Pop-Up City https://popupcity.net Ideas that shape the city of the future. Wed, 06 Nov 2019 15:51:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Egg Vending Machine Makes Chickens Become Part Of The Urban Economy https://popupcity.net/egg-vending-machine-makes-chickens-become-part-of-the-urban-economy/ Wed, 06 Nov 2019 15:00:17 +0000 https://popupcity.net/?p=54895

A hard-boiled egg vending machine ran by chickens offers insights into how human and farm animal relationships can be restored in urban areas. Read more →


A hard-boiled egg vending machine ran by chickens offers insights into how human and farm animal relationships can be restored in urban areas.

Anastasia Eggers and Ottonie von Roeder created this vending machine as part of a fictional city called “Besteenburt” where humans and farm animals cohabit. The project is questioning the current state of animal food production industries and its rising harmful environmental effects. The duo has previously developed Cow&Co serving a similar function but with cows. In this fictional city, chickens roam freely through the streets producing food and goods for their target market, humans.

The hard-boiled egg vending machine was exhibited during Vienna Design Week where visitors were being sold breakfast directly by the chickens. In a very circular fashion, the chickens power their vending machine with their own manure that is digested by the machine in order to generate needed energy. The product’s producer (chickens) guarantees the freshest eggs for you to start your morning with.

Reshaping consumer patterns and tweaking our current economic system is necessary to make a positive impact through sustainability. Speculative designs such as this one, question our consumerist driven economy and give an insight into how we can make cities more livable not only for us but for chickens and other animals too.

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Uber Is Taking Ride-Sharing To The Sky https://popupcity.net/uber-is-taking-ride-sharing-to-the-sky/ Thu, 31 Oct 2019 16:00:49 +0000 https://popupcity.net/?p=54880

Uber's ride-sharing platform is expanding. Having car, bike and scooter sharing options, the mobility service now wants to expand to the sky. Read more →


Uber’s ride-sharing platform is expanding. Having car, bike and scooter sharing options, the mobility service now wants to expand to the sky.

In the future, trips that usually take 1 hour and 40 minutes with UberX will be cut to 15 minutes by this service. Uber is flying to launch its new commercial service UberAIR by 2023. Demonstration will begin flights next year with their electrical vertical takeoff and landing vehicles or eVTOLS. These vehicles will seat four passengers along with baggage space and a pilot. The pilot will initially control the vehicle but will eventually be there exclusively for safety reasons.

The ridesharing service will launch in 2023 in the metropolitan areas of Dallas, Los Angeles, and Melbourne. These areas are notorious for their car-based culture where main highways have reached capacity. Flying taxis could be a solution to connect suburbs to central areas more quickly.

A test site has recently been completed ahead of the flying tests next year in Frisco, a Dallas suburb. With the flying taxis ready for testing, the launch of the “Uber Elevate Skyport Challenge” has begun. It is a design competition to develop take-off and landing structures that have never been built before. The Skyports are intended to be located at popular city locations such as concert halls and stadiums to reduce the need for a network of these structures. Ideally, parking structures, existing helipads and unused land along highways will be repurposed as Skyports.

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City Of Permanent Temporality https://popupcity.net/the-city-of-permanent-temporality/ Tue, 29 Oct 2019 15:16:20 +0000 https://popupcity.net/?p=53680

In their latest book, innovative Dutch architects ZUS take you on a journey of projects that didn't only impact their immediate surroundings, but also transformed the very nature of city-making. Read more →


Zones Urbaines Sensibles (ZUS), consisting of Kristian Koreman and Elma van Boxel, has become renowned for applying unconventional strategies and radical forms of city-making. In their latest book, the architects take you on a journey of projects that didn’t only impact their immediate surroundings, but also transformed the very nature of city-making.

Rotterdam as their pivot of creation had laid the ground for ZUS to develop an understanding of cities being in continuous transformation without ever aiming at being a complete version. One of their showcases named Luchtsingel is a 390-meter wooden bridge in the heart of Rotterdam reconnecting three areas that had formerly been detached from each other since the aftermath of World War II. Apart from being an eye-catcher colored in bright-yellow, the bridge has another interesting story about its origins — funded by 10,000 people, Luchtsingel is one of the world’s first examples of crowdfunded urbanism. The withdrawal of governments and turbulent market forces made the architects realize that new methods of planning and design needed to be applied.

Luchtsingel is ZUS’ showcase project in the heart of Rotterdam

Should we continue thinking in terms of static spaces, robust infrastructure, and large-scale territorial approaches? Are buildings increasingly becoming containers of temporary use instead of symbolic expressions of a static identity? In City Of Permanent Temporality, ZUS calls for a city-making that entwines the constantly changing dynamic nature of cities into its architecture, which tends to be inclined to a static long-term approach. A mindset that leaves things open instead of pinning them down is a prerequisite for a city of permanent temporality. A city that permanently evolves through temporary interventions merges thinking and doing, allowing for better control over its unpredictable.

Incomplete Unfinished — a mindset that blends perfectly into the concept of permanent temporality

ZUS came up with a multitude of temporary urban interventions to revitalize vacant buildings and underused spaces surrounding their Luchtsingel project. The catchword here is place-making: a way of giving places meaning through various methods, activating them with new functions and light constructions. Ranging from the reappropriation of vacant office space, and the transformation of a rooftop, the architects found many several ways to temporarily re-use the empty space.

