How Floating Infrastructure Is Changing City Design & Planning

How Floating Infrastructure Is Changing City Design & Planning

PSFK's consulting team looks at how developers are experimenting with floating solutions to execute various forms of urban infrastructure from public schools to houses just offshore.

Timothy Ryan, PSFK Labs
  • 6 january 2013

In a novel way to expand a city’s existing physical footprint, developers are experimenting with floating solutions that enable them to execute various forms of urban infrastructure from public parks to markets just offshore. Many cities have grown around river crossings and the ports so there is plenty of locations to employ this technology. Beyond increasing the capacity of development along a waterfront, these designs also have the ability to travel, serving communities across a city with a host of necessary services and bringing residents together around shared experiences. New examples of Floating Infrastructure are surfacing regularly. The consulting team at PSFK Labs has seen floating cinemas and even concepts for floating airports.Here are two of the best examples of Floating Infrastructure:


Floating Neighborhood Provides Viable Alternative To Sustainable Living

The city of Hamburg, Germany held a competition called ‘Houseboats on the Eilbek Canal’ in which prospective houseboat owners were invited to submit their creative ideas for vacant mooring sites. A selection committee chaired by the architect Jürgen Böge, had the of choosing 10 winners and 20 potential alternates from over 400 submissions, and nine of the ten boats are permanently moored. Though the utilization of houseboats in Hamburg is not altogether new, the houseboats signify a shift towards modern living and working on the water in sustainable ways.


Self Sustaining Boats Ensure Schools Stay Open During Monsoon Season

In response to the heavy seasonal rainfall and risk of flash flooding in Bangladesh, India, a local non-profit organization Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha has built solar-powered wooden boats that act as floating schools in the event of persistent floods. Each boat is built from natural, locally sourced materials, and includes a small library complete with electronic resources and laptops with Internet connectivity. Boats can host up to 30 people and double as a mode of transportation to pick up and drop off students from designated locations. The boats additionally function as communal workshops during after school hours, hosting adult education classes on agriculture, finance, health and hygiene. The innovation is in response to the disruptions monsoons can cause in India, where typically hundreds of schools shut down for up to four months a year.



Wearable Tech Expert: Designing Technology To Empower Connection To Ourselves

Work Today

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Conner Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

Retail Today

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Technology Today

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants Today

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Related Expert

Mike McEwan

Mobile Payments

Arts & Culture Today

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

Technology Today

Wearable Device And Lamp Recreate Beautiful Sunsets In Your Home

Sun Memories can record up to six hours of natural light and reproduce it via a connected light at a later date

Design & Architecture Today

Flower Pencils Create Cherry Blossom Petals When Sharpened

A Japanese stationary company developed the special implements in order to create unique shavings


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 17, 2016

Home Depot Green Energy Expert: Americans Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Green tech expert Jennifer Tuohy discusses new home energy tech and developments for renewables in the US

PSFK Labs october 12, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Augmented & Virtual Reality Today

The Simpsons Is Stepping Into The World Of VR

To celebrate their 600th episode, the animated family sitcom created a virtual reality version of their opening gag

Syndicated Yesterday

Museum Exhibit Celebrates Strange Architectural Contraptions

Artist William Heath Robinson's peculiar genius is on display in this recent show with wiggling ducts, jumbles of planks and coils of cable

Food Yesterday

This Sensor Will Help You Brew The Perfect Cup Of Tea Every Time

42Tea is a small device that guides you through every step of the brewing process, even identifying the type of leaves being used

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Norwegian Mountaineering Center Mimics A Snow-Capped Mountain

The structure's exterior is clad in a uniform surface of pixels to create a unique climbing experience

Gaming & Play Yesterday

Shopping Bag Turns Your Hands Into A LEGO

Designers from the School of Visual Arts thought up the Playbox Bag for a competition

Sustainability Yesterday

Giant Coffee Cups Encourage People To Recycle Their Morning Cup Of Joe

The Hubbub Foundation has created a set of themed bins meant to inspire recycling on a large scale

Home Yesterday

Small Device Creates A Personal Weather Station Inside In Your Home

Netatmo's new sensor is a standalone air quality monitor that can measure humidity, purity, noise and temperature

Travel Yesterday

Advertising Proposal Aims To Be The Most “Instagrammable Billboard In The World”

The Belltower in Los Angeles would allow video advertising and live event streaming, and include a pedestrian plaza for visitors

No search results found.