The Canopea project from France is looking to take this trend further by marrying the high technology aspects of sustainability--smart grids, super efficient heating and cooling, and sustainable mobility--with the natural advantages of earthen walls, rooftop gardens, and indoor vegetation.
Canopea’s “nanotower” design (which won Europe’s Solar Decathlon competition), essentially stacks modular small single family homes on floors with plenty of open spaces and vegetation. It tries to combine the efficiency and convenience of urban living with some of lure of leafy suburbs. The nanotowers’ co-housing-style dwellings offer personal sleeping and bathing quarters, with shared cooking, laundry, garden, and recreation spaces. The design maxes out at 10 floors, to keep thing dense yet manageable.