THE ECOTOPIA 2121 PROJECT OUTLINES THE SUPER-GREEN FUTURES OF 100 REAL WORLD CITIES. THIS MONTH WE FOCUS ON VIENNA
Vienna, the capital of Austria, is one of the United Nations’ official cities, hosting the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs. It also hosts the International Atomic Energy Agency and OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Each of these industries—the space industry, the nuclear industry, and the oil industry—is likely to decline as its core business dwindles and its costs grow. Thus, the agencies that represent them in Vienna, now so influential on the international scene, will become less so until they decay into irrelevance.
By the end of the century, the Vienna offices will be closed down. The politicians in Vienna then become a little worried about the international standing of the city, and they’re keen to rectify it by pushing for the opening of an alternative body, the UN Agency for the Green Economy. The new agency located in the city would strive to “Greenify” every sector in the world, in order to encourage Green economics, Green banking, Green management, Green labor, Green leadership, Green education—Green everything. The global uptake of all these ideas is very limited, though.
However, across the world, many leaders aren’t interested in being told how to govern differently according to 'Green Economy' ideas; they just want vibrant GDP figures and tangible things to show off to their publics. So, to sell the Green Economy, Vienna has to rebrand it as being all about commerce and having nothing to do with governance—although officials admit in the backrooms that they’ll “throw a few 'Green tech' investments around.”
The world leaders are far more receptive to this message and approve setting up the new UN agency.
In 2121, its offices emerge on the banks of the Danube as an iconic state-of-the-art 'eco-campus'. All of the buildingsare veneered with a skin laden with algae thatnot only capture solar energy but also feed oncarbon dioxide and fix it into the building walls, rendering the campus, agency, and Vienna, too, carbon-negative and eco-friendly.