Despite valiant efforts by Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) and other worthy organizations, the Jordan River is in a perilous state. This 156 mile long river is ecologically essential to Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, and Syria.
In addition to diversion projects that interrupt flow to the shrinking Dead Sea, the river is heavily contaminated. Students at the Universidad de Chile have designed a skyscraper that doubles as a river cleaner. Could this be a potential solution for the dying Jordan River too?
With the Mapocho River in mind, which runs through Santiago, Chile and is desperately polluted, the students designed a building that has both a vertical and horizontal element to it.
The vertical section consists of stacks of lipped polygonal blocks that resemble cells. Their shape and constitution maximize sunlight and ventilation. They have also been built to overlook the river, and thereby improve its aesthetic value for residents on the upper section of the building, and for commercial operators on the lower rung.
The horizontal element mimics lagoons and are equipped with wetland plants that perform phytoremediation. As the water flows over the “lagoon” and to the other side of the skyscraper, it becomes purified. To celebrate this, the students also recommended building a city park adjacent to the river.
With the dual problem of population increase in a tiny country, one that can fit into the state of Florida eight times, and the polluted Jordan River, might such a structure inspire viable solutions for Israel, Jordan, and Syria?
Stranger things have happened.
:: story and images via evolo
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