City of Sound is about cities, design, architecture, music, media, politics and more. Written by Dan Hill since 2001.

14 Cities: City of La Niña

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Part of the 14 Cities series:

"The city of La Niña is built on terraformed Australian territory in the Pacific and is the only Australian city built on climate change itself.

The expansion of the Australian continental shelf in 2008 increased the country’s territory by 2.5m sq km, and as the Australian interior has become ever more inhospitable, a shift out to sea seemed inevitable.

Two technological breakthroughs — in the construction of adaptive terraformed land and in harnessing of energy from intercontinental weather patterns — enabled this new city to emerge from the rising sea levels off north NSW. 

Equidistant from Brisbane and Sydney, both of which were by this time slowly sinking, La Niña also orients itself towards the United States, South America and Japan, taking advantage of the New Pacific Economic Environment.

Built on expandable platforms that keep the city aloft of rising water levels, La Niña is powered entirely by the El Nino Southern Oscillation, which climate change has increased to an annual event as opposed to every three to eight years. 

High altitude kites harvest the wind movements in the sky above La Niña, energy coursing down gossamer threads to transformers kilometres below. La Niña also harnesses tidal power from giant tentacular outriggers."

Notes: A little clichéd, of course, this idea of a floating city, and I think there's more to be wrung out of the line, "a city built on climate change itself". This is partly inspired a great description of the impact of the El Nino Southern Oscillation intercontinental weather system on Australia found John Birmingham's Leviathan. The 'New Pacific Economy' angle is expanded upon in this entry on Australia and its surroundings


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