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Carbon-Neutral Ziggurat Could House 1.1 Million In Dubai 393

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the big-brother's-wet-dream dept.
Engadget is reporting that a new pyramid-shaped city of the future, dubbed a "Ziggurat," is being touted by Dubai-based environmental design company, Timelinks. Claiming that their design allows for an almost self-sufficient energy footprint and, obviously, economy of space, the real trick would be getting 1.1 million people to live in such close proximity. "Martijn Kramer, managing director of The International Institute for the Urban Environment told WAN: 'As a general reaction the Ziggurat Project is viable from a technical point of view. However reflecting from a more sustainable holistic approach we do wonder if the food supply and waste system are taken care for, as the concept seems rather based upon carbon neutrality and energy saving.' Kramer's initial reaction to 'Ziggurat' also raises a very important issue: are people willing to live in a mega building of 2.3 sq km? Will the thought of living in a machine comfort people?"
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Carbon-Neutral Ziggurat Could House 1.1 Million In Dubai

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  • by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Monday August 25, 2008 @04:56PM (#24742311) Homepage Journal

    Will the thought of living in a machine comfort people?

    Let's find out from some people who live in an actual machine. Morpheus, what do you think?

    Morpheus: The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.

    for an opposing viewpoint, let's ask Cypher. Cypher?

    Cypher: You know, I know this steak doesn't exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize?
    [Takes a bite of steak]
    Cypher: Ignorance is bliss.

    and, finally, for another insight, we'll ask Agent Smith:

    Agent Smith: Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost. Some believed we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe that, as a species, human beings define their reality through suffering and misery. The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from. Which is why the Matrix was redesigned to this: the peak of your civilization.

  • right up till... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday August 25, 2008 @04:57PM (#24742317) Homepage Journal

    Someone crashes a A340F full of explosives into it. Or sets fires in it, or...
    Well you get the idea. Good idea but a great target.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 25, 2008 @05:03PM (#24742419)
      Ok, ok, we'll build a fence around it. Sheesh!
    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      What? Violence in the Middle East? Naw...
      • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday August 25, 2008 @05:31PM (#24742893) Homepage Journal

        Be fair. It could happen any place.
        Toyko, Oklahoma, or the Middle East.
        One of the sad rules of the Universe is that it is a lot easier to destroy than to create. It only takes a few evil nut jobs willing to die to create a lot of misery.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          One of the sad rules of the Universe is that it is a lot easier to destroy than to create.

          And unlike most scientific experiments, this one can be proven with a simple adult vs. toddler scenario in a sandbox... ;)

    • Re:right up till... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by merreborn (853723) on Monday August 25, 2008 @05:15PM (#24742643) Journal

      right up till... Someone crashes a A340F full of explosives into it. Or sets fires in it, or...
      Well you get the idea. Good idea but a great target.

      I just saw the NOVA episode about NIST's report on the WTC collapse.

      One interesting fact they mentioned: in the event of a disaster, sky scrapers are not designed to be evacuated. There isn't enough room in the stairwells to get thousands of people down dozens of floors in a timely fashion.

      In the event of fire, people are supposed to generally stay in place, while a few floors near the fire are evacuated. Fire is then fought in place on the effected floors.

      If it's not possible to get a few thousand people out of the WTC in an hour or two, then there's no way you'll ever evacuate a million people from a single building.

      • One word (Score:5, Funny)

        by AshtangiMan (684031) on Monday August 25, 2008 @05:18PM (#24742691)
        slides.
      • by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Monday August 25, 2008 @05:41PM (#24742999) Journal

        It's pretty dangerous to exit a skyscraper from the side halfway up. A pyramid, however, can have dozens of exits all over it's surface. They may not be all that safe, depending on the slope, but better than straight down. After all, it's an emergency exit.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by TheRaven64 (641858)

          Even if you can't exit all of the way up, a pyramid has a much higher ratio of ground-level surface area to volume than a tower. Every level you descend increases the area at that level, meaning you can devote more space to stair wells lower down, which makes bottlenecks less probably. In a tower, increasing the height makes no difference to the ground area (and, thus, the number of exits). Increasing the height of a pyramid increases the ground area, potentially increasing the number of exits.

