It's 2012, and if you like to entertain end-of-the-world, apocalypse-type scenarios, this could be an interesting year for the human race.
But regardless of how you feel about the Mayan calendar, there is evidence that human-accelerated climate change could mean harsher, more frequent storms and natural disasters for planet Earth.
As these weather-related incidents become more vicious, it's become clear that our methods for preventing and surviving the potential destruction are woefully inadequate.
City-sized parks and space-bound escape pods might be the stuff of science fiction, but could it be possible to build a structure that even Mother Nature can't destroy?
Two Ukrainian designers think the answer might be yes. After watching the March 2011 tsunami devastate Japan, Victor Kopieikin and Pavlo Zabotin decided to use their design skills to create a complex system of ocean-based skyscrapers that would house the country's population while also protecting the island from almost any type of natural disaster.
The "Citadel Skyscraper," which recently won an honorable mention in the eVolo skyscraper competition, consists of three key components: skyscrapers that are able to withstand waves up to 50 meters tall, strategic locations for these buildings so that they form a barrier more than a mile offshore, and enough charisma to convince thousands of people that they should relocated into these self-contained Citadels. Easier said than done. But it might be easier if they knew how secure these self-sustaining residential skyscrapers will be.
"The prototypical skyscraper for this project has a metal frame; its foundation is poured at a depth of 1,200 meters and it reaches 500 meters into the sky. By burying the structure so far into the earth, it is protected from seismic activity (earthquakes up to a magnitude 11), waves (up to 40 feet tall) and man-made disasters (such as the explosion of atomic weapons).
"A system of bars forming a single, one-piece shield around the building serves as its protection system. They are energetically self-sustaining, using wave power for energy generation, and they have live fish tanks to provide food for residents."
Sounds promising, but also a little claustrophobic (and maybe unrealistic). What do you think? Would you move into a "Citadel Skyscraper" to avoid natural disasters?