Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut is adding another line to the long list of wacky plans for urban settings. His idea? Lily pads. Well, sustainable floating cities inspired by lily pads. It seems biomimicry is all the rage in cities of the future, what with the fog-sucking amoebas to be suspended above San Francisco and the strange faux islands that may emerge off the coast of Turkey, and these chrome-and-carbon pads are just as outlandish and overtly synthetic as the other nature-inspired plans.
Like other ideas for floating cities, Callebaut's "Lilypad," which was proposed in 2008 and showcased recently in a Flavorwire roundup, is designed to provide refuge for those displaced by rising sea levels. Each "ecopolis," as the architect calls them, accommodates 50,000 people, fake hills "dedicated to the work, the shops and the entertainments," suspended gardens, an artificial lagoon, and "streets and alleyways with organic outline." The whole structure would supposedly be carbon neutral, though—surprise, surprise—the architect seems to gloss over the details as to how. Some other pipe-dream details? Well, the entire bobbing colossus, suspended in open water and meant to waft through the oceans, is "dedicated to the nomadism of the sea." And kumbayas abound in this buoyant utopia, which will be composed of "overwhelming spaces of social inclusion." Another look: