Sustainable Amboy


With the depletion of fossil fuel reserves and the acceleration of global warming threatening human existence, the need for new sustainable power systems has become increasingly crucial. The proposal is that of a sustainable network in the Californian desert connecting Amboy and the surrounding towns along a neglected portion of Route 66 in the form of a research community that will explore and develop sustainable carbon-free systems as future sources of renewable power. A phased construction of this network will first establish an initial power plant to supply power for the project as well as to sell back to the existing grid, accruing revenue to finance future phases of the development. A carbon-free transit system connecting the outpost towns to the central research live/work hub at Amboy becomes the arterial infrastructure allowing further development to take place. Addressing four scales (regional, local, town, and district), from Barstow to Needles the network has the resources to sustain itself as well as the surrounding region with nearly zero carbon emissions. Each town plays a unique role defined by its natural geographic parameters. Agriculture in Cadez, wind power in Siberia, geothermal research in Baghdad, and solar farms in Daney only begin to suggest the potential of this new desert collective. Amboy’s mini-grid planning strategy, influenced by a case study on Masdar, calls for a dense collection of modules with the opportunity to multiply and divide as a means for organic growth over time. Individually the units themselves utilize passive cooling, radiant heating, and solar water desalination to continue the sustainable strategy on all scales.