25 January 2008

Ideas for a World-Class City, no.6

Wind power in urban settings? That's the next frontier. As City of Sound explains:

Wind turbines, as with other renewable energy sources, are only likely to increase in number throughout urban space...

Still, the portrayed settings for these turbines are often the ex-urban 'object in the landscape'-style houses familiar to photogenic regions of Australia, California, Scandinavia etc.

This is perhaps due to their unwieldy size thus far but also, I think, a cultural association between renewable energy and 'the great outdoors', which is entirely false and actually problematic... I'd like to see small elegant turbines intended for domestic use in tighter urban context.

The new generation of wind turbines are not the "windmill" type design. New designs are cheaper, smaller, can be mounted on buildings and residences, and do not need omnidirectional wind. And they're bird-friendly.

Here's a model from Mariah Power that looks more like a Martin Logan speaker than a wind turbine.

And here's a model from Helix (video) that looks more like an Alexander Calder sculpture.

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