Solarpunk city (commissioned by ERA21)


1. The old city

2. Biourban organism as envisioned in the Paracity concept by Marco Casagrande. It is based on a three
dimensional primary structure. A grid with spatialmodules that can be modified and grown by the citizens
of the Solarpunk city.

3. The new contour terraced city, part of the terraced superstructure as described by Sci-Fi writer Eric Hunting.

4.Eco-villages organized as Bolos (Bolo Bolo by P.M.). Self-reliant Eco-villages occupied with the task of regenerative practices and rewilding projects.

5. Long distance transit rail station

6. Artificial fluvial landform

7. Retrofitted industrial buildings. Obsolete office buildings and industrial buildings are retrofitted by the local community.

8.Terraces used for permaculture practices

9. Kibbutz inspired agricultural organization

10. The ground level of the terrace structure is used here as a warehouse. Tools and agricultural vehicles are stored here. Some food can be processed here too.

11. More and more transit lines go underground in tunnels. Mankind tries to have a minimum impact on earths surface.

12. Food forest, agroforestry system

13. A large eco-bridge crosses the city. It allows species to cross the cities. Humans do not longer consider themselves as the superior species. The bridge is constructed out of new bio-engineered materials that act like plants.

14.Fluvial systems are allowed to flood and the natural ecosystems can recover now. It is part of a larger vision of sustainable water-management.

15. Low-tech monorail systems used for farming practices

16. River flow energy systems

17. Carbon sequestering architectural materials

18. Park zones along the residential zones of the terraced platforms. It gives the residents exquisite views.

19.Biomimicry inspired architectural design. (Later in a distant Solarpunk future new self-growing materials can emerge.)

20. The contour terraced city shifts into the linear terraced city. The thin central space of the linear superstructure is used for non-residential functions such as long distance transit, clinics, schools, theaters, restaurants & bars, clubs, workshops...

21. Solar panels

22. Wind turbine

23. Infrastructure and buildings in the Hinterland are recycled. Large areas are given back to nature thanks to

large scale rewilding operations.

24. A distant contour terraced city is connected with the city through the linear terraced city.

25. The linear terraced city counts many wind farms and several eco-bridges. The terrace platforms can vary in size. The linear city can go underground there where it is needed.

26. Heliostat light towers provide natural light

27. Adaptive architectural prefab modules used to retrofit the old city. Here they are used to create a green roof with

a rainwater infiltration and collection system.

28. The three-dimensional grid is used for all sorts of functions. The residents can adapt and use the spaces of the superstructure depending on their ever changing needs. Here it is used as a vertical garden. The grid can be used for residential, leisure, agricultural or logistic functions. It can be used as a highway for a personal package transit system.

29. The contour terraced structure can take many forms. It can enclose places of interest. It can be thin or wide. The designs of the structure and transparent wall materials are inspired by the designs of architect Luc Schuiten.

30. Solar-hybrid dirigible airships with full circular disk shape.(Inspired by the designs of the Aquarian airships of TMP2, The Millennial Project)

1) bridging property and houses: in a more  distant future we could reshape our cities so they become a huge structure (a superstructure) that can be freely used by all of us. No more arbitrary boundaries between the private and public domain. This of course does not mean that people can not have their own private place. They still can. But we just look differently to ownership. (It relates to community land trusts, co-house cooperatives,  non-dominium policies and georgist & freeland approaches) 

We could make much better use of the space we have if we abandon our ideas of private landownership.

2) reclaim the streets, we allowed it too long to let the automobile dominate the public domain. Urban interventions in the public domain could mean we can organize a part of our lives in the public. Shown here is some terraced street furniture perhaps connected to a community kitchen where people can enjoy a meal.

3) Much more and new forms of electric public transportation 

4) New systems of personal package transport, perhaps a multi-functional use of railway systems, automated systems.

5) horticulture elements, this is something you see in garden parks, but it could be integrated in our streets as well. In the sketch you see specific trees used to create a “living" passage. This brings shelter against wind, rain and sun plus it brings green into the city and a rise of biodiversity.

6) Many roofs are not suited to be used as green roofs but there are a lot of new interesting techniques and tools to enhance the roofs so they can become greener. Shown here is an adapted roof that can host a rich variety of plants.

