Floating City Rises Above It All To Green Future

Imagine an eco-friendly skyscraper. Now, imagine it floating in the air. You might come up with something like the “Heaven and Earth” (天上人间 ) Floating City from designer Wei Zhao of China, whose future-forward design took an Honorable Mention in the 2012 eVolo Skyscraper Competition. 

We’ve seen skyscraper designs that make use of wind turbines mounted on circular guides around the face of cylindrical towers to harvest wind; one that works, essentially, like a giant air-pollution-scrubbing wind turbine/air filter; and even a squat, honeycombed, domelike structure designed to provide office and residential space, generate solar power and harvest rainwater while preserving the landscape. (The latter two of that trio took first and second prize in last year’s eVolo Skyscraper Competition, respectively.) But we love how unabashedly the Heaven and Earth Floating City seems to believe in our bright green future.

Heaven and Earth Floating City

image via eVolo

Not only does this thing support mountains, rivers, lakes, forests and animals (yes), forming “a utopia wonderland residing in the air,” it does so via magnetic levitation (Maglev) technology, which works by repelling the Earth’s magnetic field. This is, essentially, a giant, floating hovercraft, controlled by large number of molecular magnets distributed along the underside of the vessel. Apparently, the rotation of the curved bottom can generate all of the power necessary for the city, and also maintain its balance (probably pretty important, since the thing was designed to support mountains).

Sure, you say, but how’s a future hominid supposed to get back in touch with terra firma? Via small, magnetic suspension aircraft, of course, designed for use as transport links between the vessel (Heaven?) and Earth.

The designer sees the Heaven and Earth Floating City as a solution to the limited amount of landmass on the earth and its burgeoning population. By creating a kind of Earth above the Earth, this design might be thought of as the ultimate in high-density architecture.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

  • Jack Folwer

    If this concept was feasiable then we would not need trucks, ships or planes to ship people or products from piont A to point B. We have only demonstrated that we can levitate small heights not several hundred feet in the air as the photographs depicts. This concept sounds like another Green Con Game.

    • John Middleton

       Hey!  Why is my house always in the shade?  Oh yeah, it’s that floating city…

  • jhv

    Will ‘Lando Calrissian’ be the landlord…?

  • Teqniqal

    Don’t walk under it with floppy discs pr credit cards . . .!

  • Squamman

    Big ideas and big vision. Great inventions and technology have often started with a fantastical idea, based on “science fiction”. Remember Buck Rogers flying ship, and Dick Tracy’s watch? Those ideas were touted in serial reels at the movies and in comic books some 70 years ago. Today, those and many other fantastical ideas are reality. 50 Years ago the internet was just a vision.Today, the internet is integral to everything. So I say, dream big- you never know what will come of it. And this might just safe the earth and our species in the next 100 years

  • BrandonLawler

    This is a really cool idea, but unfortunately, physics is a bitch.

    Imagine the magnetic force it would take to hold up one cubic foot of iron. If you wanted to hold up three cubic feet of iron, it would require three times that much force. Now imagine millions of square feet of magnetic material (i.e. this city). The magnetic field of the earth is several orders of magnitude too weak for the task, or it’d be the subject of every science fair experiment on the planet, not to mention we’d be using it to launch vehicles into space if it were true. As it is, the magnetic field is barely strong enough to align compass needles that can rotate freely with no other forces acting on them.

    So again, neat idea, but the mechanics can be dismissed outright. It simply isn’t possible.

  • Gbreadman

    Hey, you, get off of my cloud.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sunnyravenwood Sunwyn Ravenwood

    Silly.  Cute, but silly.