Can we have Vertical Eco-Cities?

Business Insider
Monday, 7th March 2016

Plans have been released for a vertical 'eco-neighbourhood' outside New Delhi. The city will include multiple green spaces and walkways, community orchards, and gardens, while the structure will be made earthquake-resistant and will be fitted with renewable energy systems.

The organic, curvilinear designs of an Avatar universe may be closer than we think. Indian agroecologist, Amlankusum and Paris-based Vincent Callebaut Architectures, have released plans for a vertical 'eco-neighborhood' called the Jaypee Green Sports City.

The compound, which would theoretically be built outside of New Delhi, is named Hyperions and consists of a set of six 36-storey towers connected by common green spaces, walkways, and shared eco-conscious utilities.

It's full of innovative details meant to optimise energy efficiency and limit environmental impact. Let's take a look at one team's vision of the future of sustainable living, below. All images courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures.

This model shows the plan for the six-tower complex, each standing 36 storeys tall. The substructure is made of steel and concrete with earthquake-resistant properties, while the superstructure consists of locally sourced solid wood.


All of the energy needed to operate the complex is produced on-site in hyper-specific methods. Wind lampposts, for instance, have wind turbines embedded within them to produce the necessary light.

From above, you can see how the design blends into the landscape, making full use of all potential for green space.


Solar energy collection is another major part of the functioning of the complex.

The design is that of a 'vertical village', with flexible spaces for businesses and coworking on the solar facade sides, while living spaces are on the sides with hydroponic greenery balconies.

You can see the solar facades on all of the south-facing exterior walls, taking advantage of the most light.


Rooftops are planted with trees and vegetation to maximise green output.

This rendering of a 'sky deck' shows off the spaciousness of the structures.


A 'permaculture greenhouse' enables self-sufficient food production.

Community orchards serve a function for both food production and community gathering spaces.


Wood is the most-used material: the designers note that it has the most limited environmental footprint during its life cycle, making it the most environmentally friendly option.

Jaypee is subject to both high temperatures and harsh winters, so a low-energy climate control system is necessary.

A 'phytopurification lagoon' at ground level serves as both a reflecting pool and a water source.


The design feels both controlled and organic.


There's even a proposed natural swimming pool for recreation.

Sky footbridges connect the towers at various levels. They are irrigated with recycled water.

Considered a 'cradle to cradle' apartment, the concept is to construct an independent and self-sufficient community.

Here's an example of the aquaponic balconies, where fruit and vegetable sources can be grown outside apartments.


Is this a unique vision for a sustainable city or a monster you would run a mile from?!

This adapted article is cross-posted from

Further resources

Can we make our cities sustainable with permaculture?

What if permaculturists designed our cities?

Edible Cities

The Permaculture City by Toby Hemenway

Ecocities by Richard Register


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