 50-meter-diameter sphere made of crystallized glass that collects and trans-
mits sunlight throughout the city via optical fibers. Intelligent natural lighting indeed!
Use of interlocking, standardized parts and materials will facilitate automation and reduce
the time required for construction.
The trusses would be coated with photo voltaic film to convert sunlight into electricity and
help power the city.
Tsunami and Earthquake proof building structure
Tsunamis and earthquakes a real threat in today’s world. WIth the seismically active Pacific
Ring of Fire cutting right through Japan, the external structure of the pyramid will be an
open network of mega trusses, with the carbon nanotubes supporting struts made to allow
the pyramid to stand against, and let through high winds, as well as survive tsunamis and
Inter-sector transport tubes connecting to a central hub.
The Mega-City will feature a clever internal transport and distribution network, much like
the arteries of the human body.
A continuous circulatory transportation system, featuring elevators, moving walkways and
smart vehicles will allow people and shipment containers to travel to different sectors, auto-
matically switching routes and between modes of transport to provide the most effi-
The Mega-City Pyramid is just one of a number of building projects that we are beginning to
see. These new smart designs are making use of the possibilities offered by new, lightweight,
ultra-strong building materials to create architectural visions previously out of reach.
Spokesman for the development, Daichi Toyama said “Japan, as the world knows, always
has had a futuristic outlook on things. Nothing like this has ever been attempted before. It’s
going to be a world first.”
The project is now live, although construction is not due to start until 2029. “A lot of work
still needs to be done before we begin, but the important thing is that this is going to be a
Ideas and inspirations
While doing my research, I came across inspiring images on Google. I noted down some of
them and started to analyse which part of the city is suitable for me and also see what can
be added to the original images. Few of the images are below :
Home for all
The city “Airome” was created to provide humans a better place to live in. It is the year 2114
and Earth is no longer suitable for humans to live in because of the constant natural disaster.
As mayor of the city, I proposed to build a city up in the air lower than the clouds. Why is it
on air? Basically on air, there will be lesser or no tragedy of natural disaster unless meteor
strikes. Also, there is a better environment for people to play, work and live. People always
dream of flying and now their dreams are fulfilled. On air, energy can be collected in many
ways without further harming mother Earth.
Sustainability is the key factor to human survival. As a mayor, I have to brainstorm on how
to make my city sustainable and efficient as possible.
In the clouds, where sun shines brightly, wind is strong. Also, when it rains, dark clouds
generate lightning and thunder strikes. When the sun is bright, the solar panel can collect
and generate energy. When the wind blows, wind turbines are there to convert it to energy.
Now, there is a thick, long, lightning rod at the centre of the floor. This lightning rod will
extend itself when dark clouds are seen. It is created as long so that when thunder strikes,
the chances of getting hit by lightning will be higher. This helps to generate a large supply of
energy to power up the city. Lastly, there are green houses located around the floor. Green
houses help to reduce the Carbon Footprint.
Then, there is a special function for level 1 as well, that is a rain pod. So when it rains, not
only the lightning rod extends out, the solar panels will also open up.
Rainwater will then flow into the base of level 1. This reduces rainwater runoff and also a
way of getting water supply in the sky. The water collected can be used to water plants,
washing purposes, or in case of emergency such as fire and all.
In the ground level, there are residential, work, park, shopping, medical, police , storage,
farm, school and also the government area. The residential and farm area occupied the
largest space because there are approximately 150,000 to 300,000 people staying in. There
has to be enough food source for the city to sustain. Storages are placed in front of the
farms to store ripe vegetables and fruits.
Workplaces and schools are placed near residential area, so that it is convenient for children
to acquire education, as well as adults to work. It is important that children of this
generation gets education because everything is based on technology, and they have to be
well prepared to take over the previous generations.
In front of the residential areas are parks. Parks are located in front of residential areas so
that when children or even adults have free time, they can relax at the park rather than
facing computers everyday at home. Also, parks are essential elements of a city.
Police stations and hospitals are located at each ends of every residential areas. In case of
emergencies, residents can have access to the police and hospital within a short limit of
Shops are located near the centre of the city so that when residents want to buy things,
everything can be found at the same area. The shopping malls are placed near each other so
that it is more convenient for residents to walk from one shopping mall to another.
The government is located at the centre of the city because the government is just like the
heart of the city. The government controls everything and makes every decision. Also, this
allows the government to travel to every part of the city with the fastest average time.
Lastly, most of the buildings in Airome has green roof gardens. Two reasons for this, is that
people can maximize the space by planting. The plants can then be eaten or as decorations.
Secondly, with green roof gardens, the temperature of the building will be lowered so that
the rate of people turning on air conditions will be lowered as well. It reduces carbon
The main transportation system used in Airome is the train system.
Conclusion for Airome
I believe that Airome is a potential future city project as it is sustainable. Different types of
energy conversion methods from nature are used to power the city. There will be very
minimal pollution produced by the city.
Airome has everything that any human being needs. Shelter, water, food, education,
protection, and most importantly leisure. All these are self sustaining and therefore we do
not have to worry about not enough resources.
I also believe that people will live happier on Airome since everything is so convenient and
easy to access. Although Airome is not the most unique looking city, but it’s strong
sustainability factor makes everything possible because sustainability is the key to future
After a few weeks of tutorials and research, I now understand what makes a good city and
what are the essential elements to make a good city.
First and fore most, sustainability is the key to a good city. If the city is not sustainable or
self-sustaining, the city will run out of resources very soon and it is going to fall. Also, it the
city does not use sustainable methods, Nature will continue to be damaged and our
atmosphere will be worsen.
As humans, we should understand the current condition of nature and start acting before
it’s too late. Although living in the air is a dream come true, but I will still prefer to stay on
land like how humans are living now. Therefore we have to appreciate mother nature now
before it is too late. Once we are in the sky, there will be no turning back.
Lastly, after the whole assignment, I’ve learnt how to do thorough research on a particular
subject. The whole assignment allowed me to take a peek into the future city. Although
nobody knows how our future will be, but everything can be manipulated if we want to.
If a city is sustainable, there won’t be a need for a future city. It is already a futuristic city.