Barend Vreugdenhil has done research on this. He has graduated from the master track Transport, Infrastructure and Logistics at the TU Delft.
What did you do research on?
Barend: “Floating cities require new infrastructure and transportation systems for their inhabitants. One option is to place conventional transportation systems in cities, but another perhaps more interesting option is to develop new concepts. The main question was how to facilitate passenger transportation in a floating city in a feasible way, and how to evaluate the designs of these transportation systems. With feasible it is meant whether it is possible in a technical and economic sense to construct these transportation systems and whether they are safe enough for the inhabitants.”
Floating cities don’t exist yet, so how did you start?
“I’ve focused on cities of around 25.000 inhabitants, because it is more likely that small cities will first be realized. On the other hand cities need to be big enough to become an interesting research topic. I have created two scenario’s, one that focusses on a concentrated city and one in which the functions are dispersed over the city, like a scrambled egg. Within these scenarios I’ve developed different transportation systems.”
And, what is the best option?
“I concluded that a collective transportation system with private or small vehicles is the best option for floating cities of a size until 25.000 inhabitants. This conclusion still holds for cities until 35.000 inhabitants. When cities increase in size, other transportation systems could become more important.”
Why did you want to research this specific topic?
“I like the idea that a floating city is able to grow next to the land or in the protectionof a bay and can be transported to the sea, when it is big enough. Cities used to grow organically until the modernism and this is brought back into urban planning this way. Furthermore the city is really flexible. Modules could be disconnected from their location and placed next to other modules. The infrastructure of transportation systems obviously needs to reflect the characteristics of this kind of cities, but how this could or should happen is not yet known.”
“What would still be interesting is to find out what kind of goods the inhabitants need, like food, clothes et cetera. Furthermore it would be interesting to research cities of bigger scales. When the floating city would grow bigger, it could even turn into a metropolis. It would be interesting to do research on that too.”
This video gives you a short introduction on what a floating city could look like and why we can – and should – start building today.