MVRDV and airbus envision flying vehicles that collect passengers from their balconies
 

MVRDV and airbus envision flying vehicles that collect passengers from their balconies

MVRDV has collaborated with airbus, bauhaus luftfahrt, ETH zurich, and systra, to develop a plan for the future of urban air mobility (UAM). the investigation tackles the integration of ‘flying vehicles’ into our urban environments and envisions a comprehensive mobility concept.

MVRDV and airbus envision flying vehicles that collect passengers from their balconies

images courtesy of MVRDV

 

 

over the last two years, MVRDV has supported airbus in exploring strategic urban development scenarios that leverage UAM as an opportunity to grow cities around the globe into thriving urban regions. together they have produced a study aimed to avoid any detrimental impacts from this disruptive technology, which can so easily arise when truly revolutionary transport modes are introduced to cities without careful planning for both short-term and long-term scenarios.

MVRDV and airbus envision flying vehicles that collect passengers from their balconies

 

 

the research highlights how, when implemented with urban principles in mind, UAM can reconnect territories with minimal impact, and deliver a multi-modal system that is accessible to, and beneficial for, people of all backgrounds. according to their report, the key to unlocking this potential lies largely in vertiports, landing hubs that integrate the aerial network with the existing and future ground transportation system.

MVRDV and airbus envision flying vehicles that collect passengers from their balconies

 

 

the research envisages vertiports of various types and sizes, just like traditional transport stops, stations, and terminals. 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.

MVRDV and airbus envision flying vehicles that collect passengers from their balconies

 

 

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. the report describes them as ‘catalysts for urban improvement’ thought of not just as stations, but also as hubs of renewable energy, data, and public amenities, that can scale while remaining sustainable and resilient. air transport incentivizes an ecologically responsible contribution to the local smart grids of energy and data.

MVRDV and airbus envision flying vehicles that collect passengers from their balconies

 

 

the research also considered the principles of transit-oriented development, not only by bringing airborne transport links, but also by integrating with other multimodal transport options to serve local surroundings and solve the problem of the ‘last mile’. in locations that are underdeveloped, vertiports can be designed as opportunity hubs with educational and healthcare facilities, or business incubators, for example, while in areas fractured by infrastructure such as roads or railway tracks, a vertiport can serve as a bridge connecting neighbourhoods.

MVRDV and airbus envision flying vehicles that collect passengers from their balconies

 

‘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.’

MVRDV and airbus envision flying vehicles that collect passengers from their balconies

 

on a broader scale, the research investigates the potential of future UAM networks within cities recognising that UAM should not seek to replace cities’ existing transport infrastructure. it acknowledges the short-term business case for UAM as a service that connects major transportation hubs such as airports with business centres. however, it also looks towards a more mature stage in the technology’s implementation concluding that once UAM is well established with an extensive network of vertiports, it could serve as an interesting contributor to a mobility system of discrete and distributed modes that complement rail or road infrastructure.

MVRDV and airbus envision flying vehicles that collect passengers from their balconies

 

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. together these benefits can give cities the accessibility that is needed to attract new economic opportunities.

MVRDV and airbus envision flying vehicles that collect passengers from their balconies

 

 

MVRDV and airbus have developed a number of scenarios based on cities around the world, to showcase how vertiports could be integrated into a variety of urban situations. an immersive exhibition titled the city and the sky above, created through a collaboration between MVRDV, airbus, and squint/opera is currently on display at the bi-city biennale of urbanism\architecture giving a glimpse into a future world that masters these ideas.

MVRDV and airbus envision flying vehicles that collect passengers from their balconies

 

project info

 

company: MVRDV
collaborators: airbus, bauhaus luftfahrt, ETH zurich, systra

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