This 180-floor "vertical city" could be the future of skyscrapers

Imagine if you could visit friends, shop at the grocery store, exercise at the gym — all in the same skyscraper. Or if you could commute to work by elevator.

That’s one of many benefits behind vertical cities, an urban design concept that rethinks horizontal living. The idea is this: While normal cities are made up of hundreds of buildings, vertical cities would be a few slender buildings standing hundreds of stories high.

UNICEF predicts that as much as 75% of the global population could live in cities by 2050. Vertical cities could be a smart way to house all those people.

Luca Curci Architects

Since the 16th century, artists have started imagining what these cities would look like -- the earliest example was Pieter Bruegel the Elder's oil painting, 'The Tower of Babel.' Within the last decade, architects have started to make them more real.

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Italian firm Luca Curci Architects designed a vertical city for the United Arab Emirates. Up to 25,000 people could live in their 180-floor skyscraper.

Luca Curci Architects

The building would sit in the Persian Gulf. The ambitious design features floors that host spas, meditation centres, a gym, and luxury hotel rooms. People could reach the vertical city by a bridge or helicopter.

Luca Curci Architects

Head architect Luca Curci tells Tech Insider that his vertical city rethinks the skyscraper by equipping it with 20,000 square meters of green space. 'The greatest thing about living in a vertical city is that it allows for a connection with the natural elements,' Curci says.

Luca Curci Architects

The firm designed an energy-independent structure. The solar panels, made of photovoltaic glass, can provide electricity and fresh water to the whole building. These buildings would reduce carbon dioxide pollution by up to 50%, says Curci.

Luca Curci Architects

Because these cities rise up rather than sprawl horizontally, they would reduce farm land waste. Vertical farming is 75 times more productive than traditional farming.

Luca Curci Architects

Curci says his team is now focusing on how to build a community within vertical cities. 'We've designed it in a way to let it develop as a society,' Curci says. 'The building is adaptable.' The firm hopes to find investors and build it within the next decade.

Luca Curci Architects

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