How can the city be reinvented to save the world? Chinese business magnate Zhang Yue and Finnish professor Eero Paloheimo are two men with very contrasting answers to this loaded question. Zhang Yue's answer puts trust in pre-fabricated, high-density vertical development, whereas Paloheimo envisions a built-from-scratch, clean-tech sprawling utopia. Their grand ideas, met with both skepticism and excitement, are documented in a new film by Anna-Karin Grönroos. To watch the trailer and learn more about the bold proposals, continue after the break.
Zhang Yue says in the trailer, "It's always said that the solution to environmental problems starts at the grass roots level, I think that's a mistake." Instead, he believes the solution will come from the greatest, smartest, and richest citizens - the latter of which he undoubtedly is. When he was younger, he made millions selling air conditioning units and became the first man in China to own a private jet. Since then, he has renounced his material possessions and dedicated himself to sustainable living.
Zhang Yue's proposal, Sky City, will be the tallest and most ecological building in the world, should all go according to plan. The pre-fabricated metropolis, slated to be built at record speed before the year's end, was originally intended to be built in a mere 90 days.
On the other hand, Paloheimo has unsuccessfully spent the past 10 years of his life trying to make his idea, Eco Valley, a reality in Europe. The film documents Paloheimo as he takes his idea for a clean-tech, laboratory city to China - where it rallies more support than ever before. This begs the question, "is the future of urban mankind in the cherry valleys of China or high up in the sky?"
For more on China's innovation revolution and the Sky City project, click here.