          A pyramid

      • Re:right up till... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by kabocox (199019) on Monday August 25, 2008 @05:59PM (#24743255)

        One interesting fact they mentioned: in the event of a disaster, sky scrapers are not designed to be evacuated. There isn't enough room in the stairwells to get thousands of people down dozens of floors in a timely fashion.
        In the event of fire, people are supposed to generally stay in place, while a few floors near the fire are evacuated. Fire is then fought in place on the effected floors.
        If it's not possible to get a few thousand people out of the WTC in an hour or two, then there's no way you'll ever evacuate a million people from a single building.

        Did you just not get it? Why would you evacuate a city or large skyscraper if you didn't have to? Sure, fires can spread quickly, but has NY been burnt to the ground by a few random fires in its sky scrappers? Nope, that city seems to be still standing. If we've figured out how to build single building skyscrapers that can isolate a fire and most of the surrounding floors barely notice, why don't you think we can design an entire city like that? You don't evacuate everything, only the isolated areas that are currently dangerous. This is like whining that NY is doomed if any single one of its skyscrapers burned because there would be the potential that the fire could spread to the rest of the city. Here is a clue. Dubai like NY has a fire department and will design such structures so most people don't have to leave their spots when the fire fighters pop by to put the random fire out.

        This is like complaining that just in case the structure is hit by a nuke there wouldn't be an easy way to get people out and house them afterward. Heck, any city of 1 million that was hit by a nuke wouldn't be able to move the people or house its refugees. I'd be more worried about industrial air pollution laws within the structure to keep the air quality higher than outside.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Teancum (67324)

        The WTC was a disaster waiting to happen for a whole bunch of reasons. The evacuation plans that had been put into place when the building was built weren't even followed, nor was there any sort of realistic thought given in terms of practically evacuating that building complex.

        There were issues like fire exits sealed by sheetrock (with desks+cubicles put in their place), a design failure of the stairwells themselves, and an evacuation plan that hadn't been reviewed for well over 20 years by the tenants of

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hemp (36945)

        You realize that out of the 50,000 people in both towers, only 2,823 died, with 105 classified as still missing?

        That is a 94.2% survival rate in 1 hour 48 minutes.

    • Re:right up till... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Thelasko (1196535) on Monday August 25, 2008 @05:20PM (#24742723) Journal

      Someone crashes a A340F full of explosives into it. Or sets fires in it, or...

      If it's that large, nothing short of a nuke will take it out quickly. A big fire might take it out eventually, but it will take a while.

      You did remind me of something though.

      the real trick would be getting 1.1 million people to live in such close proximity.

      Why not put the poor in there? Putting poor people in close proximity housing [wikipedia.org] is a great idea!

      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        You don't have to destroy it destroy it.
        A few hundred thousand dieing in a panic rush to the exits. If fire that suffocates a few thousand while leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.
        Remember the WTC wasn't taken out by the planes but the fire.

      • Re:right up till... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Monday August 25, 2008 @05:47PM (#24743095) Journal

        If it's that large, nothing short of a nuke will take it out quickly. A big fire might take it out eventually, but it will take a while.

        Looking at the concept art [worldarchi...renews.com], it looks like a fire would have a hard time spreading throughout the structure.

    • by Daimanta (1140543)

      That's not a problem since the Blizzard devs anticipated this. They set ziggurat base armor to 5 ;)

    • by WrongMonkey (1027334) on Monday August 25, 2008 @06:10PM (#24743431)
      Great plan. Let's not build anything cool because it might get blown up by terrorists.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by vertinox (846076)

      Someone crashes a A340F full of explosives into it. Or sets fires in it, or...

      Well make it out of something that doesn't burn or collapse in on itself if partially damaged by a large object.

