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Dystopian Fantasy Lies Where Fracking Meets Urban Planning

Jason Lamb, a recent graduate of London's Bartlett School of Architecture, recently imagined fracking (or "hydraulic fracturing," the wildly controversial practice wherein companies drill into and crack open rock to get to natural gas) as an impetus for suburban revivals, drawing intricate urban fantasies that look more suited for a popular young adult franchise. Inspiration came three hours away from school, in Blackpool, England. Once a holiday destination for summering families, Blackpool's economy has been bludgeoned by a drop-off in tourists, as the well-to-do flock to the continent for vacation. Lamb says there's hope for revival. See, Blackpool sits on a big ol' bed of shale, the type of rock that bears the natural gas gleaned by fracking. He asks Wired: "With all the downside of fracking, is there a way that you could implement fracking with long term benefit to the community?"

In his thesis, Lamb proposes by way of bleak, otherworldly drawings that a Chinese company would invest in Blackpool, which would become fracking town. Seemingly ignoring critics' reports of terrible, terrible local pollution, Lamb imagines what Wired dubs a "utopian ideal for water reuse and urban farming." Though, to be clear, the drawings, which feature a fair amount of Chinese architectural motifs, are far fromhappy-go-lucky rainbow wonderlands:

· An Artist's Off-the-Wall Vision for Creating Fracking Towns [Wired via Architizer]