From boomerang-shaped “flying wings” to drones that flap like real-life pigeons, humans have made remarkable advancements in aviation over the past few years. But exactly how these vehicles will integrate into our everyday lives has been somewhat amiss, until now.
Netherlands-based architecture and urban design practice MVRDV has collaborated with Airbus, Bauhaus Luftfahrt, ETH Zurich and Systra to research and formulate a fool-proof plan for the future of Urban Air Mobility (UAM).
Illustrated via a serious of futuristic renderings—which look like all our favorite sci-fi films rolled into one—the project unpacks how humans can effectively integrate flying vehicles into our urban environments as a wholistic mobility concept.
The two-year study shows that when implemented with urban principles in mind, UAM has the potential to connect people of all kinds of backgrounds in different territories with minimal impact. And it’s all to do with “vertiports.”
Basically fancy landing hubs, vertiports will work to connect the new aerial network with the existing ground-based transportation systems, such as trains, subways and buses.
The plan suggests an array of vertiports that vary in terms of size and style. Just like our current terminals, some will be better than others—we’re looking at you Hudson Yards—though unlike the traditional network, they do not need linear infrastructure in between.
And since you don’t need to follow a set road or a track to a vertiport—you can fly straight from your balcony—designers have the freedom to create hubs in locations in ways that have previously been off-limits. On top of that, vertiports can utilize renewable energy for greater sustainability.
Perhaps most importantly, there’s an opportunity to fit the vertiports with educational and healthcare facilities to help underdeveloped locations.
“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,” Winy Maas, founding partner of MVRDV said in a press release.
There are still a few hurdles to clear before this future becomes a reality, but it’s a credit to Airbus that they working on these issues in advance.
Check out more pictures of the future below: