Text: Florian Czak
Co-Author: Franziska Warnke
Throughout history, urban spaces have mostly been created in close proximity to water. Due to infrastructural advantages, the economic relevance of coastal cities is traditionally enormous. Paradoxically, it is exactly these cities that are the first to be fundamentally rethought because of climate change and the resulting risks. The sea level is rising - the appearance of maritime urbanity is changing. A growing hybrid area between land and water is emerging, a new urban living space.
This fluid transition increases the range of variation in the complex topic of mobility issues. There is a wide range of requirements for mobility solutions depending on the situation - mobility is therefore nothing less than a multi-layered organism consisting of various partial solutions that must fit together perfectly. The key to a sustainable infrastructure can be found in the combination of existing and newly designed means of transport.
Whether cars or boats - in the hybrid area described above, the initial problem is the same as on land: too large of vehicles for too short of distances. In urban areas on land, this results in attempts at material reduction to save space and minimize traffic areas. On water, a counter-proposal emerges: the idea of a mobile third space. The idea of making motion through public spaces flexibly adaptable and versatile.
The Phoenix Design Academy recently presented the VESSEL concept, a study on demand-oriented mobility in the growing maritime living space of urban coastal regions. The focus here is on the situationally appropriate use of mobile space. The result is a concept for a maritime means of transport that understands mobility as an extended area of use. The journey becomes the goal, through a kind of lingering arriving - movement and standstill blur in a holistic and pragmatic design approach. Click here for a visual insight into the VESSEL concept.
We see the study as an opportunity for a new perception of urban motion. Whether micro- or macro-mobility - it is important to view traffic areas as usable space and to actively participate in their design. They are more than just runways and parking areas, more than simply a flat and exclusive stage for means of transport. We are convinced that this philosophy will enable us to meet mobile design approaches and the growing demand for flexibility, whether on water or on land.
Credits: Konstantin Wolf, Bachelor thesis, Coburg University of Applied Sciences. Mentors: Prof. Wolfgang Schabbach; Sven Feustel, Principal Designer, Phoenix Design Academy
Franziska Warnke Communication Manager
M +49 173 7294632