Revealing the pyramids of the future

Niki May Young
Tuesday 19 Aug 2008

Dubai's latest offering is a carbon-neutral 'pyramid' city

“Ziggurat” is the name of the temple towers of the ancient Mesopotamian valley with the characteristic form of a terraced pyramid with successively receding stories. Now the name is about to enter a new phase. Timelinks, a Dubai-based pioneering environmental design company, has chosen it to describe a sustainable city of the future.

The city, in the shape of a futuristic pyramid, will be exhibited at Cityscape Dubai and according to Timelinks, could support an entire community of up to one million people by harnessing the power of nature.

Ridas Matonis, Managing Director of Timelinks, said: “Ziggurat communities can be almost totally self-sufficient energy-wise. Apart from using steam power in the building we will also employ wind turbine technology to harness natural energy resources.”

Timelinks stress that the project is not just about reducing the carbon footprint. The 2.3 sq km pyramid has many other benefits. They propose that whole cities can be accommodated in complexes which take up less than 10% of the original land surface. Public and private landscaping will be used for leisure pursuits or irrigated as agricultural land.

The concept will also aim at a better quality of life for the inhabitants. Transport throughout the complex would be connected by an integrated 360 degree network (horizontally and vertically) so cars would be redundant. Biometrics would provide security with facial recognition technology.

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?

Timelinks has already patented the design and technology incorporated into the project and has applied to the European Union for a grant for technical projects. The intriguing mixed use concept will be unveiled at Cityscape Dubai which takes place at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre from 6-9 October 2008.

Laura Salmi
Reporter

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