Biodesign: Why the future of our cities is soft and hairy

The grey light of dawn is mingling with the glow of the trees, which have been injected with luminescent jellyfish genes.You can barely believe that such primitive things as streetlights ever existed.Your stylish bespoke watch — which was grown in a lab from biodegradable calf’s cartilage cells — tells you it’s time for breakfast.Which you will eat at your de rigueur mousetrap table.Which attracts mice into a tube in one of its legs, kills them, and feeds them into a microbial fuel cell, generating more power for the house.The Paternoster device in the kitchen, which “upcycles” your waste plastic and uses it to grow fungus, has a rich crop of mushrooms.You fry them up on the methane bio-digester, which heats the hob with methane produced by bacteria digesting organic matter in the waste-disposal unit.To this you add some trout, which you net from the artfully illuminated aquarium in the living room and kill on the chopping board; and some spinach from a collection of plants that lives on the nitrate-rich fish waste in the aquarium.READ: 10 extraordinary futuristic wilderness hideoutsFinally, for an artistic touch, you garnish it with some chives.Which were grown using nutrients automatically extracted from your Filtering Squatting Toilet.If all this sounds like second-rate science fiction, think again.

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