First vertical city on Mars would house a million people

An urban and architectural solution that guarantees food, energy, construction materials and transportation in the extreme environment of that planet.

Following the requirements of the Mars Society, the settlement on the ‘Red Planet’ was proposed as “self-sufficient”, depending very little on the importation of materials from Earth. In this sense, Studio worked during eses together with more than 35 professionals from different residential, social and cultural spaces.

This city, self-sufficient and sustainable, will be located on the side of a cliff on Mars, in consideration of atmospheric conditions.

“If we built buildings like on Earth, they would tend to explode under pressure […] Solar and gamma radiation from art forced us to build spaces that are not directly exposed to the sky.”

With as capital, it is intended that the city be divided into five districts that house between 200,000 and 250,000 people each, a solution applied to a flexible and scalable model where ‘City’, for example, will be located at the north pole of the planet to take advantage of access to ice;

In collaboration with other academics and members of SONet, the architects developed solutions for structures that protect the inhabitants of Mars radiation, ensure indirect access to sunlight and protect them from potential meteorite impact.

Likewise, they took on the task of solving the difference in atmospheric pressure between the interior and exterior of buildings, in addition to considering life support systems, such as the production of food, air and water.

The buildings will be excavations within the rock of the cliff, implemented through the construction of tunnels. It will be a mixed-use development that will offer residential housing and office and work spaces, linked together by a three-dimensional network of tunnels. The modules have a tubular shape of 10 meters in diameter and 60 meters in length with green areas and urban gardens to provide physical well-being and recreational spaces.

Each module will feature high-speed elevators, similar to those in skyscrapers on Earth.

They will be called ‘Green-domes’ and will act as parks, and others as experimental vegetation in an environment with a purely Martian atmosphere. In the valley, specific structures will house hospitals, schools, sports and cultural activities, shopping areas and train stations that will communicate with the space shuttle. An artificial mountain will act as a visual frame for the city, it has auxiliary energy systems and parking for vehicles. As for mobility, it will be carried out vertically along the cliff. Additionally, a bus and light rail system will provide horizontal transportation; a network of train stations will connect to the space airport located in a nearby crater.