Inhabitat and Dwell have posted the twenty finalists in their ReBurbia contest, which asked architects, planners, and other malcontents to dream up a new version of the suburbs. The leader in online polling right now is Airbia, which employs airships "designed to form an additional network over the urban tissue." LivaBlox combines big box stores with shipping container living, fitting the latter into the former, with add-ons for rainwater and solar energy collection. There's also the potentially dystopian Radial Erect-Urbia, which involves "3000 ft mobile tower-cranes [that] toddle towards suburban communities where they proceed to drill deep footings at the center of their cores into the earth and outstretch their tripod legs over a 2000 ft radius of suburb." Didn't that happen in Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds?
There are plenty of useful (and less scary) plans for LA's 72 suburbs in search of a city in the batch too, like the Parasite Catalyst, which puts wind turbines on freeways to harvest energy from passing cars, although you'd probably have to get the freeways moving for that to work well. There's also Vehiforce, which turns garages into power plants using the weight of a car; puRE, which converts swimming pools into water-treatment plants; and the Modular Train, whose mini-car on demand trains might catch on here in Autopia. Then there's Entrepreneurbia, which "simply abolishes poorly conceived zoning laws to attract forward-thinking small business owners and start-up companies."
My, what would John Cheever think? Check out all the finalists at ReBurbia's site, and vote through August 17.
· Top Twenty Finalists [ReBurbia]
· Help Save Suburbia! [Curbed LA]