There are countless benefits to urbanization. Preserving flora and fauna isn’t one of them. The more people you’ve got in a city, the less room it has for things that aren’t people.
So here’s a wacky proposal from the Dutch architects Waterstudio.nl: Build urban wildlife habitats on water (something plenty of cities have in spades).
Sea Trees would be big, lush, tiered towers that rise up offshore, whether in a lake, a river, or the sea, and create floating preserves for plants and animals. Think of them as elaborate city parks (except humans aren’t allowed). A bonus: Their “trunks” would extend beneath the water, providing habitats for aquatic creatures, too.
That might sound like an awfully far-fetched idea, but as the world’s metropolises grow (and grow and grow), Sea Trees could be key to ensuring that city wildlife doesn’t get squeezed out.
As for implementation: It’s hard to imagine that cash-strapped cities would shell out to build what’s effectively an urban Noah’s Ark, no matter what the environmental payoff. So Waterstudio.nl’s hope is that large oil companies foot the bill. In doing so, they could show “their concern for a better city environment,” the architects say. Oil companies showing what for the environment? Maybe this really is too far-fetched.