Mekano Architects have dreamed up the ultimate solution for Cairo’s filthy Garbage City. Long an eye-sore and public health menace, the area on the outskirts of Egypt’s capital was once a recycling center for the Zabaleen. They sorted through waste and recycled it, and used pigs to devour organic waste. After swine flu emerged, however, the government culled the Zabaleen’s pigs and that waste has since stewed in its own fermenting juices. Mekano aims to put the resulting methane, and the towers of junk, to good, building use.These poles will serve several purposes: not only will they support the stacked, pre-fabricated modular homes, but they will also serve as conduits for biogas, water and electricity. And they will serve as “wind-stalks” that can harvest wind power as energy.
What are currently piles of steaming organic waste spewing methane gas will become energy-producers. Mekano will create a significantly more safe environment for the Zabbaleen by harvesting the very thing that currently pollutes their environment.
Much of the non-organic waste will be used in part as building materials to create a vertical city complete with private spaces, parks, sport facilities, and plazas. The architects also propose to create terraces that will harvest rainwater and allow residents to grow small gardens.
Whether this project can become a reality given Egypt’s political uncertainty remains to be seen. But it’s an excellent concept. An out of the box concept. And we love those.
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