This “Green Machine” mobile city fertilizes the Sahara Desert as it moves

Green Machine, Stephane Malka,  Yachar Bouhaya, desertification, green the Sahara, city on tank treads, roaming desert city, nomadic city, Morocco, Venice Biennale, Sahara Desert

Posterity may end up migrating from place to place to find food like our nomadic ancestors did if we don’t get a hold of desertification and climate change. To make that easier for desert dwellers, Stephane Malka and Yachar Bouhaya propose the Green Machine – a massive city on tank treads that fertilizes the Sahara as it moves. 

Originally entered into a competition as the Morrocan pavilion for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale and selected for the Jury special prize, The Green Machine rethinks our future survival in the desert – albeit in a wild and wacky way.

Green Machine, Stephane Malka,  Yachar Bouhaya, desertification, green the Sahara, city on tank treads, roaming desert city, nomadic city, Morocco, Venice Biennale, Sahara Desert

A self-sufficient roaming city on caterpillar treads, the large and unsightly machine city plows the desert sands as it progresses through the dunes and rocks.

It then injects fertilizer, plants seeds and drops water – all in an effort to turn the desert from a veritable wasteland into something that can eventually produce food.

Related: Qatar’s Sahara Forest Desert Forest Project grows cucumbers from saltwater

Green Machine, Stephane Malka,  Yachar Bouhaya, desertification, green the Sahara, city on tank treads, roaming desert city, nomadic city, Morocco, Venice Biennale, Sahara Desert

Equipped with nine large balloons that collect water through condensation and store it – in part for irrigation and in part to sustain people living on the machine, and large solar towers that capture the sun’s energy, the city addresses the multi pronged issues of overpopulation, food scarcity, and water shortages.

There are of course some drawbacks to the design: for example, who will tend the lands plowed and planted after the city moves on to another section of the desert?

Green Machine, Stephane Malka,  Yachar Bouhaya, desertification, green the Sahara, city on tank treads, roaming desert city, nomadic city, Morocco, Venice Biennale, Sahara Desert

Albeit rather fantastical, we think The Green Machine offers exactly the kind of alternate thinking we need to be doing to prepare ourselves for the dramatic changes that our planet is undergoing. The status quo certainly won’t get us anywhere.

:: Yachar Bouhaya, Stephane Malka

One thought on “This “Green Machine” mobile city fertilizes the Sahara Desert as it moves

  1. JTR

    Obviously, it is technically possible to reclaim the Sahara desert by planting millions of trees and nurturing them until the weather changes, but that would require international cooperation, which macho-dominated humanity has in very short supply. Instead, they would much rather make war on each other, as they do every chance they get, even if the planet is dying from their growing economy and its growing population, they can’t help it because their instincts rule their intellect.

    Reply

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