Aurora Australian Capital
a hypothetical capital for Australia in the centennial celebration of Canberra
Red Center, Australia
A New Capital for a young Nation: a hypothetical capital for Australia in the centennial celebration of Canberra, which was established in 1912 as the seat of political power providing the structure for the newly established self-governance. One hundred years after the inauguration of Canberra as the Capital of Australia, and with the benefit of technology, material and social sciences, experience and civilization that has accrued, the designer is called to envision how a new Capital should be.
A city should be anthropocentric, it should be built for its inhabitants, from which it will derive its strength and stature. Self-sufficiency, balance, and sustainability while paying full respect to the natural conditions are key notions in this regard. Sustainability in terms of energy and water, self-sufficiency in terms of food supplies, and balance in the minimal intervention on the environment. A city is not a static vision cast in a blueprint forever. Rather it is a living organism that evolves over time as witnessed by the urban sprawl around many metropolitan areas. The design of a New Capital must include the plan for its orderly expansion and evolution.
We selected the Red Center of Australia, because it is geologically more stable showing less earthquake activity, and offers better protection against flooding from the rising sea level caused by global warming. The Medium and Median Points are located in the neighborhood of Alice Springs, an area arid and pristine but life-sustaining not devoid of human presence. The general geographical area of the Red Center consists of parallel undulating ridges.
With a minimalist intervention, the urban tissue parallels the ridges with simple in form but strong in statement linear residential quarters hovering above ground, blending seamlessly with the environment on different levels for maximum light, aeration and visibility. With this concept, the people live in hovering residential communities embedded in the landscape and are free to enjoy the pristine natural environment right below and around them. Self-sufficiency in energy will come from the Sun in the form of photovoltaics and later on space-based solar power (SBSP) beamed to Earth in specially equipped installations in the northernmost center of the Southern-Cross Pentapolis.
We named the hypothetical New Capital Aurora, celebrating the notions of the five pillars, namely government, justice, education, industry/commerce, culture, and acknowledgment of the divine destiny of humankind. These five pillars create five urban centers, a ”New Pentapolis“ placed in the form of the Southern Cross constellation creating a signature image from the sky.