Homes of the future will most likely be clustered or attached, smaller and more open due to a growing and aging population. In fact, if you take a look around the residential zones of Singapore, you'd notice this is already happening. And you can be sure we are not alone.
Hence it is ironic when you realize that the people in the old walled city of Shibam, ‘the Manhattan of the desert’, already conceived the idea of building upwards some 500 years ago. Though for a different reason. They've built the world's first skyscrapers using mud-bricks (which need to be maintained regularly, even up till today, to combat erosion) on stone foundations after meticulous town planning, when the remaining available land of the city had to be reallocated with the disastrous flooding of the years 1298 (698) or 1532 (939). The consolidation of habitation upwards can truly be considered innovative at the time.
The current population is a low 7000, and there is barely any traffic in sight due to the extremely narrow alleys in between buildings. My God, after seeing this, we Singaporeans should never complain about congestion in our living environment anymore. Hmmm... at least for now.
Tags: architecture, shibam, design