“A hundred years after we are gone and forgotten, those who never heard of us will be living with the results of our actions.” – Chris Luebkeman, paraphrasing Oliver Wendall Holmes Jr.
Luebkeman, director of Arup, a global design, engineering, and urban planning firm, is trying to put an end to the “Homo-Deficitus Age,” in which we spend and use more than we have. He’s helping create what he calls the world’s first completely sustainable city.
Several hundred million Chinese residents are expected to move from rural areas into cities over the next quarter-century. Dongtan, in Shanghai, will be one of those destinations. Arup is working with local officials to add the necessary homes and infrastructure while integrating sustainable practices and technology. Dongtan is designed to generate its own energy, using a variety of sources, from wind to recycled trash. Public transportation will run on hydrogen fuel cells. The city’s three villages will be surrounded by land reserved for farming.
Somewhere Holmes is surely smiling.