Nüwa is the sustainable city on Mars for the future
In a case of sci-fi meets modern architectural design, ABIBOO Studio has developed a self-sustaining city that can serve the needs of one million people — on Mars.
The project is called Nüwa and is the result of participation in a competition organized by The Mars Society. Mars is a harsh place, originally not deemed livable. But ABIBOO Studio created a design that accounts for the environmental conditions by placing the vertical city on the side of a Martian cliff.
Alfredo Muñoz, founder of ABIBOO Studio explains, “If we were to construct the buildings as on Earth, the buildings would tend to explode from the pressure. The solar and gamma radiation on Mars forced us to build spaces that are not directly exposed to the sky.”
The design is actually for five cities, of which Nüwa is the capital. Each city accommodates between 200,000 and 250,000 people. Beyond the challenges of creating usable air and water for a million people on an uninhabitable planet, there is the problem of materials, supplies, and workable systems. The architects faced this by working with other academics and scientists as part of SONet to, “Come up with solutions to create structures that protect inhabitants from the radiation on Mars, ensure indirect access to sunlight, protect from potential impact from meteorites, and solve the atmospheric pressure difference between the inside and the outside of the buildings.”
Placing the capital city on the slope of the cliffs offers a location with abundant water and protection from the fierce elements of the sun and radiation. Living and working sections are developed using tubular-shaped modules that can be moved around for a modular design. All the modules incorporate green areas, urban gardens, spaces dedicated to art and systems that dissipate heat and filter the air.
Green domes resemble parks on Earth and provide space for gardening on Mars. Above the development is the Mesa, which is dedicated to manufacturing, food production and energy generation. Agricultural modules offer an automated, CO2-enriched environment that relies on hydroponics for space savings and water conservation while growing plants. Considering the full cycle, the team says, “The production of algae, cellular-meat, and bacteria for waste processing are also completed in this sector.”
Although they have factored in space for some animals, the plan calls for a diet low in animal consumption, labeling it as unsustainable for the Martian lifestyle.
Nüwa was a finalist among 175 projects submitted from around the world, but the team acknowledges, “More than 25 people from multidisciplinary fields have worked to make Nüwa a functional, unique, and feasible city on Mars.”
Images via ABIBOO Studio / SONet
Written by Dawn Hammon