With: Rutger de Graaf (DeltaSync, Blue Revolution, TU Delft), Jan-Willem van der Schans (WUR, LEI) and Elma Schoenmaker (BelW)
When: Tuesday, 21 January 19.00-21.00,
Where: Public Library (BBLTHK), Stationsstraat 2, Wageningen (route)
The opening activity of the year 2014 took leap into the not too distant future discussing the concept of floating cities. Rutger de Graaf founded his company DeltaSync 7 years ago and argued that it is time to move from the land to the water as we will run out of land as soon as 2050. These floating cities will not become isolated entities, but will complement the city on the land and form a symbiosis with those cities. Symbiosis? Yes, these cities will turn the linear metabolism into a circular one using the CO2 and nutrient cycles of the ‘mother city’ with the floating city acting as satellites.
Technologies for the building city are already available: floating houses, floating roads, floating flood barriers.. The first steps towards a floating city are already made in Rotterdam where DeltaSync constructed a floating pavilion which moves with the tide.
The city of Rotterdam also proved to be an important theme in the second talk by Jan-Willem van der Schans. He gave some excellent examples on how farmers, scientists, citizens and companies try to reshape the food system and which mostly seems to happen in and around Rotterdam. He also managed to squeeze in a little history: the cheese of the Dutch cow ‘Blaarkop’ contained less fat than that of the English which meant the Dutch could travel further over sea before the cheese grew mouldy. But back to the restructuring of the food system: an overall trend seems to be that the Dutch model is retreating from the path of separation and clustering of functions it went down during the industrial revolution. Farmers are moving back to the city and food production is becoming decentralized once more.
Greening must not be forgotten in the city of the future. Elma Schoenmaker of the consultancy firm BELW explained that the evaporation of the trees cool down the area which is especially relevant when concerning global warming in combination with the urban heat island effect. Furthermore plants are important for the wellbeing of people living in the city.