7) An obvious but important one, getting rid of concrete and pavement and replacing it with newer healthier materials that can let the water infiltrate. Perhaps materials and designs that allow plants to grow.

8) raised bed gardens everywhere so people can grow their crops nearby their homes, this is akin to the typical city community gardens (often outside the city center);

9) Natural based systems: water purification with reed beds, more wadi systems and more open water elements, they can make it possible that people can have contact with water.

10) Enough potential for local shop owners : a community garden center: people can come here to learn about urban permaculture , they can get assistance from professionals , they can swap seeds and plants , they can get advice and follow courses , they can get harvested foods …

11) herbs spiral : people can get medicinal and healthy herbs close by their homes, bit by bit people get familiar again with plants and all their uses.

12) A large diversity of fauna and flora, even large predatory birds, on a longer term if our cities become greener more species should be able to live close to humans.

13) More infrastructure for bikes and lightweight electric vehicles.

14) Grazing animals can help maintaining grass fields.

15) A chicken hen with a chicken fertilizer system — fertilizer can be used to grow local foods.

16) More use of natural materials, fences can be made with branches , this used to be a common technique used for fencing in the agricultural landscape.

17) Small scale urban agroforestry practices , micro forests , food forests.

18) Another example of multi function workshop store. A plastic recycle fablab workspace . People come bring their old plastic materials, the tools are there ready to use. One can shred old plastic and create filament and 3D print products.

A fine example is the precious plastic project.

19) Recycled benches being used in the public space

20) A new range of multi purpose electric vehicles can be used perhaps in a cooperative share-system.

Nuremberg: retrofiited street


Floating city design



Drinking-water reservoir 


Platform control building: wheelhouse, chart room, radio and telecommunication room. The terraced structure is build with the Utilihab construction kit. 


Windmills with flexible, inflated blades that can adjust their profile to the force of the wind


Solar panels + rain water collector 


Primary rainwater collecting / reservoir system


Secondary rainwater collecting / reservoir system


Solar concentrator, connected to the community kitchen 


Electricity generators


Drone station 


Technical rooms for all the roof installations, made with repurposed cargo shipping containers 


Telecom tower, radar scanners, radio mast 


Airship & airship landing area


Foldable “sunflower” solar-panel field, attached on an open roof (so the rain can come through)


Community kitchen 


Uma Lengge A-frame houses 


Computer rooms 


Drying kelp / seaweed. 


Batak Toba house deck 


Hanging pods


Vertical tubes used to grow crops


Food forest


AUV: autonomous underwater vehicle, used to monitor seaweed / kelp 


Modular approach: The entire floating village consists out of multiple smaller floating units. They are connected to each other. Each unit can be constructed separately and adapted depending on the needs. Each platform can count several levels. The modular approach makes it possible for the village to expand incrementally.


Tug boats: Used to tow and push the platform village. They ease maneuvering operations.


PSP platform: Pneumatically Stabilized Platforms


Monorail for maritime robots: the robot can click onto the rail and it can transport its load (mostly sea food) to the higher decks.


Seaweed, Kelp mariculture 


Mussel socks 


Small vessels used to harvest the food


Electric Azimuth thruster: they have a variable pitch, the angle can be changed. They are used to propel the platform and for active station-keeping.


Lower deck: This deck is not used for residential purposes. The deck can be overflown by (higher) incoming waves. Some equipment and technical rooms can be found here. Everything here can be anchored to the deck and can be protected against sea water. The deck can be used to deliver and ship goods. 


Heavy equipment can be attached to the deck plate and protected with seawater proof materials. 

(repair parts, machines, jet skis, lifeboats, speedboats, catamarans, marine construction cranes, gantry cranes…)


Technical rooms, workshops, storage


Technical room  for the drive motor from the azimuth thruster. Designed with recycled plates from ship hulls.


Back-up anchor and anchor chain, used in shallow waters.


Elevator: it can go to just underneath sea level


Mbaru Niang houses 


Protective wall




Fresh water pond 


Rumah Adat, vernacular Indonesian architecture


Protective shield: it can be lowered down to protect the 1st residential level against bad weather 


Sumba houses and hanging bridges


Town hall