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2010年6月11日 (金)

Construction company plans to build floating eco-friendly city in equatorial waters


srachai from khonkaen, thailand

(Mainichi Japan) June 11, 2010
Construction company plans to build floating eco-friendly city in equatorial waters

Japanese construction giant Shimizu Corp. plans to build a gigantic residential tower that will float in waters near the equator in an attempt to open the door to new environmental solutions.

The construction firm aims to build a futuristic floating residential quarter in the ocean near the equator within the next 15 years, in association with leading brokerage Nomura Securities Co. and the Super Collaborative Graduate School association -- a joint academic project of 14 Japanese universities.

The tower -- which will be around 1,000 meters in height and 2,000 to 3,000 meters in diameter -- is designed to be a complete self-sufficient community that can accommodate some 30,000 to 50,000 residents.

The residential space will be located in the upper 300 meters of the structure, where on the equator, there are no strong winds, nor is there a need for air-conditioning, with average temperatures hovering around 26 and 28 degrees Celsius throughout the year. Every facility on the floating island will be accessible on foot. Shimizu proudly describes it as the "ultimate compact city."

The bowl-shaped top of the tower is for collecting and storing rainwater, and household waste from residents will be recycled and used at a plant factory located on the building's mid-level floors and on a marine farm to be constructed along the coastline.

According to Shimizu, temperature differences between upper and lower levels of the building creates natural air circulation, and the tower can generate electricity without producing carbon dioxide by using solar power and ocean thermal energy conversion technologies.

"We would like to make it a utopia that belongs to no particular state," says Makoto Kajitani, director of the Super Collaborative Graduate School project director and president of the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo.

Shimizu Corp. President Yoichi Miyamoto stresses that the initiative is aimed at breaking through the feeling plaguing young Japanese that the world cannot change. According to Osaka University President Kiyokazu Washida, today's young people" have never experienced having a better tomorrow in their life." Shimizu said he launched a project team mainly consisting of young employees and made them draw up the innovative concept from scratch.

The Japanese government has also announced that it will promote innovations in environmental technologies as a main pillar of the country's growth strategy. As seen in the example of the U.S. Apollo mission, technological breakthroughs can only be achieved by setting out ambitious and specific goals.

Japan's new Prime Minister Naoto Kan, known for being one of the rare ministers who graduated from an engineering institute, also expressed his concerns over the sense of stagnation that exists among the public during his inaugural press conference on Tuesday. His leadership ability will be tested in the coming days as his government hopes to stimulate economic growth through technological evolution.






毎日新聞 2010年6月11日 東京朝刊


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