100 mile mirrored skyscraper

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/27/saudis-unveil-eye-popping-plan-for-mirrored-skyscraper-eco-city

Have read a few articles about this on my news feed. Skimming iNat I see few obs there - but I know the Namib Desert for example has many unusual plants and animals. A fine crust on the sand, which is destroyed by vehicle tracks then takes decades to recover.

Would this be on a bird migratory route? The daily birdkill figures will be astronomical. Mirror. One hundred miles long reflecting the hills. The height of the Empire State Building. Eco city? On what planet??

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100 miles of metal would be so damaging for birds and the ecosystem alike. There are over 50 species of birds that cross this route, including a few endangered and endemic species. My guess would be 150 species going extinct from this project.

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I saw this and thought “what a terrible idea”. The impacts would be like those of stupid new border walls on the US/Mexico border, but way, way worse.

One of the ecological advantages of housing people in cities is high density/more efficient use of resources/smaller physical footprint. This seems to be about making the least efficient urban footprint possible.

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It’s be pretty terrible… if it actually got built.
But I doubt there’s much to worry about - it’s utterly unfeasible pie-in-the-sky publicity stunt, and even bin Salman knows that. It’s a great way of seeming like he’s taking action on the Saudi housing crisis without having to actually provide tangible results.

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Not sure if they’re going for a mirrored look for aesthetics or to reduce heating from the sun, but interestingly, white paint and a mirrored surface can be equally reflective, which is why some roofs are white in dry/hot climates.

How light reflects from a mirrored surface could be a big problem for birds and bees though, shows up in these topics, a bit:

Edit: An interesting video on white paint reflectivity with experiments (25 min) much better than this one of paint drying (10 hours).

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That promotional video could not be more ironic.

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aside from the ecological consequences of this, imagine commuting from one end of the “city” to the other before realizing you forgot your wallet or something at home

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Send in the budgerigars! The building won’t last five minutes.

If they change mirrows for other way to reduce heat, and communication within would be working, it’d be cool, even though I doubt it will be built, history shows such weird cities are getting build.

We have the white roof paint here. Haven’t heard of any nature related problems from that. But birdkills on windows - yes.

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Huh, had not heard of this but watched the video in the linked article. I do think the ability for humans to fly and float through the Line is rather attractive.

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Except for the logic fail that a Saudi woman would be in hijab - a bit more difficult to see where she is flying?

It’s a shame that she flew. Had she walked the entire length, she would’ve gotten the Johnny Cash Lifetime Achievement Award.

Come to think of it, it’s hot in Saudi Arabia. Maybe MBS wanted this design because he didn’t want to build a ring of fire.

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How light reflects from such a surface may be pretty disruptive to wildlife, considering the effect of solar panels :
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/solar-farms-threaten-birds/

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oh wow…there are some implications. I saw some you-tube vids on Soccer World cup in Qatar. These videos gave me a general idea that construction works are carried out by migrant workers from India and Nepal, poor regions from Asia. They work under deadly heat of the desert. It is known that that region is a very hot place on earth, although I’ve never been there. The migrants returned back and suffered illnesses such as kidney failure. This year there is an unusual hot weather throughout the world. The arabs are known to be harsh to migrant workers. Who wants to work til death in the desert?.I think many indians and pinoys work in the several oil rich countries. Cities in the desert are likely fueled by crude oil. Very few plants and trees grow in the desert. Technologies are available to distil freshwater, but the region is still running on crude oil. They got to turn some parts of the desert into forests. This have not shown to be possible yet. They probably plant date palms and what else?
The Prince wants to grow the population for export. That implies ambitious, of an expansionist type. The Prince has a cruel record already of having liquidated a subject.
It remains to be seen if modern technologies can work the landscape to be more hospitable to population growth. On the short term, human population expansion is definitely easy if given some incentives like money $. The worse case scenarios is if the Prince wants to be on par with some arabian conquerors.

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Bringing workers from Nepal to the desert is extreme for their health - adapted to altitude and cold.

I just try not to imagine the impact it would have on everything. Not only locally. If it heated this big area by the reflection from a massive panel construct, I believe it would create a cascade of different occurences in broader area. I used to do paragliding and if you physically can feel the heated thermal going up even because of a lump of rock in a sunny day, imagine what THIS would cause. It would probably kill off the biodiversity in a fragile desert habitat, it would affect birds and insects migrations in the area. And it would be just sucking gas/oil/energy as hell. If anything happens inside, the people wouldnť have a chance to escape as who can actually survive in a desert? I am a fan of sci-fi visions of cities. But I donť believe we are ready yet.

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By drawing a 100 mile line, I think the guy just wants to prove he’s the best ruler.

Sorry.

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NOT sorry.

What immediately came to my mind was a film doc I once watched about life in Dubai behind it’s architectural-showcae frontage.

Essentially, it’s a dazzling charade to hide the dreadful reality of the huge community of workers and families living in poverty, that support this utopic charade with all their work under harsh, impoverished, and largely exploited conditions.

And as a major, modern, metropolis, Dubai is not alone in this municipal spin-doctored presentation, but it’s possibly one of the most severely polarized.

And with this new ‘mirror wall’ concept idea then, if they turn the street fronts to face each other, where are they going to house all the people it will take to build, clean,feed, and otherwise serve, those flying about the gardens and waterfalls?

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