The Tower of David

11 Apr

This is possibly the coolest, most cyberpunk community I’ve read about since the walled city of Kowloon.

Standing 45 storeys tall, complete with helicopter landing pad and glorious views of the Avila mountain range, it was built with the intention of becoming a shining new financial centre in Venezuela’s capital.

Since it was abandoned roughly 20 years ago, amid a massive run on the country’s banking sector and the death of its developer, this incomplete skyscraper has been transformed into what has been described as the tallest slum in the world.

The building was seized by squatters in 2007, when then-President Hugo Chavez’s socialist government turned a blind eye, and now about 3,000 people call it their home.

-The Daily Mail

An unfinished skyscraper in the middle of a city, turned into a towering slum community. If that doesn’t make you think of Night City or Megacity One I don’t know what will. I’ve heard of the ghost towers in many Asian nations, unfinished skyscrapers that have been left empty due to lack of tenants or funding, but this is the first time I’ve heard of one that was taken over by squatters and turned into their own vertical city.

According to the article the Tower of David boasts its own form of civic governments, it’s own security, and shops. They’re a village unto themselves, rising out of the city of Caracas. And despite their reputation as a slum and the stigma that follows squatter communities, by all accounts crime is lower for the people of the Tower than it is for the citizens living on the ground.

That in itself could make for an interesting twist for a game setting. We’ve seen settings where technologically advanced people in an isolated sanctuary are safe from the chaotic world around them, but it’s less common to see a sanctuary for the poor rising above a technologically decadent civilization. It’s similar to the old Beauty & the Beast TV series, but rising up instead of burrowing below.

The full story is in The Daily Mail, complete with a brief history of the Tower, a bit about their society, and some wonderful photos.

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Posted by on April 11, 2014 in Cool Stuff, Cyberpunk


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