Vertical City

"Bionic Tower": A 300-story supertall building originally proposed for Hong Kong is now being considered by China's leaders for Shanghai. Its European designers describe it as a "vertical city". It would house 100,000 people and contain hotels, offices, cinemas and hospitals, effectively making it possible (not necissarily preferable) to live an entire life in one building. "Dwarfing Kuala Lumpur's twin Petronas Towers, the world's tallest buildings at 1,483ft high, it would be set in a gigantic, wheel-shaped base incorporating shopping malls and car parks." The designers have devised a root-like system of foundations that would descend 656ft, surrounded by an artificial lake to absorb vibrations caused by any earth tremors. Amazing stuff; it reminds me of the gigantic cities of The Caves of Steel, where cities spanned hundreds of miles and were ultimately self-contained (which caused a nasty fear of open spaces). Such an undertaking is an engineering nightmare. If attempted, it could quite possibly fail miserably - there are so many factors and pitfalls to be avoided, that there are bound to be some unforeseen consequences...[via /.]

If this venture is successful, however, it seems like it would be the world's first successful arcology. From the Arcologies egroup discussion:
Arcology is Paolo Soleri's concept of cities which embody the fusion of architecture with ecology. The arcology concept proposes a highly integrated and compact three-dimensional urban form that is the opposite of urban sprawl with its inherently wasteful consumption of land, energy, time and human resources. An arcology would need about two percent as much land as a typical city of similar population. Arcology eliminates the automobile from inside the city and reserves it for use outside the city. Walking would be the main form of transportation inside an arcology. The miniaturization of the city enables radical conservation of land, energy and resources. Arcology would rely as much as possible on the sun, the wind and other renewable energy so as to reduce pollution and dependence on fossil fuels. Arcology needs less energy per capita thus making recycling and the use of solar energy more feasible than in present cities.