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Overview: “The Green Micronation” urban project for Liberland

Friends,

While we continue to work on our first boat settlements, our team thought it would be interesting for you to learn about some of the eco-solutions proposed by our partners that would turn Liberland into a functional country despite its miniature size. Every single project from our past competition presented a bit of genius in terms of sustainable green living, and together, the ideas that they embody might be quite the inspiration to you and even your own community.

Have a closer look on plans made by our friends from Italy’s Studio Bianchi Architettura who scored the 5th place for their massive “spaceship” design.

(This is an unedited submission directly from the studio)


The Green Micronation

Introduction

Two time Pulitzer Prize winner Edward Wilson, in his book: Half earth, wrote: Today every nation in the world has a protected-area system of some kind. All together the reserves occupy 15 percent of earth’s land area and 2.8 per cent of earth’s ocean area. Is this level enough to not just slow but halt the acceleration of species extinction? His answer is “I doubt that it can be”. The only hope for the survival of not only ours, but all species, is human effort proportionate to the magnitude of the problem. The green micro nation of Liberland moves upward, towards the sky in the attempt of setting the soil free, inverting the usual ratio of green to built environment. The usual city soil ratio is 95%artificial and 5% natural, Liberland soil is 95% natural. Liberland’s motto is: “Live and Let Live”, which doesn’t only apply to our species, but all that inhabit this great planet.

Manifesto

Nowadays cities consume 80% of global energy and produce 75% of carbon dioxide emissions. A sustainable urbanization requires compact development, a strong public transportation system, pedestrian suitable environments and last, but not least, the preservation and defense of wetlands and natural habitats. The use of modern technologies in the city, in its buildings, in its traffic systems, and its water and energy systems has the potential to make the urban organism more flexible and efficient. With a higher density, a low-consumption building standards, a co-generation system and with the public transport as the only form of fast mobility, it is possible to reduce the urban emissions by 50%. Louis Wirth, german sociologist, said that “Modern cities combine three fundamental aspects: size, density and diversity. They are places with critical mass and human fuel; places of tension and friction, but also cradles of creativity and progress. Without the density there is not enough human contact; without the diversity and differences there is no chemistry; without the size it is not enough of everything.”

Keeping in mind all of these concepts, we formulated the following intents:
We want to develop a new way to conceive cities, based on a minimum consumption of soil. A place with a population density appropriate to a demographic trend that is leading people to move more and more towards the major towns.
We want to create a pioneering urban model in harmony with nature. A safe place to live and let live not just for human future inhabitants of Liberland, but also for the flora and the fauna living in this biological habitat.

Design principles

  • Density is not vertical
    Differently from what we are used to think, verticality is not the only solution when the matter regards a very dense city.We have to re-interpretate the concept of vertical, not limited to ordinary skyscrapers, but developed on a new model of vectorial city with completely different density standards.
  • Don’t mess with the ground
    The relationship with the natural environment when we design tomorrow’s cities should always take into consideration the huge respect that nature deserves. The soil consumption should be a priority, that’s why we chose to have a light impact on the ground, keeping its wild side as much as we could.
  • Car-free environment
    All cities looking for a symbiosis with the nature should aspire to a car-free environment. This means the development of a unified infrastructural system of public transport that gives the opportunity to citizens to move all around the city without problems.
  • Visual permeability
    Having a light impact on the surrounding environment means to have a structure that doesn’t block the view of people engaging the site..

Project storyboard

  • The initial wild status
    Liberland comes as a green peninsula with a rigorous vegetation and a well-developed fauna, typical of the river environment bordering the Danube.
  • Water gives life
    As the very first step the idea is to divert the riverbed into the site, creating an artificial circular cove to bring life within the peninsula and to separate it from the native island.
  • First steps for Liberland
    Based on the newly created artificial circular bay, the second step is the human settlement through the construction of the infrastructure linking Liberland to Croatia and Serbia.
  • Leaving the ground
    The fourth step is to build an elevated urban megastructure with an hexagonal section that flyes 120 meters above the ground.
  • Levels development
    The construction of two more levels that stabilize the structure and increase the population density
  • Go international
    The last step is the construction of an airport on top of the highest level. This gives the possibility to people all around the world to visit Liberland and it brings the city to a completely new international dimension.

Energetic Solutions

The cities occupy only 2% of the Earth’s surface, but they significantly contribute to pollution emissions responsible for climate change, especially for the massive consumption of fossil fuels. The energy used for the production of electricity, for transport, for the industry and for housing is the main source of dioxide carbon in urban areas. In terms of its impact on climate change, it leaves a deep imprint.

Choosing a dense and compact urban prototype as the one we propose for Liberland, we speed up and we facilitate the implementation of innovative technologies for mobility, such as rapid transit, or for the production of energy in a sustainable way. Below, there’s a diagram of the energetic organism operating in Liberland.

  • Photovoltanic
    Photovoltaic system consists of several district power plants, for a total of about 27.34 MPPT using the energy produced by about 175,000 square meters of photovoltaic panels, spread all around the liberland’s facades..
  • Geothermal
    12,386 probes (50m deep) geothermal probes within the foundations, spaced of 9m from each other to ensure proper heat exchange with the ground without going to alter the static capabilities of poles. Six geothermal power plants for a total of 41 MWt.
  • Biomass
    Implementation of thermal conversion processes to convert biomass into energy. The basic outputs of combustion are separated principally until there’s availability of oxygen and the conversion temperature to produce fertilizers for the agricultural terraces of the Liberland.
  • Hydroelectric
    Tidal energy converter system that extracts energy from Danube’s waterflow. System featuring a helical design that employs shrouded vertical axis turbines used to form an array in fluvial conditions. Starting with a 1MW plant the idea is to expand it up to 90MW during years.
  • District heating
    Cogeneration plants producing hot water and electricity. Distribution network composed by a complex of substations (one per user or user group). Thermal pollution of cooling water of conventional power stations (river water) is minimized because the heat is transferred to users.

Areoponics and hydroponics

According to the studies carried out by the UN about the future growth of the world population, it is estimated that by 2050 the world population will reach 9 billion inhabitants. From the nutritional point of view, the problem lies in the fact that about 80% of the areas available for agriculture have been already used, and it is evident that the remaining 20% will not be sufficient. This raises the idea to re-enter within liberland that part of production that was once part of world cities themselves, and which has undergone a gradual process of exile. The cities have become centers of life completely excluding from the urban design of the agricultural side. For the purpose of sustainable development is necessary the adoption of production and comsuption systems more localized and the creation of circuits of local resource

Through the choice of including agricultural terraces of hydroponic and aeroponic type the objectives moving us were the followings:

  • Water saving of around 80%
  • Fertilizers Savings of approximately 50%
  • Pesticides saving of around 80%
  • No CO 2 emissions

According to our design estimations with a total area of 215’543 square meters intended for agricultural purposes, with a cubic volume of 4’461’032, we can meet the food needs of about 70,000 people, accounting for 1/5 of the potential population of Liberland. You can also introduce environments for livestock farms with small animals inside the city, increasing the level of food self-sufficiency of the micronation.