As the climate changes, cities must change with it. Fix is exploring how our urban centers are being reimagined and what green, equitable, and resilient communities could look like. With insights from local officials, architects, residents, and more, our Sustainable Cities of the Future series examines how we’ll live, work, and play in the cities of tomorrow. This short story by Paolo Bacigalupi, which appears in the anthology Cities of Light, envisions cities powered by clean, efficient energy and neighborhoods using solar micro-grids to provide energy sovereignty. (Explore the full series so far.)
James Black, his father’s worst enemy, clips his safety harness to dead-man bolts and steps up onto a 1,000-kilogram weight. Beside him, a flywheel the diameter of a city bus is spinning. It looms over him, a blur of motion holding vast amounts of kinetic energy. A chill breeze wafts over him, hinting at how fast the massive wheel spins on frictionless magnetic bearings.
James sets his work boots more securely, readies his stance, and grabs onto the steel cable that holds the weight. He takes a breath and nods to Fitz that he’s read... Read more