Floating Urban Development Challenge; Co-creating imaginable, workable and attractive scenarios

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Due to lack of space and climate change, the future of living might need to partly move on to water areas. In our history of conquering the water, the Dutch have a head start in some of the challenges associated with living on- and with water. Researchers and designers are therefore imagining and conceptualizing floating urban development. However, to make it a truly realistic and imaginable future scenario, there are more hurdles to overcome. To realize floating neighborhoods, we’ll need to find solutions for more than only the technical aspects, like; financing, community support, ecological aspects, affordability, politics, etc.

Overcoming these barriers will be difficult. We’re currently focusing on urgent (housing)crises and our collective belief on urban development is mainly focused on ‘family apartments on land’. This challenge revolves around creating imaginable and workable scenarios of urban development on water.

Project phase

This issue was addressed during our 2024 Transition Day, where various parties commenced forming a coalition and developing a plan. This challenge is currently in its exploratory phase and core-team formation.

What is the goal of the project?

This challenge aims to change the collective image in a way that living on water becomes as a serious option conceivable for everyone. We’ll work on creating imaginable and workable scenarios of urban development on water. Activities this year will revolve around;
• Stakeholder analysis
• Creating a solid coalition of a variety of stakeholders, ranging from philosophers, to storytellers, to housing and banking professionals
• Work towards realistic answers to (perceived) obstacles (e.g. financing, affordability, liveability)
• Creating and presenting different scenarios of floating urban development, beyond fantasies for the rich.

What is the result of the project?

This challenge is a form of co-creating liveable cities. Urban development ‘for all’, and adapting to climate change effects are its core issues.

Who initiated the project and which organizations are involved?

For now, our Dream Team of participants comes forth from the worksession during our 2024 Transition day: AMS Institute, Arcadis, Haarlemmermeer, Flatland, Amsterdam Economic Board and Rabobank. For the subsequent sessions, we’ll explore additional participants and stakeholders.

What is the next step?

The next step involves a Deep Dive session with the individuals who have agreed to cooperate during the Transition Day. In the Deep Dive we will perform a stakeholder analysis and develop a plan of action to create an attractive perspective on living on water. We will form a coalition with those wanting to support the plan.

1 Comment

Rihards Dzelme's picture
Rihards Dzelme

Having worked on floating cities in the Middle Eastern region, I am quite excited about this project's outcomes. :)

However, I am curious about how you plan to create a resident coalition and co-create with various stakeholders?

The team and I are working on a community engagement and AI platform; perhaps our industry and technical expertise could come in handy.

Feel free to reach me at ri@plgrnd.city