This is one of them.
I recently saw a discussion started on the LinkedIn forums by a journalist and I occasionally return to the subject in my mind, attempting to contemplate all of the ramifications of such a societal shift of concentrating a population in one massive building, rather than having the urban core/suburban setup we do now.
You can read an article on this subject (I was quoted for the piece, making use of my Facility Management perspective) , which appears to be the first in a series. That was my knee-jerk first reaction, but, I find my thoughts branching out much more now. I liked what some of the non-engineering responders had to say.
The thought of hyperstructures don’t exactly mesh with my view of the future (see my recent speculative article “Will Urban Planning Change Drastically in the Future?“, which was sparked by environmental concerns and the LinkedIn discussion. Also, these articles on a planned community that Jimmy Bergmark mentioned, Dongtan, from Wired and Arup. It is an ‘eco-city’ being built in China.). But, I still find it fun to speculate.
Now, I can’t find an actual dictionary which defines ‘hyperstructure’ in the intended context. Historically, it’s been a mathematical term.
So, I’ll use the definition of the word Mega-Structure instead, which is used in a follow-up article by TechNewsWorld by one of their quoted experts (Erin Jeffries of the Arcosanti Project).
Megastructure: “In science fiction and speculative (or exploratory) engineering, a megastructure is an enormous self-supporting artificial construct.” Wiki/Megastructure
‘Cities of the Future 2: If we Build them, Will we Stay?‘ gives some great examples of proposed ‘vertical cities’ around the world.
I plan two future posts on this topic. One, on my ideas of the possible socio-economic effects. The other, on environmental health & safety and building.
For now, take a look at some additional resources:
National Geographic Series on MegaStructures (this looks awesome)
Megastructures by Paul Lucas (Strange Horizons - science fiction)
Megastructure’s relevancy to current urban design (blog review)