I first read about linear cities in Scientific American some years ago – I have lost the reference. The idea is not new, and many cities have development corridors that are watered down versions of this. This concept aims to reap the transport and lifestyle benefits of a linear city but also drastically reduce energy use.
A key issue is growing population. There will be around 2 Billion extra people on the planet soon, and perhaps half of the existing population aspires to a decent lifestyle. If all those people get homes with car space and roads a substantial part of the planet will be consumed.
For example in the UK we may have 10 million people to accommodate by 2050. That is more than live in Greater London. London is crowded, people want a better life than that. So we might expect twice the area of Greater London to be consumed accommodating these people. And the world problem is, literally 200 times larger again.
One linear city in the UK, and another 100 larger ones across the planet, would solve most of these housing problems without destroying the natural environment.
The city would be built with one end at a major, growing city. The communication links would be put in place first, with capacity for growth. The city would then be expanded section by section, becoming longer and longer
The design could vary. In an early post I showed a roof over the whole city but clearly a central area could be left open, or some buildings like restaurants and prestige offices could project through the roof, or the buildings could be enclosed in groups with spaces between. I assumed that a uniform profile would reduce heat losses to a minimum and get maximum accommodation for minimum visual impact. The uniform profile would be preferred in extreme climates, in temperate areas heating and cooling are less important and the style could be more open.
Later, following some comments, I posted a second concept that was rather more traditional with separate buildings, but with a well designed public transport system.