Your City Might Be About to Get a Facelift

Upside-down planters in São Paulo! An urban trail and art park under Miami's MetroRail! Here are the coolest design innovations coming to cities all over the world.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The Project: +Pool

What It Is: If you live in New York City, you know how crowded public pools can be (and how questionable the cleanliness levels)—but +Pool is about to change that. The world's first water-filtering pool, the project will clean half a million gallons of water every day and give New Yorkers a place to swim right on the waterfront.

When It's Expected: 2020

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The Project: TreeWiFi

What It Is: It might surprise you to know that, even though the majority of Amsterdam residents bike everywhere, the city still has an air pollution problem. Local engineer Joris Lam wants to combat this issue with TreeWiFi, birdhouse-shaped devices that detect pollution levels. The birdhouses will soon be installed on trees around the city, and will turn into a free WiFi hotspot whenever the air is clean.

When It's Expected: September

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The Project: Minhocão Marquise

What It Is: Forget New York's High Line. The Minhocão viaduct, a neglected highway underpass in São Paulo, could become the next urban park revolution. The São Paulo and Paris-based agency, Triptyque Architecture, has conceived a plan to transform the unused roadway into lively path for bikers, joggers, and pedestrians. A beautiful garden suspended from the overpass will help cut carbon emissions from cars by 20 percent, and will be sustained by rain water.

When It's Expected: 2032

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The Project: The Hyperion

What It Is: Named for what's believed to be the world's tallest tree—a redwood in California that stands almost 380 feet tall—the Hyperion buildings will create more energy than they use. Conceived by Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut, the complex capitalizes on several multi-use spaces: The eco-friendly Hyperions, slated to be built in New Delhi in the next four years, will house homes, offices, gyms, dairy farms, vegetable gardens, and phyto-purification ponds for water filtration.

When It's Expected: 2020

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The Project: The Multi-Layered City

What It Is: Winners of the urban design competition Reinventer Paris, Jacques Ferrier Architecture, Chartier Dalix Architectes, and SLA Architects will realize their Multi-Layered City, a proposal to build a network of gardens, markets, homes, shops, and offices in Paris's perimeter road. The top floor will be dedicated to an urban farm that will be accessible to the public and dedicated to growing the first crop of Parisian tea!

When It's Expected: 2022

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The Project: Pier 55

What It Is: A futuristic park between Piers 54 and 56 will begin construction this summer on New York's West Side. The 2.7 acre project, which was designed by London firm Heatherwick and is largely funded by designer Diane Von Furstenburg and her husband, businessman Barry Diller, will sit on white stilts above the Hudson River and boast three performance venues, including an amphitheater.

When It's Expected: Construction begins this summer.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The Project: Babcock Ranch

What It Is: This project isn't coming to your city, because it's actually an entirely new town. Babcock Ranch, a project from the developers at Kitson & Partners, is located 13 miles from Fort Myers, Florida and will be America's first solar-powered city. Fully conceived with sustainability in mind, half of the town's land will be set aside for protected wilderness, while the other half will encompass 19,500 homes, 6 million square feet of retail, and 50,000 inhabitants.

When It's Expected: The power plant will be operational by the end of this year and the first 1,000 homes are scheduled for 2017, but the town won't be fully completed until about 2041.

More from sweet: