Monument to Civilization: Vertical Landfill for Metropolises
2012 Skyscraper Competition
Lin Yu-Ta, Anne Schmidt
The designer of the “Monument to Civilization” asks you to reconsider what constitutes ‘spectacular.’
Skyscrapers are meant to wow, to impress. But other things within cities are also impressive, the designer says: “New York, for instance: If we put its annual garbage on a area of a typical tower footprint, we’ll get a 1,300 meter high landfill tower, which is about as three times tall as the Empire State Building (450 meters). Isn’t that spectacular?”
As landfill possibilities surrounding growing metropolises disappear and cities fight waste management issues, the power of trash needs to be reconsidered. The accumulation of waste, for example, actually creates potential energy-recycle opportunities, such as when gas is emitted during decomposition. The Monument of Civilization proposal suggests locating trash vertically in a tower and using the energy generated from its decomposition to help power the surrounding city. By locating the tower in the heart of the city, energy is provided in immediate proximity, and money is also saved in transportation costs when garbage no longer needs to be shipped out of town.
It also able to serve there as a loud reminder of society’s wasteful ways: “The ever-growing Monument may evoke the citizens’ introspection and somewhat leads to the entire city’s waste-decreasing and better recycling,” the designer says. Seeing the tower as an “Earth-Friendliness Meter,” the designer says, means the shorter the tower, the friendlier the city, as that means less waste is made and more is recycled. “Perhaps all metropolitan cities would inverse the worldwide competition from being the tallest to the shortest.”
Underneath the structure lie recycling and wastewater processing facilities, gas and power stations, a temporary dump and wasted water tank. The tower consists of a garbage brick wall, gas transmission pipelines, and a solid-waste tank in the center.