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Glow In The Dark The Way Forward!!

Cities of the future will be covered in 'glow-in-the-dark' dust and fed by 'urban farms' growing in and on buildings, says new report.

  • Spray-on light absorbing dust would make roads and pathways glow at night
  • Phospho­rescent shine would reduce the need for street lighting
  • Trees could glow in the dark if biolu­min­escent genes were spliced into them
  • Report is the work of engineering and design consultancy Arup
  • Replace concrete with permeable substances to reduce flooding, say experts
  • Vertical urban farms would also help meet the growing demand for food


The spray-on dust and glowing trees would make street lighting less necessary, thus reducing the carbon footprint of urban centres, making them more envi­ron­men­tally friendly.

Designers and engineers at Arup looked at ways of protecting urban areas and improving the lives of city dwellers in a world transformed by global warming and growing populations.

The report highlights natural solutions such as preventing flooding by replacing hard concrete and tarmac with permeable surfaces, and increasing tree cover.

To meet the increasing demand for food, vertical 'urban farms' are also forecast with crops being grown in and on city buildings.

Parks could also contribute to food supplies by providing places where people can forage for fruits, edible greenery and even insects.

'By 2050, it is predicted that the human population will have reached nine billion with 75per cent of people living in cities,' said Arup's landscape architecture group leader Tom Armour.

'Adaptations to existing city spaces, enabled by rapid techno­logical innovation, will serve as major catalysts in the shift toward increasing susta­ina­bility, resilience and adaptability in dense urban envi­ron­ments.' 

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