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

14 Cities: Walled City

Written in



Part of the 14 Cities series:

"From his observation tower, Mark looked across the expanses of waste treatment plants stretching into the distance. To his left he could see the marshlands responsible for cleaning the city’s waste water. He couldn’t look directly to his right, due to the glare from the seven kilometre-wide solar power plant that lay off the northern perimeter of the city’s walls. 

He put his rifle down, leaning it against the thick wooden walls of the tower. Slowly unpeeling a shrivelled dwarf banana, Mark cast a glance back towards the interior of the walled city, over the bamboo roofs bleached white by the sun, the arrays of twirling vertical axis wind turbines and a handful of satellite dishes and radio masts.

The Walled City of Wollongong had been built around the Kembla Grange Golf Course after the water riots of 2048 had left the city largely in ruins.

Mark had been part of a group of no more than one hundred citizens that decided to build a “genuinely sustainable city”, a city that controlled its population in line with its resources, that controlled its resources in line with what naturally-occurring energy it could harvest and whose waste it could process, that could see its own footprint directly by limiting the city’s size by that of the 400 hectares of land required to support it.

Mark quickly picked up the rifle. He thought he’d seen a flash of movement in the marshland …"

Notes: Another in narrative form, this one centred on extrapolating the idea around 'footprints' and 'resilience', reading between the lines of the more illogical, fevered conclusions around sustainable cities. There is occasionally talk of cities restricting their population to their 'natural, sustainable size' – one wonders how this is to be done, exactly?


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