      A building that size could be built with enough shock absorbing material to basically survive a ship tanker dropped from orbit.

  • Cool! (Score:5, Informative)

    by cashman73 (855518) on Monday August 25, 2008 @04:58PM (#24742343) Journal
    Dubai considering building Arcologies [wikipedia.org]! =)
    • Re:Cool! (Score:5, Funny)

      by TinheadNed (142620) on Monday August 25, 2008 @05:10PM (#24742553) Homepage

      Massive massive props to them. I could never get the population up high enough in Sim City 2000. What was it, about 90000 required before you could build them?

      Give them 10 years and they'll get bored and turn the disasters back on.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tumbleweed (3706) *

      Dubai considering building Arcologies! =)

      Paolo Soleri would be so proud, especially since it's being conceived as almost carbon-neutral. Soleri's latest project, Arcosanti, doesn't seem to be catching on (only 3% completed since 1970?!). Then again, most Americans aren't all that hip on living in a desert.

  • vapor? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Un pobre guey (593801) on Monday August 25, 2008 @04:59PM (#24742353) Homepage
    The blurb is certainly buzzword compliant, but where are the specs and data? On the face of it, the project is utterly ludicrous, but sounds really cool.

    Who cares? Show us something real.

    • > The blurb is certainly buzzword compliant, but where are the specs and data?

      Yea, but utter BS. Which greens eat up without question, notice the Slashdot editors did.

      Carbon neutral my ass. That sucker is going to need either a huge electric feedline or an internal nuke plant and since it is a 'green' project nukes are out of the question. (Half of a tech site such as this are dead set against anything with the N word attached, in the general green crowd it approaches 100% enough to egnore the outride

      • Half of a tech site such as this are dead set against anything with the N word attached.

        What's wrong with Naked? You some sort of prude?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Plugh (27537)
      I predict the "ziggurat" will be carbon-neutral in the same way "Biosphere 2 [wikipedia.org]" is a "closed environment".
  • by Stanistani (808333) on Monday August 25, 2008 @04:59PM (#24742355) Homepage Journal

    People can live in very different conditions if their basic needs are met, if there is a cultural web to participate in, and if they have control over their personal space and possibility of advancement.

    I see challenges of propinquity here, but there are very crowded, thriving urban environments to use as examples.

    The key question to answer is: What is the reason for the people to live there, rather than somewhere else? That's the question that builds cities - or ghost towns.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      People can live in very different conditions if their basic needs are met...

      Sex. There, that's my basic need. Sooooo, 1.1 million people in close proximity = The worlds largest Toga party? Sweeeet.

      The key question to answer is: What is the reason for the people to live there...

      Refer to my previous answer for my real reason. Now, where are all the hot chicks?

    • by Xelios (822510)
      Blazing fast internet connections among 1.1 million people and the biggest LAN parties the world has ever seen.
    • by gregbot9000 (1293772) <mckinleg@csusb.edu> on Monday August 25, 2008 @05:44PM (#24743047) Journal
      I often think that people in the west hold too much of the world to their ideals. Sure people from the US suburbs might not like living in such close proximity.

      Dharavi, which is probably Asia's largest slum, has roughly 1 million people living on roughly 2 sq. kilometers already and is damn low in carbon footprint, with most things done by hand. The Fact that they can design a building to do the same isn't that impressive, What would be impressive is if they can do it without turning the lower floors into slave pens.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Alsee (515537)

        if they can do it without turning the lower floors into slave pens.

        That's not necessarily a deal-breaker.
        Just so long as I get to live upstairs, of course.

        -

  • by SlipperHat (1185737) on Monday August 25, 2008 @04:59PM (#24742361)
    "My life for Aiur! ... Uh I mean Ner'Zhul."
  • by Colin Smith (2679) on Monday August 25, 2008 @04:59PM (#24742365)

    Carbon and energy neutral food I mean?

