18 Feb Today’s Race to the Moon – 5 of the Most Inspiring Mega-Projects
The Soviet Union achieved an early lead in the Space Race by launching the first artificial satellite Sputnik 1 in 1957. The United States led during the “Moon Race” by landing Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the Moon, July 20, 1969. (1) The Apollo Moon Race is estimated to have cost $600 Billion USD. (2)
Today, states and companies seem to be pursuing a similar ‘Race to the Moon’ in the creation of new cities and creating the most desirable, ecological, and livable environments. And the money being spent on these new Mega-Projects come with similarly inspired price tags.
Here is a sampling of 5 of the Most Inspiring Mega-Projects.
1. Toronto Waterfront, Canada by Sidewalk Labs. $1.3 Billion Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Alphabet (Google) is environmentally friendly and built for people of all income levels. Residential units make up 67% of the planned development in the main Quayside district, for example, with 40% at below-market prices. Sidewalk promises 1,700 affordable housing units in all. Their CEO stated, ‘We think it’s the first true articulation of what’s really possible when you combine cutting-edge innovation and forward-looking urban design to produce an inclusive community.
2. Songdo International Business District, South Korea. Songdo is a $40 Billion district, the size of downtown Boston, outside of Seoul, South Korea. It was designed to eliminate the need for cars. Songdo’s largest park, measuring 101 acres, was inspired by Manhattan’s Central Park. Around 40% of the area is reserved for green space (about double that of New York City), which also encourages residents to walk. Another perk of living in the district: there are no trash trucks. Instead, a pneumatic tube system sucks the trash from chutes in residential buildings to a central sorting facility in seconds.
3. Forest City, Malaysia. $100 Billion. Forest City is idealized as a “city of the future” — an eco-city four times the size of Central Park in New York where the buildings will be covered in plants and there will be no cars. Accommodation is currently being built for 700,000 people, as residential high-rises, office towers, shopping malls, and hotels are rising up from land that was reclaimed from the sea.
4. Xiong’an, China. $580 billion. Xiong’an is meant to become a new hub for China’s trademark economic “experimentation,” where more free-market policies and systems are tried out in an almost laboratory-like setting that can be easily controlled and adapted. The place is meant to become a hub for research, education, and high-tech R&D, and we can expect to see a large amount of such institutions — such as firms from the Chinese tech zones and science and engineering units from established universities — being shipped in.
5. Neom, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is building a futuristic mega-city called Neom deep in a desert bordering the Red Sea. The state has pledged at least $500 Billion to make it happen, and is soliciting additional investment. It’s plans includes things such as artificial rain, flying taxis, robotic maids, a fake moon, and holographic teachers. It is arguably the world’s most ambitious project.
Let the race begin!
By Scott Huish
Scott Huish has directed technology driven companies in finance, agriculture, energy, construction, and real estate. Scott has completed advanced education at Oxford, Harvard, and London School of Economics and Political Science.