Monday, March 26, 2007

Mwinda, The Future City

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The Future City Competition is designed to encourage the future generation of engineers. Seventh and eighth grade students create their own vision of a city of tomorrow, working first on computer and then constructing three-dimensional scale models. More than 1,100 schools and 30,000 students competed this past year across the United States. International pilot programs are underway in Egypt, India, Japan and Sweden.

St. Thomas More School of Baton Rouge, La., won the overall competition for their future city, Mwinda.

Mwinda, meaning light in Lingala, a dialect of the Republic of Congo – is a new city in an old land. The mission of Mwinda is to ensure opportunity for a good life by providing power, housing, water, food, and transportation. Located on the Fimi River near the Equator, Mwinda is in an area necessary to this mission: access to water, proximity to Lake Mai-Ndombe, settlement both on savannah and peripheral forest lands, and availability of rich mineral deposits. With innovative technology and modern engineering practices, Mwinda has developed an integrated, interdependent industrial design. Using principally renewable energy resources, the city produces excess electricity which it sells to other cities and countries of what has been called the Dark Continent. In one application, PAFC fuel cells (PAFCs) are powered with hydrogen from photo-hydrogen generators, genetically enhanced algal cultures which produce hydrogen as a byproduct, and with solar collector hydrogen generators. A second system, TseTse (mythological African goddess of lightning), uses massive lightning containment capacitors, composed of dielectric glass and conductive metals from waste. Third, the Candu Reactor, powered by raw uranium mined robotically, operates in the industrial zone.

Mwinda commercially processes industrial waste in Plasma Gasification Systems. Plasma reforms the waste, producing syngas and inorganic byproducts. Reclaimed metals and silicon are used in industries such as the manufacture of lightning containment capacitors, algal tubes, microchips, and the building of roads and houses. Germanium mined nearby is used to manufacture fiber optic components for the communication system. Reclaimed platinum is used to manufacture PAFC membranes cheaply.

Industry brings other benefits to Mwinda. For example, over one-half of Africa’s population lacks adequate water. Potable water is produced by fuel cells, including the microbial fuel cells which process human waste. Protein-enriched algae from phyto-hydrogen generators feed a protein-starved nation. Excess algae are harvested, dried, the protein extracted and added into cassava, a starchy staple of the African diet. This simple food source eliminates the need to kill large animals, “bush kill” being a current problem in Africa. In addition, Mwinda maintains floating algae and floating farms on nearby Lake Mai-Ndombe.

This thriving economy offers many services. The transportation system includes hydrogen-powered hover cars, hover buses, and amphibious cars driven over roads made from refuse from the Gasification System. These amphibious vehicles also navigate the river and lake. An efficient maglev system traverses the city. Trains transport goods to and from mining and agricultural areas and the river port. Along with its exemplary school and university system, Mwinda maintains a Cultural Studies Institute to preserve and foster the indigenous cultures, music, and languages. For recreation, visitors and inhabitants enjoy attractions, including world-class hotels and spas, water sports, safaris, rain forest tours, game reserves, and a professional soccer team, the Okapis.

Mwinda, the city of light, bears truth to an African proverb: For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.

Visit http://www.futurecity.org/ or http://www.eweek.org/ for more information.

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Mwinda, Ciudad del Futuro


El Concurso sobre la Ciudad del Futuro está concebida para estimular futuras generaciones de ingenieros entre los escolares estadoundienses. Los alumnos de séptimo y octavo grado crean su propia visión de una ciudad del mañana, primero tabajando con el ordenador, y después construyendo maquetas a escala. Más de 1.100 escuelas y más de 30.000 escolares de los Estados Unidos han participado el pasado año en este concurso fallado el pasado mes de febrero. Hay en marcha ya programas piloto internacionales en Egipto, India, Japón y Suecia.

El colegio de St. Thomas More School, de Baton Rouge, en Lusiana, ha sido este año el ganador absoluto de la competición con un proyecto con su ciudad del futuro llamada Mwinda, que significa luz en Lingala, un dialecto de la Républica de el Congo. Mwinda se encuentra en la ribera del rio Fimi, próxima al ecuador, dispone de agua abundante por su proximidad con el lago Mai-Ndombe, está rodeada por bosques y la sabana, y es rica en yacimientos minerales. Merced a tecnologías innovadoras, prácticas de ingeniería modernas y a las energías renovables. Mwinda produce electricidad de sobra para vender sus excedentes a otras ciudades y países de lo que los estudiantes han llamado la Tierra de las Tinieblas. Pilas de Combustible alimentadas con hidrógeno producido por fotólisis a partir de algas cultivadas y mejoradas genéticamente, y con generadores de hidrógeno con colectores solares que producen hidrógeno, y otras tecnologías del futuro como trenes de levitación magnética, automóviles de hidrógeno configuran esta ciudad del futuro ideada por estos escolares.

Visite http://www.futurecity.org/ or http://www.eweek.org/ para obtener más información.


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