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TREASURE ISLAND, SAN FRANCISO

Just north of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, the manmade island is being redeveloped from blighted brownfield to model of sustainable living. Residential and commercial areas will be within a 10- to 15-minute walk from each other and public transit. Open space will take up half the island, with a portion reserved for organic farming. Artificial wetlands will help conserve water. Biofuel, recycled city waste, wind, and solar will produce energy. Plus, the street grid is being reoriented to optimize solar exposure and wind protection. It is expected to be completed by 2013. www.arup.com.

LILYPAD PROJECT, THE WORLD'S OCEANS

“Lilypad, a Floating Ecopolis for Climate Refugees,” is a theoretical design by Vincent Callebaut Architectures to serve as a refuge from worst-case scenario rising waters induced by global warming that may submerge Earth's terrain. The half-aquatic, half-terrestrial city will float along the oceans' water line and feature collecting pools in the center that gather and filter water for use on board. Slated for a 2100 release, it should hold 50,000 inhabitants. www.vincent.callebaut.org.

LAS VEGAS CITYCENTER

This $8 million “city-within-a-city” will include hotels, casinos, restaurants, retail/entertainment space, and a $40 million public fine arts center. It features an irrigation system that helps conserve water, construction that minimizes VOC emissions, and energy conservation with an onsite power generator. Excess heat from the generator will be used to heat water. The 67-acre CityCenter should be completed next year. www.citycenter.com.