     

  • by heroine (1220) on Monday August 25, 2008 @05:03PM (#24742415) Homepage

    For all the billions Calif* spends propping up worthless mortgages, it could build gigantic ziggurats & actually house people.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Otter (3800)
      As with mass transit, that's a great idea that everyone would support someone else taking advantage of. Are you interested in living in a ziggurat in Bakersfield? (Although at least it's culturally and climatically preferable to Dubai.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by wumpus188 (657540)
      Well then obviously their Calif is not up to the task. Maybe they should try to get Emir too.
  • Willingness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rob Kaper (5960) on Monday August 25, 2008 @05:04PM (#24742427) Homepage

    are people willing to live in a mega building of 2.3 sq km?

    Sure, why not. It's not like there won't be parks, squares, expedition, lanes, views.. dense cities are essentially one mega building already.

    • Re:Willingness (Score:5, Interesting)

      by xstonedogx (814876) <xstonedogx@gmail.com> on Monday August 25, 2008 @06:13PM (#24743461)

      I have some conditions:

      I would only live there if the ziggurat itself was owned by the public and maintained with taxes. The public spaces, police department, fire department, and etc should all be cared for by the 'city'. I don't want to live in a huge gigantic apartment complex "cared for" by some corporation. Apartment complexes suck enough without the added problem of having to leave the _city_ in order to get away from a bad landlord.

      I would want to be able to own, buy, and sell "land" in the ziggurat the same way I can own, buy, and sell real land, condos, and etc.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by NtroP (649992)

        I have some conditions:

        I would only live there if the ziggurat itself was owned by the public and maintained with taxes. The public spaces, police department, fire department, and etc should all be cared for by the 'city'. I don't want to live in a huge gigantic apartment complex "cared for" by some corporation. Apartment complexes suck enough without the added problem of having to leave the _city_ in order to get away from a bad landlord.

        I would want to be able to own, buy, and sell "land" in the ziggurat the same way I can own, buy, and sell real land, condos, and etc.

        Because we all know how good the *government* is at efficiently and fairly managing and caring for it's resources.

  • by GroeFaZ (850443) on Monday August 25, 2008 @05:05PM (#24742463)
    People live in large ships today which are much more of a machine and where there is decidedly less personal space, and, while on cruise, there is no chance for a change of scenery whatsoever.

    People live in large blocks of flats today, and would anyone really prefer ugly, grey, and box-shaped over clean, high-tech, and pyramid-shaped?
  • by randomErr (172078) <ervin.koschNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday August 25, 2008 @05:07PM (#24742491) Homepage Journal

    Resistance is futile. We are Dubai.

  • ...for a suite with a window seat when the arcology launches into space?

    -oh wait, this isn't SC2k.

  • Book Plug (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blair1q (305137) on Monday August 25, 2008 @05:10PM (#24742555) Journal

    I don't remember much else about this book, but the idea of a giant city-building stands out.

    _Oath of Fealty_, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

    http://www.amazon.com/Oath-Fealty-Larry-Niven/dp/0671532278 [amazon.com]

  • by topham (32406) on Monday August 25, 2008 @05:10PM (#24742557) Homepage

    I got not particular problem with spending a substantial amount of time indoors. I like to get out in nature now and then too, but within a city? Who cares?
    I do however like decent view.

    If the hallways are design appropriately, and there are some largish open spaces within also designed appropriately it's an easy sale.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by mapsjanhere (1130359)
      Well, here are a few numbers for you. With a 2.3 km^2 base you have a base length of 1.5 km. Assuming a classic Cheops shape, that gives you a height of 1 km, and a surface area of about 10.8 km^2, and .8 km^3 volume. So while you have 700 m^3 per inhabitant (or 300 m^2 assuming a 2.3 m ceiling), you only have less than 10 m^2 surface area. You will end up with a lot of long hallways, and one window in the last room. More likely, you will end up with 100,000 people having very nice window apartments, a
  • Arcology (Score:5, Interesting)

    by braindrainbahrain (874202) on Monday August 25, 2008 @05:11PM (#24742577)
    Architect Paolo Solieri [wikipedia.org] predicted this sort of thing decades ago. He designed several self contained cities he dubbed Arcologies [wikipedia.org].

