The Ecotopia 2121 project explores the eco-friendly futures of 100 cities worldwide, as though they've survived the current climate change crisis, and adapted to be prosperous and super-green. This month we focus on the future of the Mediterranean city of Nador.
Nador is a port city of nearly 200,000 people on the Mar Chica lagoon of the Mediterranean coast of North Africa. In times past it was a Berber city, a Phoenician city, a Roman city, an Arab city, and a Spanish city; now it is a Moroccan city.
Nador is currently going through an economic boom via two industries: metals processing and tourism. They seem to be working against each other, though, since the cultural and natural beauty is being eroded by a polluted lagoon and polluted air. Occasionally there are spills and runoffs from metals processing plants, which some believe is highly dangerous to the health of local residents.
Another eco-problem that Nador confronts every year is the algal blooms in the lagoon, which mess up the quality of the water and create a nuisance for the tourists. In Nador 2121, however, these annual blooms are transformed from a problem into an opportunity, as the algae is extracted and used as “oilgae” in bioreactors to create energy.
To control the metals industry, a different approach is taken, which comes about after a massive industrial accident sometime in the early twenty-second century, when thousands of tons of chemicals leak from a metals factory into nearby schools and communities, and eventually into the lagoon. The leak leads to the death or disability of dozens of children due to heavy-metal poisoning.
The factory owners get away with it — much to the disappointment of the whole city — since Moroccan law allows the company to be charged for environmental crimes and punished with fines but individual bosses cannot be held accountable.
In this scenario for Nador 2121, the bosses are made culpable for any life-threatening environmental pollution their firm produces—and the punishment is public execution. The bodies of the convicted managers are then reprocessed, like the algae, into biofuels at special public events. Through these measures, the importance of a clean and Green environment is conveyed to all Nador’s industrial leaders.