My question is inspired by the sci-fi readings I did when I was young that tell of an over-populated planet and mega-metropolises that try to “steal” habitable place from the sky or the ground. There are many examples of this kind of city in our retro-futuristic imagination, collected by websites like

Frizzifrizzi asks: The city of the future: reaching the sky or digging underground?
Candy Chang answers:  Back to the old ways in the age of the new. A city up in the sky, more like a village that floats above landscapes of nature and concrete. In the future, I think we might be smart enough to understand that nature is vital and that our technology must go hand in hand with it. Anti-gravity is a real scientific endeavor, being studied at this moment in many laboratories and research centers.

The world of science is fascinating and amazing. Far from fearing it, I find many of us artists really love the way in which people grow with the technology this field produces, hand-in-hand towards the future. Firmly, I believe that the world is a better place because of this. People generally live longer and have healthier lives.

The floating island is a popular idea and a science fiction classic: to take old buildings and augment them–and the entire island–with anti-gravity engines powered by the earth’s magnetic field, dark matter, or another special atom like the graviton (theoretical). Imagine a vast floating island, always on the slow move from place to place.

High up in the mountains where the floating islands meet other permanent settlers.
This is something that I envisioned with ink lines and with a classical Chinese feeling and mood. The colors are used to keep the image light and positive, instead of forcing it to have heavy tones and color. This one is minimal.

It shows a futuristic super train, based (externally, at least) on 1920s to 1950s train design. This taste in design has yet to go out of fashion and–I know–never will. Imagine a world in the future where people embrace natural forms of energy (We could do this tomorrow if we wanted. Sadly, money for big business always comes first). A future where trains, equipped with magnetic propulsion engines, can travel at blinding speeds. It has already been designed by scientists and others. Where helicopters, or aircrafts that look like helicopters, do not rely on blades for upwards motion, but rather use anti-gravity. For me, this really is the future: flying from one building to the next.

Upward and Far Beyond.
This is my favorite concept. It did not take as long as the others, but it is done in a slightly different style. For this, line work would not do. I had to create a digital painting, called “concept art” in the industry and currently the most popular style of presentation.

This massive, metallic city is always on the move with its propulsion engines and anti-gravity. It also uses other forms of space travel engines to push through the vast regions of deep space. It can travel by bending the fabric of space itself to go to other planets, traveling faster than the speed of light. What people do not realize is that “time” is relative. There is actually NO rule that nothing can go faster than the speed of light. So, the vessel can not only can it go into deep space—a CITY in the stars—but it can also easily go into the oceans of Earth or other systems. This really would be amazing to see in the future: the ability to move beyond the sky.