    All predictions aside, I'd be surprised to see this ever happen. After all, the first one [wikipedia.org] built in Arizonba never did fare that well.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by stoolpigeon (454276) *

      I grew up in Arizona, and my dad took us to visit Arconsanti when I was in grade school. It was an interesting afternoon. It was pretty obvious then (late 70s) that it was not going anywhere. I'm really surprised it's still there. I always point at it when we go by on our way back to Phoenix from Strawberry. Should probably take my kids while I can.
       
      This kind of thing is always much, much easier to think up, draw, plan, etc. than to actually build and use.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by maglor_83 (856254)

      All predictions aside, I'd be surprised to see this ever happen. After all, the first one [wikipedia.org] built in Arizonba never did fare that well.

      Yeah, because if the first one doesn't work, there's not a hope for anything else even remotely like it.

  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Monday August 25, 2008 @05:14PM (#24742621) Journal

    Culture obviously plays into whether or not folks would be willing to live in something that is hyper-dense or not.

    OTOH, something that doesn't seem to be taken into account is, what happens when families change? A single guy only needs 'x' amount of space. Now when that single guy gets married*, has 4 kids, and a parent becomes decrepit/disabled and decide to move in...? Obviously there's going to be a lot of change in how much space the guy can be comfortable living in, no matter what culture we're talking about here.

    Also, what happens when some fatal communicable disease starts making the rounds? shutting folks into their 'homes' will only work for so long before even the most gregarious human being starts to get cabin fever (for lack of a better term).

    There's also the chance that the local economy could contract as well - you can only fit so much stuff into one space, and it's not like, say, Home Depot could do a whole lot besides sell wallpaper, paint, and light fixtures to the folks (just as example).

    Some folks here will happily cry against the "McMansion!" and think they're being the smartest guy in the room, but consider this: those things do get sold for a reason, especially as our society gets more and more 'crowded'... Suburbs, as much as they're derided, are actually a compromise between the comfort of wide-open spaces (and a buffer from 'the world'), and the conveniences of living in a city.

    From that point, it begins digging deeper into some fundamental human psychology - how does a human being deal with being more and more crowded in society?

    * yes, we could pack the city with programmers and handily solve the marriage problem, but we're talking people here...

    • OTOH, something that doesn't seem to be taken into account is, what happens when families change?

      The same thing that happens now.

      it's not like, say, Home Depot could do a whole lot besides sell wallpaper, paint, and light fixtures to the folks (just as example).

      They can't do more than that to apartment/condo owners either.

      This is essentially a mega-sized apartment building. The problems it has will likely be patterned on those same problems.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Grishnakh (216268)

        So after you get sick of the Ziggurat building owners jacking up your rent astronomically every year when your lease renews (even though new tenants get far lower rates), you have to move to a totally different city?

        And if the building owners also run the police, the court system, etc., then what's your recourse when your landlord refuses to fix the broken plumbing?

        This doesn't sound like a very good idea at all.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kabocox (199019)

      OTOH, something that doesn't seem to be taken into account is, what happens when families change? A single guy only needs 'x' amount of space. Now when that single guy gets married*, has 4 kids, and a parent becomes decrepit/disabled and decide to move in...? Obviously there's going to be a lot of change in how much space the guy can be comfortable living in, no matter what culture we're talking about here.

      Also, what happens when some fatal communicable disease starts making the rounds? shutting folks into

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by vertinox (846076)

      OTOH, something that doesn't seem to be taken into account is, what happens when families change? A single guy only needs 'x' amount of space. Now when that single guy gets married*, has 4 kids, and a parent becomes decrepit/disabled and decide to move in...? Obviously there's going to be a lot of change in how much space the guy can be comfortable living in, no matter what culture we're talking about here.

