Catalan researchers amongst 10 finalists in contest to design sustainable city for Mars

The project details plans for up to one million inhabitants and complete societal infrastructure


Recreation of the NÜWA city in Mars (by UPC)
Recreation of the NÜWA city in Mars (by UPC) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

November 1, 2020 10:49 AM

Catalan researchers and scientists have designed a sustainable extraterrestrial city as part of a contest launched by the Mars Society.

Their city, NÜWA - named after the Chinese goddess creator of humanity - has been chosen as one of the 10 finalists amongst 175 projects that were submitted. 

The Mars City State Design contest briefed participants to create a sustainable city of one million inhabitants on Mars. 

These Catalan creators have come from many different institutions, such as the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), the institute of space study in Catalonia (IEEC), the institute of cosmos sciences at the university of Barcelona (ICCUB) and the company ABIBOO. 

Regrouped under the international organisation SONet ‘The Sustainable Offworld Network’, these scientists have planned a completely sustainable and liveable metropolis. 

The creation process took place from April to June. Due to the pandemic meetings were conducted through video conferences.

The plans detail the city’s avant-guard and futuristic design, its energy distribution and arrangements for infrastructure, among many other features that make NÜWA a feasible society.

Moreover, planning also took into account political and societal development. The designers have already accounted for three phases of political evolution: settlement, transition and eventually emancipation from Earth.

Miquel Sureda, one of the project’s creators and professor of aeronautical engineering at the Terrassa School of Industrial, Aerospace and Audiovisual Engineering at UPC told ACN: “When designing the city of NÜWA; we had to use a very holistic point of view, because we did not only have to think about technological or scientific issues, but also social, economic factors of coexistence and even politics.”

He also explained the importance of NÜWA “The idea would be for Mars to complement the Earth. A city like NÜWA could help the people of Earth solve their problems. Many of the technological solutions that would have to be found for Mars would end up being beneficial to Earth.”

Catalan Space Agency

The Catalan government also announced their plans for space on Tuesday. A 2.5 million euro investment into the field was announced for 2020 and 2021.

A Catalan Space Agency will be created and later there are plans to launch two nano satellites into orbit. 

It is hoped that the move will generate around 1,200 jobs.

The need to leave Earth comes from a very inspirational thing, that is the human interest to discover and explore.