Cities For All

Honorable Mention

[Ex]traction Earth: The New Frontier

Jesse Martyn
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New avenues of interconnectivity born from global crisis foster a return to the land and a decentralization of Earth’s population. Climate-induced northern migration sparks boundary expansion beyond our perceivable atmosphere, as human-made infrastructure grapples with the natural environment.  Territories of [ex]traction fuel the lifeblood of the 21st century energy-scape.

The site for this proposal is Canada’s carbon corridor, spanning from Calgary to Edmonton, Grand Prairie to the remote north. A land scarred by resource exploitation is re-envisioned in a time after oil, in the not so distant future.  Territories of extraction are rejuvenated as a renewable energy corridor. A super energy grid is laid across the landscape, linking major urban nodes by coupling the natural environment with infrastructure. Field’s within the super grid are dedicated to agricultural production, pollination, and wildlife incubators. These feed natural ecosystems while simultaneously fueling a network of high-speed trains that extend to the arctic circle, where new trade routes open up due to receding ice and warming climates.  

A continuous mixed-use bridge structure links people to major hubs as a path for production. Human life is elevated so wildlife may roam freely on the land—reducing harmful impacts to natural ecosystems. Pipelines become long range carbon sequestering systems that distribute green energy to cities, landscapes, wildlife, and insects.  Energy beacons are sprinkled across the land to assist birds with natural migration patterns while also acting as habitats for bees.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of spreading out across space and time, emphasizing the need for fresh air. This project taps into the imperative of clean energy as a catalyst to support active air circulation, minimizing aerosol transmission of viruses through the cultivation of ecosystems that naturally purify our air.  

This proposal supports under-represented indigenous groups, wildlife, and insects through closed-loop systems of energy production that prioritize these clients through harvesting of natural resources with minimal environmental impacts and an appreciation for the land.  Born from indigenous knowledge of the land and respect for the cyclical nature of the environment, this proposal sparks a return to the organic. All organisms of the earth are part of a necessary ecosystem that may be deemed one wholistic being.  Designers have an obligation to consider systems for wildlife that empower us to reframe what it means to be a client. A colony collapse for the bees means a doomed future for humans.  So please, save the bees.  

Urban Design
climate change, sustainability