      The same thing they do in NYC or Tokyo where real estate is a premium:

      Make do.

      There has been one compe

  • by Phoenix666 (184391) on Monday August 25, 2008 @05:16PM (#24742653)

    as are varied views within the structure. No one wants to live in a big, faceless glass box, nor look at big, faceless glass boxes. But if you have a large structure with integrated greenspace and human-scale details within the superstructure, to help fix the eye and give a sense of place, then it's not hard to imagine a million people living within it happily.

    Think Central Park--There are tens of thousands of people in it at any given time, but because it's made of little hills and dales and stands of trees you never see more than 20 people at one time and it doesn't feel crowded. If you did a similar thing in three dimensions it could work.

  • The Machine Stops (Score:3, Interesting)

    by McGregorMortis (536146) on Monday August 25, 2008 @05:19PM (#24742707)

    Will the thought of living in a machine comfort people?

    Not if they've read the short-story The Machine Stops [wikipedia.org] by E.M. Forster.

  • I'm not sure how that would work. A family of four would have a total of 99 square feet, IF the entire thing was devoted to living space, which it won't be. Otherwise, it's down to 24 square feet if you have individual places, and I don't know many people who want to live in a 4x6 room, about the room of a small bathroom.
  • For some reason I look at this and that's the image I get. Killing all the residents as they reach age 30 would sure go a long way towards remaining carbon neutral. Especially when you add in a little "Soylent Green" action.

  • I wonder if it will go the way of Biosphere 2 [wikipedia.org], another attempt at a self-contained living environment from the 90's

  • ...the real trick would be getting 1.1 million people to live in such close proximity.

    Make it a prison. Of course that would only hold 1/2 of the U.S. prison population of 2.3 million (first in the World - go USA!), but almost 2/3 of Chinia'a of 1.6 million (not counting, umm, "administrative" detainees). Using recent stats, about 9 Ziggurats should hold them all.

  • Who Came First (Score:2, Interesting)

    by AngrySup (1003688)
    Gibson, Niven, Pournell, the Matrix, they're all 'Jonny come lately's. The earliest mentions I recall are Asimov with "City" and "Caves of Steel" and Paolo Solieri with his archologies. Who was really first?
    • Re:Who Came First (Score:4, Informative)

      by mr_mischief (456295) on Monday August 25, 2008 @06:08PM (#24743391) Journal

      The silent film "Metropolis" predates "Caves of Steel" by a few decades. It doesn't bother to explain how the city is self-reliant and carbon neutrality is never an issue. It is very much about having a rich upper class living above a poor lower class and taking advantage of their willingness to serve in the dark squalor of the depths of the city.

  • ...had an episode on something similar check it out...really cool stuff.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I35RApAByXM/ [youtube.com]

  • Smoke and Mirrors (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mrboyd (1211932) on Monday August 25, 2008 @06:03PM (#24743309)
    Welcome to Dubai everyone where the greatest design meets the big money and the best projects a build out of nothing but desert sands.... OR NOT...

    I can answer his question about whether "food supply and waste system are taken care for" the answer is NO. Dubai sewerage system has been operating at twice its capacity for a couple of years and the new plant which is due in a couple of years is already not enough.

    For a quick overview of how glitzy this town really is you can check those:
    2 weeks sewerage flood
    http://www.gulfnews.com/Nation/Society/10225546.html [gulfnews.com]

    This was only one "small" issue amongst too many to list. The government and whatever service in charge were overwhelmed and incapable to do anything to fix it. Or didn't care. Let's note that the residential complex has been built about 250 meters away from the sewerage treatment plant. Smell of shit can be enjoyed night and day there even where there is no flood. glitzy..

