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sustainable high living

Skyscrapers of the future will be "living" buildings which cater for the needs of the inhabitants and put more into the environment than they take out.

This will be a welcome change from high flats of the past which, as any resident of a Glasgow multi will testify, were built at great expense, rapidly became uninhabitable and were then razed to the ground with a few sticks of dynamite.

The good news about the next generations of tall buildings comes from the research department of Arup, the engineering multinational behind such structures as the Pompidou Centre and the Sydney Opera House.

The flats will be "net-zero energy" so you don't have to give half your wages to Scottish Power. They will be heated by wind turbine, photovoltaic paint, and tanks of algae bio-fuel. This is entirely different from the algae in previous multi-storey flats which created damp but no heat.

The flats will be maintained by drone robots, so no problems trying to get a plumber or an electrician. And you don't have to make the robot a cup of tea. If major repairs are required, a really big drone robot will come and take away the entire flat (or pod as it is known) and put in a new one.

Each building will have food production modules with meat, poultry, vegetables and fish farms. Dinner will be some sea bass and asparagus from the module downstairs. You won't be popping out to the chip shop or Chinese takeaway.

The ground floor of the future skyscraper will house an art gallery or a theatre but probably not a bookmaker or an off-licence. If residents need to avail themselves of the bookie or the offie, transport will not be a problem. There will be a hub in the basement with an underground connection. That's assuming your tower block is located somewhere along the route of Glasgow's bijou subway system.

There will be car sharing. Many inhabitants will already be familiar with this concept where their vehicle is borrowed by a local joyrider.

I can see all this working fine in the Red Road flats mark II. But only if people don't pee in the lift or turn the house into a crack den. Or chuck the telly out the window. Not even a flat-screen TV.

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