The Future is a Desert
Travel into the future with a look at how some of the most recent technological advancements are reshaping our desert landscapes.
We’ve all seen Hollywood’s take on a dystopian future, either apocalyptic or technological, often set in a desert landscape, like in Mad Max, The Maze Runner, The Bad Batch, Tank Girl, and many more. The desert is often the most popular setting for the future of human civilization in movies, yet the real world is oddly starting to mimic this imagery with new technological, architectural and societal investment projects popping up all throughout our desert landscapes.
Obviously the desert has the highest functional potential of the under-utilized land masses on the planet, as the extreme temperatures of the arctic can be quite tumultuous, and the amount of life at risk in the jungles and rainforests make them less notable candidates for civilized expansion. The desert has already been utilized over decades for the testing of atomic and nuclear weapons, due to the sheer mass of its unpopulated and largely lifeless terrain. Still, many areas of unused desert have proven to be quite livable and have continued to spawn new cities and societies within. The success of these desert cities has led to further advancements in solar, wind and other sustainable energy sources, increased technological advancements for life preservation with less access to resources, and even continued attempts to explore the possibility of future developments in inhabitable environments, such as on the Moon or Mars.
With cities all around the world, such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Mexico City, Cape Town, and more, incurring recent water shortages, the future of these desert cities is already plagued with uncertainty and fear. Partner that with rising temperatures from global warming and environmental pollution and you have the perfect recipe for a post-apocalyptic existence. While the darker imagery of our future already perfectly meshes with the sun-scorched desert civilizations we have built, many of the technological advancements of modern society are also establishing their premiere developments and testing grounds within these barren lands.
From subculture movements and artistic experimentation, to technological developments and full-scale city building plans, take a look at some of the ways the future is taking shape right before our very eyes, across our desolate desert plains.
1. Solar Mountain - Solar Mountain is a permanent installation design from the architectural firm, NUDES, based out of Mumbai, to be constructed at the site of Burning Man’s 3,800 acre ranch in Nevada. The proposed design consists of 182 solar panels in an undulating, interactive art installation and community center that would generate over 300 MWH of electricity from the sun.
2. Desert Music and Arts Festivals - The open-aired desert landscapes are quickly becoming the go-to destination for large scale arts and music festivals. Every year, thousands of artists, musicians, and festival goers flock to these largely popular events of lights, music, dancing, larger-than-life modern artistic displays and off-the-grid subculture movement celebrations.
Burning Man, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Neon Desert, Desert Daze, The Joshua Tree Music Festival, and a growing list of others attract tons of freedom seeking, self-expression radicals for several days of music, dancing, arts and intense UV Ray exposure, often utilizing solar power as a primary source of energy.
3. Massive Solar Power Plants - Two things that the desert has a lot of is space and sunlight. This makes it the ideal place to construct large solar arrays and solar power plants. Nevada Solar One, The Copper Mountain Solar Facility and The Ivanpah Solar Power Facility are 3 of such constructs located in the Mojave Desert. These large arrays are some of the leading innovative solar energy producing facilities in the United States, paving the way for the fast-growing, renewable energy movement across the nation and the world.
One of the newest proposed solar farms, planned to be the largest to-date in the country, the Battle Born solar project was recently cancelled. This billion dollar project was intended to be constructed on 9,000 acres of land along the Mormon Mesa in Northeast Las Vegas. Locals organized and petitioned against the project, fighting to “Save Our Mesa”, in fear that the large project would disrupt the natural beauty of their land. It seems that the efforts of this group were not in vain, as the project’s building plans were recently cancelled. However, the Battle Born solar project has not completely been scrapped, as the project is now currently seeking a new desert location for its construction.
4. Smart Cities - Former Walmart executive, Marc Lore recently unveiled plans for the building of a new sustainable metropolis in the desert. Telosa, is presented as an eco-friendly, smart city of the future; a 15,000-acre modern metropolis where fossil fuels are banned and renewable energy reigns supreme. This $300-billion dollar project is currently scouting locations for construction, with considerable options in the desert regions of Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Texas at the top of the list.
Telosa would serve as a full-scale, prime example of the new smart city movement, aiming to provide cities with the latest in technology and communication improvements, green energy initiatives and modern technology based infrastructure, focused on the improvement of the quality of life for its inhabitants.
5. Futuristic Architecture - Modern technology has paved the way for huge advancements in the architectural style and functionality of newly constructed buildings. Gone are the days of solid, 4 walled structures. Today’s structures are technologically advanced, intelligent and artistic modern marvels with limitless capabilities. Since the desert landscapes have the most available space for expansion, we are seeing many new, highly advanced structures take shape within our desert cities. Las Vegas’s new Allegiant Stadium and MSG Sphere, packed with the highest quality sound, lighting, visual and smart technology features are just the beginning of the new look and functionality standards of our future cities.
6. Hyperspeed Transportation - In the desert of Northern Las Vegas, the future of high speed transportation is slowly taking shape. Large white metal tubes mark the beginning construction of the new Virgin Hyperloop, developed by Virgin Group. This land-based transportation system will allow passengers to travel up to 750 mph in pods through long magnetic tunnels. Each pod will seat up to 28 passengers and can be used for long and short distance travel for passengers and ground transport of freight at record speeds. The project is still in early stages of development, but is already underway and hoping to be in full operation as early as 2027.
Written by: Ryan Barbin - Digital Marketing and Content Creator
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