Vertical City: The future project to populate the Sahara desert.

The Parisian architecture firm OXO Architectes and Nicolas Laisné Associés revealed a proposal for a futuristic mixed-use tower – or “vertical city” – that promotes sustainable high density living in the Sahara desert. The conceptual project calls for the tower to be run using renewable sources including rainwater collection, solar power, and geothermal energy.

The technology slated for the build is very ambitious. According to the estimations, up to 45,000 cubic meters (1,589,160 cubic ft) of rainwater would be collected annually in an area known for its aridity and used for various purposes. Most significantly, it would be injected roughly 4 km (2.4 miles) deep underground, at which point the earth’s heat would turn the water into steam. This steam would then channeled to the surface and used to power a generator that produces electricity and heats water for the tower’s heating systems. The same rainwater would also be used to irrigate the internal vertical garden and for toilet needs, with greywater recycled too.

Additional power would come from solar panels and the interior temperature would be partly managed using natural ventilation.

The brief imagines work starting on the project in 2025, with construction phased over 50 years.

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