An eco-city in Portugal that its makers are aiming to build by 2015 takes its cues from the nervous system.

"IF TODAY'S cities were living things, they would be monsters, guilty of guzzling 75 per cent of the world's natural resources consumed each year.
Now a more benign urban creature is set to emerge. The planned city of PlanIT Valley, on the outskirts of Paredes in northern Portugal (see map), is aiming to be an environmentally sustainable city. And, just like an organism, it will have a brain: a central computer that regulates everything from its water use to energy consumption."