Dubai’s concept for a Mall of the World encompasses most of the technologies designed to make a livable city anywhere, much less in the middle of the desert.
This is not so much a city as it is a tourist attraction, devoted to 100 hotels, shopping and theme parks. So it may have more in common with a modern Disneyland. Still, it will include many advanced space, energy and transportation technologies that could make any city proud.
If you watch the video, you’ll see a section of the mall where pedestrians and stores are open to the sky, but motor vehicles are relegated to lower levels, removing the risk of vehicle traffic to pedestrians… something I wrote about in Sarcology. I was heartened to see that.
Photovoltaics will also figure heavily in energy generation. Although the video does not mention them or single them out, you can tell that certain surfaces are tailor-made for photovoltaic application; and as engineers develop new surfaces that can also collect solar energy, such as windows and walls, there could be much more solar energy collection here than you might imagine.
Overall, a very nice imagining of where the future of cities could go. Let’s wish Dubai luck in being able to pull off at least some aspects of it.