(via io9)

Earlier, I wrote that the Boston Arcology is as incredible as it is implausible (and currently, unnecessary). By contrast, the NVArt digital art challenge knew that its concepts were steeped heavily in unattainable science fiction—but pretty, pretty science fiction inded.

Often, people leave the city because it’s much too hectic. Too much noise, too much chaos, too many people. Refuge is found away from the city and its worries. However, imagine if the city came with you. Or even brought you where you wanted to go:

Hi-ho, City! Away!

The latest NVArt digital art challenge invited artists to submit their visions of cities of the future, but not in the cold and desolate Blade Runner style. Rather, they were to offer an arguably more optimistic view, one in which cities and the environment were perfectly fused together. The results are nothing short of breathtaking, and I want to live in these places (more than I do Pandora).

Next Stop: Urban Fantasy Street

The winning submission was this one:

This couldn't possibly be an as-of-right development.

Called the City at the Center of the Universe, the city possesses an elevated walkway resplendent with gardens (eat that, High Line), an enormous park at the top complete with fountains and … what might be restaurants? And it appears to have its own airport (or maybe a spaceport. This is sci fi, after all). This appears to be the cleanest of the three winning entrants (the third place winner is a little too much on the wtf side of my architectural comfort zone).

What I’m more concerned about, though, is what is going on inside the City at the Center of the Universe? The image presents a beautiful exterior shot, but I would like to know what the implications are for society in this kind of future. The City here seems a little bit too clean and pristine, as if there is no room for urban chaos at all. Where do people live and work inside that massive structure? Does everyone work from home now? Is the population perfectly and sufficiently employed? And how would such a fixed structure even begin to account for the inevitable growth of the population? At least the image seems to suggest that humanity is perfectly in balance with nature (or at least, that water is really, really fucking blue).

Given the chance, though? I’d probably live there, if only to be able to study how it works and think way too much about it.