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I'm not sure if this is "urban tech", in that it probably isn't something that's applicable in a variety of scenarios, nor if it has already been talked about on this site, but regardless, i still think it's worth mentioning. -------------------- Solar City Tower for Rio Olympics is a Giant Energy Generating Waterfall by Bridgette Meinhold, 03/19/10 This renewable energy generating tower located on the coast of Rio is one of the first buildings we’ve seen designed for the 2016 Rio Olympics, and boy, is it crazy! (In case you didn’t notice, it’s also a waterfall.) The Solar City Tower is designed by Zurich-based RAFAA Architecture & Design, and features a large solar system to generate power during the day and a pumped water storage system to generate power at night. RAFAA’s goal is that a symbolic tower such as this can serve as a starting point for a global green movement and help make the 2016 Olympic Games more sustainable. The self-sustaining tower for the 2016 Olympic Games is designed to create renewable energy for use in the Olympic Village as well as the city of Rio. A large solar power plant generates energy during the day. Any excess power not used during the day is utilized to pump seawater into a storage tank within the tower. At night, the water is released to power turbines, which will provide nighttime power for the city. On special occasions water is pumped out to create a waterfall over the edges of the building, which RAFAA says will be, “a symbol for the forces of nature.” Info on the size of the solar and pumped water storage system is not available yet. Access to the eco tower is gained through an urban plaza and amphitheater 60 meters above sea level, which can be used for social gatherings. On the ocean side of the 105 meter tower (behind the waterfall) is a cafeteria and shop. An elevator takes visitors up to the top floor where an observation deck offers 360 views of the ocean and city. At level 90.5, a bungee platform is available for adventurous visitors. Link to article: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/19/solar-city-tower-for-rio-olympics-giant-energy-generating-waterfall/ -------------------- if for nothing else, the renderings look kinda cool. wonder if you could have such a waterfall flowing off our own olympic tower ? or would that risk to bring in even more toilet jokes ? .. ..