    Dubai is about glitz and money, big tower and man made island but all that is nothing but smoke and mirror, the reality is that the town has not much to live up to the reputation it is trying to build for itself by announcing mega-project over mega-project while finishing none of them.
    • Palm Island: Delayed. Some apartments were released and the outside walls started cracking due to foundation issues. Who would have thought building on wet sand would be tough. :)
    • World shaped Island: Delayed.. no one talks about it anymore around here. Full media blackout. Official statement is "Everything has been sold, we are on track". On track for what? when? no one knows. I doubt anyone ever bought any of those island. For half the price you'd get your own real island in SE Asia where the weather is nicer and the repression is much gentler.
    • Burj Dubai, biggest tower in the world. Well according the the view by my window... Delayed
    • Dubai Mall (biggest mall in the world, or so it says): Was supposed to open two weeks back in August but when I passes by it yesterday they were still busy pouring concrete.

    I could go on and on with my rant. I just want to add that we live behind a filtering proxy that bars any website that dares commenting against the UAE and it is very well possible that slashdot will go bye bye for a few days because of this comment. Just as it already did last year.

    Forget about mega-projects announced by Dubai Gov or related entities. It's nothing but an attention whoring press release from a city that would love to play in the big league.

    If you care to come around to verify that by yourself you're welcome but be careful what you pack though: http://thetruthaboutdubai.com/?p=4 [thetruthaboutdubai.com]

  • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Monday August 25, 2008 @06:29PM (#24743697)

    Sure, it'll be all fun and games ... until a Goa'uld ship lands on it. Then, not so much.

  • by Simonetta (207550) on Monday August 25, 2008 @06:36PM (#24743789)

    Jeez, am I the only Slashdaughter that realizes that this is not meant to be a 'city in a building' or a theme park or an oasis, it's meant to be a prison.

        The Wackenhut of the world. Every country in the world can send their political prisoners, their purse-snatchers, uppity minorities, and urine-test-failers to Dubai. Where, for a small fee, they will be housed in the biggest, meanest, most-escape-proof, hope-for-humanity-crushing, prison that world has ever seen.

        And if the payments stop coming from the original country for the prisoner, they just get chucked outside. Naked. To die in the 120 degree F sun! No mess, no fuss, no packed airplanes dumping political prisoners into the South Atlantic Argentina-style!

        Hell, Dubai will even pick-up your prisoners in their old surplus Emirate Airlines Boeings! Tell 'em that they're going to Sweden on an Amnesty International 'Flight to Freedom'! Hell, no one will ever know! (Amnesty International workers are sure to be the first 'guests').

        Am I the only Slashdaughter with an evil mind? Or more mature, historically-accurate world view?

        And why is Dubai building all this architectural bling in the first place?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BearRanger (945122)

      ( SNIP) And why is Dubai building all this architectural bling in the first place?

      Because Dubai's rulers recognize that they are on the downward slope of their oil production curve. They're going to run out of oil completely in a decade or two and they're making an effort to transform themselves into a world financial capital. Now, while they've got the money. If they can siphon off a bit of business from London, New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong they'll be well placed to provide for themselves in the second half of this century.

      Planning for the future and taking a longer view is a lesson

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by zobier (585066)

      Am I the only Slashdaughter

      There used to be annother one [slashdot.org] but it looks like the answer is yes, ma'am.

  • by TomRC (231027) on Monday August 25, 2008 @09:18PM (#24745639)

    Surprisingly - I don't see anyone calculating volume per person...

    2.3sqkm base means it's about 1.5km wide at the base. Looks like it'd be about 1km high from the picture. 1/3 base area * height = 0.767cu-km, or 767 million cu-m. Looks like the thing is about 3/4 open or shared space (streets, parks, corridors, elevators, theaters, stores, etc, etc), so about 190 million cu-m of living space.

    So each individual would have about 175cu-m. A family of 4 could have 700cu-m, or about 200sq-m of floor space with high ceilings - a pretty large apartment. So it isn't quite as cramped as people seem to think.

    Still, the mega-scale design is a monument to the ego of a poorly educated architect. Building collossally big is fine. Failure to build within that on a livable "human scale" is just arrogantly ignorant. It treats people as identical units to be slotted into storage compartments optimized to fit within the glorious "structure" designed by the architect.

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