‘ Green Machine ‘ : Rolling City May Turn Deserts Into Arable Lands

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‘ Green Machine ‘ : Rolling City May Turn Deserts Into Arable Lands


A ?Green Machine? concept is envisioned to transform dry and arid deserts into arable and crop producing land. This machine will be mounted on a self sustainable ?Rolling City? that travels using sixteen treads that were designed to move rockets.


The Earth is in peril. Whether it is due to global warming or not, it is a fact that more and more land areas are drying up, and turning into a desert that cannot sustain any form of plant life.

Studies show that more than 120,000 square kilometers of arable, crop producing land turn into a desert ever year.

The United Nations reports that this development will affect more than a billion people in the coming years. Many of these affected individuals will be in already impoverished territories like rural China and North Africa. People in these places are currently fighting against poverty and famine and any loss of arable land will make their situation much more difficult than it already is.

Can anything be done aside from quarreling over the issue and effects of climate change?

Two design firms have come up with a possible solution.

As a design submitted for the Venice Biennale, Malka Architecture and Yachar Bouhaya Architecture sent in a concept design for a ?Green Machine?. This contraption is now being looked at and may soon be turning the sandy and dusty Sahara Desert into a farmer’s paradise.

How will this ?Green Machine? do it?


The machine is envisioned to be mounted on a gigantic ?city-size? platform and will be able to transport itself using treads that were designed to haul NASA space rockets. On top of the platform, giant balloons will be afloat capturing water condensed around it.

As the machine rolls over the desert, it will use a bit of the collected water and ?sprinkle? it on the ground ahead to soften it, using the front treads. As it passes through the moist soil, the last set of treads will implant fertilizer, seeds and more H2O to start the planting process.

The entire ?Rolling City? will be running on its own power using a system that combines wind turbines, solar towers, and an electric generator that produces power by creating electricity through the collection of the extreme temperature differences of daytime and nighttime in the desert.

In the plans submitted by the 2 firms, it is possible in theory to produce enough energy to support a small ?city? complete with houses, businesses, parks, schools and even farmland to grow crops for the city’s inhabitants.

The designers of the ?Green Machine Rolling City? gives credit to Allan Savory, the man who inspired them to come up with a plan based on holistic management.

Allan Redin Savory is described by Wikipedia as ?a Zimbabwean biologist, farmer, soldier, exile, environmentalist, and winner of the 2003 Banksia International Award and the 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge. He is the originator of holistic management.?

Savory himslef came up with a similar concept, albeit a much more ?low tech? one, that involves cattle to naturally fertilize land areas and reverse desertification.

Stephane Malka, of Malka Architecture, explained their work by saying that ?For a long time, my studio has developed work around neglected spaces of the city….Deserts are the biggest neglected space on Earth, as they represent more than 40% of the terrestrial surface.?

Malka and the other designers added that if this machine becomes a reality, the desert land that can be transformed, would be able to produce twenty million tons of crops every year.

Malka goes on by saying that ? Building the Green Machine units would be able to re-green half of the desert borders and the meadows of the world, while feeding all of humanity.?

Many of those who looked at the design inquired why it has to be such a massive contraption. Malka replied that a big challenge needs a big solution. He adds that ?For a worldwide problematic need, we need to answer with a large-scale machine.?


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