Architecture

MVRDV and Airbus imagine balcony to balcony travel in future cities

MVRDV and Airbus imagine balco...
Sky taxi passengers could hop from one skyscraper to another without ever touching the ground
Sky taxi passengers could hop from one skyscraper to another without ever touching the ground
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Airbus UAM imagines a temporary vertiport built using shipping containers being installed at the Coachella Festival
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Airbus UAM imagines a temporary vertiport built using shipping containers being installed at the Coachella Festival
Airbus UAM depicts
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Airbus UAM depicts flying vehicles coming to San Francisco with a vertiport built in the bay
Airbus UAM envisions São Paulo, Brazil, with a greenery-covered vertiport that would allow drone-like flying vehicles to take off and land
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Airbus UAM envisions São Paulo, Brazil, with a greenery-covered vertiport that would allow drone-like flying vehicles to take off and land
Airbus UAM imagines integrating the vertipod into Los Angeles' existing infrastructure
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Airbus UAM imagines integrating the vertipod into Los Angeles' existing infrastructure
Airbus UAM's vertipods would come in lots of different shapes and sizes
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Airbus UAM's vertipods would come in lots of different shapes and sizes
Airbus UAM envisions people using drone-like flying vehicles to move directly from skyscraper to skyscraper in Chinese megacities like Shenzhen, depicted in the above image
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Airbus UAM envisions people using drone-like flying vehicles to move directly from skyscraper to skyscraper in Chinese megacities like Shenzhen, depicted in the above image
Airbus UAM envisions the vertipods as hubs of renewable energy
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Airbus UAM envisions the vertipods as hubs of renewable energy
"A mature network of vertiports could serve to connect disadvantaged areas of cities and remote areas without the need for expensive infrastructure; could vastly improve emergency response times; and could even allow 'technological leapfrogging' in developing countries, providing a transit network that is relatively inexpensive to create in cities that never developed extensive metro or tram systems," says MVRDV
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"A mature network of vertiports could serve to connect disadvantaged areas of cities and remote areas without the need for expensive infrastructure; could vastly improve emergency response times; and could even allow 'technological leapfrogging' in developing countries, providing a transit network that is relatively inexpensive to create in cities that never developed extensive metro or tram systems," says MVRDV
An exhibition titled The City and the Sky Above, created in collaboration between MVRDV, Airbus, and Squint/Opera was recently shown at the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, in China, and sets out the team's ideas for the future of flying vehicles
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An exhibition titled The City and the Sky Above, created in collaboration between MVRDV, Airbus, and Squint/Opera was recently shown at the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, in China, and sets out the team's ideas for the future of flying vehicles
Sky taxi passengers could hop from one skyscraper to another without ever touching the ground
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Sky taxi passengers could hop from one skyscraper to another without ever touching the ground
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If flying cars and other similar vehicles become commonplace, our cities will surely need to adapt – but will New York City resemble The Jetsons, or look much like it does now, just with a few extra airports? A study led by MVRDV and Airbus has some interesting ideas.

MVRDV spent two years collaborating with Airbus, alongside Bauhaus Luftfahrt, ETH Zurich, and Systra, to explore how to best integrate flying vehicles into existing cities. Its vision is centered around vertiports, which would come in various styles and sizes. The vertiports would double as public amenities and could produce renewable energy, with solar panel arrays for example.

"The research findings envisaged vertiports of various types and sizes, just like traditional transport stops, stations, and terminals," says MVRDV. "However, unlike stations for other urban transport options such as trains, metros, or buses, the network does not require any linear infrastructure in between. No tracks, tunnels or roads are required, saving energy, natural resources, and land. This allows designers to adapt the vertiports to a variety of different locations, plugging into and enhancing existing urban scenarios with a number of different configurations."

Airbus UAM envisions the vertipods as hubs of renewable energy
Airbus UAM envisions the vertipods as hubs of renewable energy

The idea is that eventually the vertiports would complement existing methods of transport like rail and road, and MVRDV's renders depict different examples of them being integrated into cities. These include a greenery-covered version in São Paulo, Brazil, and another installed off the coast of San Francisco. One particularly wild idea envisions people using a drone-like vehicle to move from skyscraper to skyscraper in Shenzhen, China, without needing to touch the ground.

Airbus UAM envisions people using drone-like flying vehicles to move directly from skyscraper to skyscraper in Chinese megacities like Shenzhen, depicted in the above image
Airbus UAM envisions people using drone-like flying vehicles to move directly from skyscraper to skyscraper in Chinese megacities like Shenzhen, depicted in the above image

That said, we're a while away from these kind of ideas being implemented, so don't expect to be hailing a sky taxi quite yet.

"As cities become denser and technologies improve, it becomes increasingly clear that the truly three-dimensional city – one that includes flying vehicles – is surely one of the city models of the future… a city where my mobility is at my balcony!" says Winy Maas, founding partner of MVRDV. "But to reach this future will require many small steps. It's a credit to Airbus that they are thinking about these issues in advance, and doing so in a way that will improve things in the meantime."

Source: MVRDV

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4 comments
paul314
Roofs are tempting, but. As the formerly Pan Am Building in manhattan discovered, you tend to have high and variable winds. Good design could probably minimize the risks, but at an up-front cost developers may not be willing to pay.
Nelson Hyde Chick
The wealthy will be able to ignore the poor masses by flying over them, what progress!!!
CarolynFarstrider
Noise, sky darkens with crowds of flickering gadgets, windows can't be opened...... let's not do this.
ljaques
None of this will be feasible until we perfect gravity drives. Blown air is just too inefficient, noisy, and chaotic.