Symbiotic City is a window into a future city that is circular; where all waste has value, and energy and water are taken care of. It is part of Future Window Sthlm — an audiovisual experience that shows how life in a better Stockholm could be, sound and feel.
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Cities worldwide are many things, but one thing they are not — particularly resource-efficient. Every year cities generate around 10 billion tons of waste and consume up to 75% of all produced energy, and almost everything needed is shipped in from the outside. We have become dependent on an enormous inflow of finite resources. Until recently, these imbalances were not perceived as urgent problems. However, with war in Europe and a rapidly changing climate, it is increasingly apparent that this cannot continue.
A new kind of urban metabolism prevails in the symbiotic city, where heat, cold, water, and waste are seen as valuable resources. Things that should be used efficiently and reused over and over again.
The potential is significant. We can save 40-80% of the energy used to heat and cool urban properties—without sacrificing convenience.
And if we were to capture and circulate water of different qualities instead of using drinking water for everything, we could save immense amounts. If urine were separated, the nutrients could be extracted and returned to agriculture, reducing our dependence on artificial fertilizers.
It´s about increasing the resilience of our cities, which we need in this era of change, while simultaneously reducing cities´ impact on the climate and nature. The symbiotic city will also create new economic, creative, and cultural values as we take care of all the resources that were previously wasted and discarded.
On the surface, those of us living in the city will not notice all the solutions that enable the symbiotic city. They will be hidden from us, like organs that keep the city in shape, allowing it to perform even in times of stress.