I’ve covered some designs that are pretty out there, but the New Orleans Arcology Habitat (NOAH) takes the cake. A floating “megacity” is ambitious enough, but when you design the structure to look like a giant triangle, at that point it’s almost like you’re just trying to be weird.
We should start with the basics before we get into how weird it is. What is an arcology? The reason why you’ve (probably) never heard that word before is because they don’t really exist outside of science fiction. Arcologies are cities contained within a single structure that have all of the technology and resources that the population needs to survive. The NOAH would theoretically enable all 40,000 inhabitants to live in it without any need to trade with terrestrial cities.
The triangular shape, allegedly, is to help dissipate wind. The curves and the enormous holes allow for the wind to cut right through it without causing any real damage. The triangle sits atop an enormous disc, which would allow it to float in the Mississippi. Why does it have to sit in the Mississippi, exactly? Well, it has to be next to New Orleans, because then they wouldn’t be able to call it the NOAH. It might be a bit petty to gripe about the name, but I’m not sure that’s the best thing to call a floating city. After all, Noah built the arc to escape worldwide cataclysm as a result of rising water levels. Invoking that image seems a bit grim, doesn’t it?
And exactly like Noah’s Arc, NOAH would include 3 hotels, 3 casinos, and 1 million square feet of commercial real estate. Come for the poker tables, stay to escape the coming apocalypse, I suppose. Fortunately, they left enough room for public facilities, schools, and 20,000 residential spaces.
A lot of the NOAH is quite impressive, all jokes aside. I’m all about floating cities, and the triangular design, while weird, does make sense. Also, adding the casinos and hotels make sense because the pyramid has to be able to bring in revenue somehow. I’m just concerned that this project might be a bit too ambitious too soon. Are we as a race really going to go from 0 worldwide floating cities to this monstrosity? The wisest thing to do would be to start with a smaller floating town or floating hamlet, I’d think, where the stakes aren’t so high and learn from there.