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In collaboration with a multifaceted team of experts, Amsterdam-based firm UNStudio has designed the Socio-Technical City test site design for the Central Innovation District in the Hague, Netherlands, which aims to address two of the most pressing issues of the future: sustainability and urbanization.

UNStudio’s design aims to create a self-sufficient, energy-neutral urban district that can support the high density of people who live and work in the area. The design is based on “gateways,” which are defined as "physical architectural interventions that create practical solutions to energy, circularity, mobility, climate adaptation, water management, and food production.” Gateways will act as bridges connecting the city including the community gardens, neighborhoods, and workspaces, in order to promote social interaction.

UNStudio designed the city around four main gateways: Gateway Metropolitan Superhub, which will create space for new methods of mobility including electric scooters, a Hyperloop, and self-driving pods; Gateway Geothermal Energy Plant, which will exchange energy with surrounding districts and serve as the site’s main source of energy; Gateway Climate Adaptation, which will sort and recycle the site’s water for different purposes; and Gateway the Biopolus, which will purify the site’s water and produce food through a vertical irrigation system.

Courtesy UNStudio
Courtesy UNStudio

UNStudio’s Socio-Technical City project team consisted of UNStudio’s Amsterdam-based urban technology branch UNSense; Rotterdam-based landscape architect Felixx; Arnhem, Netherlands–based energy consultant DGMR; Amsterdam-based circularity consultant Metabolic; Utrecht, Netherlands–based climate adaptation consultant Nelen & Schuurmans; and Amsterdam-based data mobility consultant Here Technologies.

The organizations comprising “The City of the Future” initiative are Amsterdam-based BNA International, the Royal Institute of Dutch Architects; the Delft University of Technology; Rotterdam, Netherlands–based urban developer Deltametropolis Association; Brussels-based branch of the European Commission Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport; the Hague-based Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management; the Hague-based Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations; and the municipalities of the project's five test sites in the Netherlands: Amsterdam, Eindhoven, the Hague, Rotterdam, and Utrecht.

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