Could Life on Mars Flourish with Sustainably Managed Forests?
The red planet is one of the last places you would normally associate with sustainability. Yet, this might just change in the near future.
A team of engineers and architects at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recently won the Mars City Design competition with their buildings that are designed to not only sustain human life but also forest and plant life.
They are calling their winning urban designs the Redwood Forest. These artificial forests will involve creating domes that contain large tree habitats that can support up to 50 people with food, water, and oxygen resources.
The Redwood Forest might consist of individual forest domes but live in these domes will hardly be isolated. According to their proposal, these domes would provide residents with plenty of open areas, public spaces, plants, water, activities and residents would be responsible for maintaining forest sustainability within the domes. The domes will also be interlinked with underground tunnels that will enable residents to move from one tree habitat to another. In total, these domes will support a community of thousands of people.
The Redwood Forest domes are also designed to provide residents and forests with all the needed protection from cosmic radiation, micrometeorite impacts, thermal variations and much more.
Valentia Sumini and Assistant Professor Caitlin Mueller lead the team effort and they had the following to say about their genius invention; “On Mars, our city will physically and functionally mimic a forest, using local Martian resources such as ice and water, regolith (or soil), and sun to support life.”
Architect George Lordos, who was responsible for the design of the pods, created his design to harness the energy of the sun to support human and plant life and to harbor water resources as much as possible within plant life. He also included plans for electric vehicles that are designed to make life and transportation between pods much simpler and more sustainable.
Forests create atmospheres conducive to human life and their growth cycles provide us with raw materials we need to support civilization. If it’s true that life on Mars could best support humans by growing sustainable forests, then why would the same not be true on Earth? Every part of a tree can be used and recycled. Nature’s Packaging supports the increased use of recyclable wood pallets when sourced from sustainably managed forests.