Skip to content
CityLab
Design

The 'Vegetal' Cities of Luc Schuiten: A Sustainability Fantasy

The visionary architect imagines metropolises built like vast orchards.
relates to The 'Vegetal' Cities of Luc Schuiten: A Sustainability Fantasy
Luc Schuiten

Belgian architect Luc Schuiten thinks that modern society is driving itself into environmental doom, what with our fuel-burning, sea level-raising ways that are literally erasing countries from the map. The solution to such a huge problem, he believes, must by necessity be equally huge nothing short of a complete overhaul of how we build cities.

In Schuiten's idealistic world, blocks of concrete and glass buildings are replaced with hedgerows of foliage-sprouting structures shaped like trees and lotus flowers. Roads would have streams splashing down the middle of them, and people would scoot around in cars that look like they're made from twisted twigs. Schuiten calls his nature-inspired metropolises "vegetal cities," constructed around a principal known as "archiborescence," and he's been churning out different iterations of them for more than three decades now.