An Italian building design company has proposed a sustainable city to be located in Mexico; a 100 percent self-sufficient metropolis boasting renewable energy, Venetian canals, and abundant green space.

This design is an example of a “smart city” proposal designed to produce a new sort of urbanism.

Imagine a city that melds nature and technology in harmony, a self-sustaining city in which green space is punctuated by contemporary buildings and the business of metropolitan life.

This city is already being strategised, as Milan architecture firm Stefano Boeri Architetti has announced the planning of a smart “forest city” in the vicinity of Cancun, Mexico, that will supply all of its food and energy.

The firm indicates that the city will include 557 hectares, 400 of which will exist as green spaces consisting of 7,500,000 plants. Designed to accommodate 130,000 people, the city will include a vast assortment of housing varieties to accommodate its residents.

The economy of the community will be circular, with its food, water, and energy needs met through self-generation. The designs also feature a grand research center to accommodate university departments, conferences, and curious scholars of all ages.

The city design even comes complete with data interaction plans, to manage the governing of the area.

The city will be constructed in a region utilised as a sand quarry and tentatively planned as a shopping center.

The city is intended to be sustained through a system of energy production and water desalination. A ring of solar panels will encompass the city, generating sufficient power to serve all inhabitants. Water will be taken from the Caribbean and desalinized by a solar tower. This water would irrigate crops through a network of navigable canals.

Transportation will be maintained by an electric public “Mobility in Chain” transit system. Cars will be excluded from the city.

Carbon emissions will be captured by abundant plants. Indeed, green areas will grow bountifully here. The Smart Forest City is intended to absorb 116.000 tons of carbon dioxide, with 5.800 tons of CO2 stocked per year.

While the city is only an idea at this point, its designers hope to set an example for the world; a virtual role model of sustainable urbanism.

This project mirrors a myriad of Smart City projects and initiatives in Australia, where the $50 million Smart Cities program is powering 82 projects that promote technology-powered urban design; including the building of 6000 smart apartments at Melrose Park; a major urban renewal development east of Parramatta’s CBD.

The Australian government’s Smart Cities Plan is intended to revolutionise smart technology in this country, to enhance community sustainability and impel innovation—for the good of Australia and for the future.