The Self-Sufficient City
By Miyoko Ohtake / Published by Dwell

Ideas for self-sufficient cities has been popping up with increased frequency. Earlier this year, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce announced its intent to develop a "free zone" and GCLA, a multinational landscape architecture firm based in the United Arab Emirates, presented a design called Food City(below left). Around the same time, Dutch design firm MVRDV won the Gwanggyo Power Center Competition (below right) for a self-suffficient city just south of Seoul, South Korea. The projects feature multi-level landscapes (green roofs, vertical planting and farming), circular cradle-to-cradle systems for waste products to become resources, and emphases on mixed-use spaces such as public parks that also function as grazing fields for livestock.

Previously, the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and HP, who organize the Advanced Architecture Contest, have sought out solutions for self-sufficient designs at the residential level, resulting in folding homes, pod homes, and those nestled into mountainsides and surrounded by small crops. For this contest, which is open for entries until September 28, the scale is increased to that of a self-sufficient city. Visit to submit your idea, and watch out for the finalists and winner to be announced in January 2010 and selected projects to tour the globe in a traveling exhibition thereafter.

Miyoko Ohtake


When not writing, Miyoko Ohtake can be found cooking, training for her next marathon, and enjoying all that the City by the Bay and the great outdoors have to offer.

Everybody loves feedback. Be the first to add a comment.
The author will be notified whenever new comments are added.
Dwell Life © 2016Download our iOS App

We’re inviting you to join us to create a place where we can inspire and share with each other every day, collaborate on collections, projects and stories, ask questions, discuss and debate ideas.

Log in