I want my Coruscant!

The Daily Mail–or, as some of my colleagues call it, the “Daily Fail”--published a story on cities of the future, and I just have to say: wow.

That is a lot of huge pictures. Do the editors get paid extra to put them up like that?

But past the snark, I do find future architecture and city planning to be fascinating. Ever since I saw that History Channel Modern Marvels episode on the giant city-tower they were planning to build in Tokyo in, oh, 1 Berjillion AD, I’ve been fascinated. To think that we could, with the right technologies, radically overhaul our urban areas, and even change the fundamental living arrangements of our society, is breathtaking. For a while now, I’ve been thinking that the optimal living situation on Earth would be to have most of the planet uninhabited wilderness, with arcologies scattered across the globe, connected via either high-speed rail, air transport, or a global highway network, or maybe a combination of all three. (Who says libertarians don’t care about the environment?)

The ocean towers are particularly interesting. The oceans are really the last frontier on Earth (space being the last frontier for everything.) Why haven’t we colonized them yet? We could have Seaquest and talking dolphins and a genius kid who won’t shut up and that nerdy guy and then go into outer space to fight those–whoops, went into season 3. Sorry about that. *Ahem* Needless to say, there is great opportunity here for better use of our oceans, and also some interesting political questions, namely: If you’re out there, in the middle of an ocean, outside of any national territory, do you become a new state? (Well, if you can hold your “territory,” that is…)

There is one thing I have to gripe about, though: that third picture, the tower with the big balloons. The caption says it will have “helium-filled observation decks” moving up its side, and work will apparently start next year. To which I say: yeah right. Does anybody seriously think this will actually come to pass within the next, oh, let’s be generous, 50 years? I like interesting ideas and glimpses to the future, but let’s be honest with ourselves here, that isn’t going to be finished until I’m a pensioner. At least the Shimizu Mega-City Pyramid says its still only a “pipe dream.” That thing is just…nuts.

I should point out that I don’t actually want Coruscant, the famous city planet capital of that galaxy far, far away. It might be a cool place to visit a few times, maybe even bearable to do work there, but who in their right minds would want to visit a planet entirely covered by mile-tall skyscrapers? You’d be dead inside. No, I’d rather live out in the countryside, where I feel the dirt under my feet if I choose, go camping in the woods, fish in the streams, and ride giant grizzly bears.

You heard me.