The heat island effect is too serious to build cities in mid-air

When it comes to the movie "Alita: Battle Angel", in addition to being impressed by the stunning visual effects, many people will not forget this place – the city of Salem in the sky.

▲ Picture from: Douban

In fact, in many movies and TV shows, you can see cities floating in the air. These cities in the air are often symbols of utopia. It also makes many people have such an imagination: what if the future can really live in a city in the sky.

Andreas Tjeldflaat, a designer at Framlab research and design studio, started a design research project called "Oversky".

▲ Picture from: Framlab

Tjeldflaat envisions a modular system that can float in the air, exploring new urban infrastructure systems and new urban spaces, such as above urban roads and voids between buildings.

This modular system is a reference to the Zeppelin, the lighter-than-air (LTA) aircraft that is also at the heart of the "Oversky" module. Tjeldflaat used a rigid carbon fiber frame to create a light and strong case for the helium battery, which it considers a system based on a proven technology infrastructure.

▲ Picture from: Framlab

In addition, in addition to a series of different infrastructure connections, the "Oversky" modular system also includes five modules that connect the streetscape below with the "cloudscape" above, using a three-dimensional structure for people in the city Expand the space for activities.

The reason why these floating modules are called "cloudscapes" is because the inspiration for designer Tjeldflaat is "clouds" and the growing heat island effect in the city.

▲ Picture from: Framlab

In hot weather, cities full of asphalt roads are "steel forests" lined with buildings that retain more heat than suburbs. In order to cool down, people turn on the air conditioners at the same time indoors, thus releasing more greenhouse gases, and the climate of the city seems to enter a vicious circle.

Complex and changeable clouds reflect solar radiation and make the surface less hot. Using this mode, the modular system in "Oversky" can be designed to reflect heat back into the air with little or no radiation absorption, thus maintaining a surface temperature much lower than the surrounding environment.

▲ Picture from: Framlab

The researchers' tests proved that the solar panels placed in direct sunlight were still 4.9 degrees Celsius cooler than the air, meaning the system had a cooling capacity of 40.1 watts per square meter.

The geometry of the structure is designed to also transport and collect rainwater, which circulates through a thin network of pipes to cool the interior thanks to a recirculating cooling system. The water is also released in the form of a fine mist at the base of the building, and through evaporative cooling, the cloud layer can dissipate additional heat from the streets.

▲ Picture from: Framlab

In addition, the titanium dioxide coating also enables the outer surface to clean the air by breaking down pollutants in the air. The geometry below is designed for another kind of pollution – to absorb traffic noise from the road below.

“Oversky” may seem like a research project like a castle in the sky, but using passive technology to cool our cities is a bold attempt to explore zero emissions, and it also integrates the activity space of urban residents.

▲ Picture from: Framlab

Maybe one day, we can really see such a city in the sky.

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