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Build your own future eco-city in new climate show

Want to have a go at building you own eco-city of the future? London’s Science Museum is offering visitors the chance to do just that in an exhibition opening later this week.

The Science of Survival show offers visitors an interactive trip through the problems climate change poses to daily life and an array of options for rising to that challenge.

The end result is a custom made eco-community.

”At the end you have your 2050 community built with all the choices you have made during your visit,” said Malinda Campbell of The Science of… company, a joint venture between the Science Museum and Fleming Media.

”Along the way every choice you make is shown to have pros and cons, telling you there is no one answer, so the same is true of your virtual city. But the end message is positive,” she told Reuters on a preview visit.

Each visitor gets a computer chip card and is then introduced to the basic problems and four animated characters, each with their own individual approach to the solutions.

There is the continue-as-normal avatar, the technology-holds-all-the-answers avatar, the green-is-the-holy-grail avatar and one that takes a piece from all the others.

The exhibition is broken down into five lifestyle sections — water, food, entertainment, transport and building — each explaining the problem from that perspective and offering a range of solutions through the computer avatars.

For instance, a message at the outset states: ”Of every 100 drops of water on earth 97 are too salty to drink, two are trapped in ice and one is fresh water.”

”At first glance that may suggest that global warming and melting ice caps offers a solution to growing shortages of drinking water. But as you get deeper into the exhibition you find the other side of that,” said Campbell.

At each stage the visitor takes part in a game ranging from designing a mode of transport and how to build and power it to making a meal, building a house and choosing a power supply.

Each of these decisions is stored in the computer chip card out of which springs the 2050 eco-community at the end.

”The aim is to challenge what is being taken for granted by millions of people in the developed world. We want to connect to people on a personal level,” said Campbell.

The exhibition opens on Saturday and runs to November. An exact duplicate will open in New Jersey in the United States in the autumn, and there are plans to take it one the road round the world.

”It will be interesting to see if different places come up with different answers,” said Campbell. – Reuters

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