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.
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.
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?
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.