The book succeeds in providing a detailed insight into the rationale of their work approach. Written like journal entries, the authors managed to show that though despite cities becoming more and more flexible and innovation-driven places, urban planners often fail to incorporate these dynamics. This trend is likely to create a mismatch between the built environment and the actual use patterns of the city. Spaces — be they public or private — are being used in a less predictable manner, hence confounding the roles of architects and planners.

City of Permanent Temporality
Authors: Elma van Boxel, Kristian Koreman
Publisher: nai010
Release date: January 2019
Format: 21 × 26 cm
Features: full color, hardcover, 440 pages
Language: English
ISBN: 978-94-6208-220-5

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This Startup Puts Tiny Houses In Homeowners’ Backyards https://popupcity.net/this-startup-puts-tiny-houses-in-homeowners-backyards/ Thu, 24 Oct 2019 09:00:38 +0000 https://popupcity.net/?p=54762

With rising costs of living in the Bay Area, homeowners can now make extra income by letting a startup put a tiny house in their backyard. Read more →


With rising costs of living in the Bay Area, homeowners can now make extra income by letting a startup put a tiny house in their backyard.

Technological innovation and investment in Silicon Valley has created a pressing housing crisis. The situation is very alarming, however, ingenuity works best under pressure. New forms of living and usage of space are being created in this area. Startups such as Rent the Backyard are questioning conventional development patterns in terms of current the housing market status.

People tend to move to houses with backyards in search of privacy and a more comfortable way of living. How willing will homeowners be to give up their space for someone else to live there? The offer from Rent the Backyard is quite enticing as the startup takes care of the permitting, construction, maintenance of the modular home as well as finding a suitable tenant. All the homeowner has to do to participate is to meet the requirements of living in the Bay Area, having a big enough backyard and living in the property for most of the year.

This partnership would entail splitting rental income for 30 years where at that point onwards the homeowner has full ownership of the tiny house. Of course, profit will depend on how close the home is to San Francisco and San Jose. Because these houses are modular, they would be prefabricated off site and installed within a week avoiding major disturbances in the neighborhood.

Housing is a basic human need, but many major economic centers like Silicon Valley are being affected by increasing populations and housing prices. The way that these urban areas are dealing and adapting to such a crisis will set a precedent for more conscious future urban development.

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Empty Chinese Shopping Malls Become Co-Working Hubs https://popupcity.net/empty-chinese-shopping-malls-become-co-working-hubs/ Wed, 23 Oct 2019 07:30:27 +0000 https://popupcity.net/?p=54636

As the e-commerce boom in China is driving shopping mall retailers out of business, co-working is there to fill the gap in consumers' paradises. Read more →


As the boom of e-commerce platforms in China is driving shopping mall retailers out of business, co-working is there to fill the gap in consumers’ paradises. The Chinese startup scene is expected to grow vastly in the next years due to the government’s announcement calling for “mass entrepreneurship”.

China e-commerce is one of the fastest-growing in the world, where online shoppers make up to 36% of the population. Tech companies such as Alibaba have been boosting this development, that we are now starting to see the consequences of it. Offline retailers are closing their branches in shopping malls, especially in the upper floors, where customers do not seem to bother going anymore. Once attracting mostly families, landlords needed to think of a new target group for their many square meters.

SOHO 3Q co-working space by AIM Architecture in Beijing, China

There comes the generation of millennials, that prefer to work in shared office spaces. The Chinese co-working company SOHO 3Q was one of the first ones to transform a shopping mall in Beijing into a freelancer’s paradise, with flexible desks, meeting rooms and loads of open space. Where once elevators have been taking shoppers upstairs, co-working members can now lounge on a wide staircase, that doubles as seating space, called “theater”.

Whilst some malls have been converted fully into office buildings, some still host retail stores, cafés, and restaurants. They are thriving from this new crowd of consumers, who are shopping during working hours on weekdays, which are usually the least profitable for businesses. Co-working space providers know that millennials not only value proximity to shops and flexible renting contracts but also an aesthetic space to spend their time in. Consequently, interior design firms are getting hired to turn the empty stores into stylish co-working spaces, which in China skipped the former early stage of being improvised in former industrial buildings.

The worldwide share of co-working spaces in the corporate real estate sector is expected to rise until 2030 from 5 to 30%. China is predicted to quickly catch up with the US, who is currently leading in the number of shared office spaces nationwide. This development is not only driven by millennials, but also by the ambitions of the Chinese government. Their goal is to transform the economy with new industries and services, supporting startups and establishing innovation incubators throughout the country.

Apparently, co-working has still undiscovered potential to make use of spatial and temporal gaps in urban space. On Pop-Up City, we have been observing this trend for quite a while: Spacious in New York is renting out restaurants outside of business hours, AndCo turns London’s cafés into flexible workspaces, and freelancers in San Francisco are working on parking lots raising the question of ownership for the shrinking amount of space in cities.

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Blockchain-Based Crowdfunding: The Future Of Property Development? https://popupcity.net/blockchain-based-crowdfunding-the-future-of-property-development/ Tue, 15 Oct 2019 09:11:30 +0000 https://popupcity.net/?p=54741

In Manhattan's East Village the world's first blockchain-based crowdfunded condominium has been established. Read more →


In Manhattan’s East Village the world’s first blockchain-based crowdfunded condominium has been established. The building is the very first major asset to be tokenized on the Ethereum blockchain.

The property — a completed 12 unit construction with 1,700 square feet units in the East Village — has recently been estimated at more than $30 million. Nothing special in regards to the strong real estate market in Manhattan. Yet, the entire building was crowdfunded through blockchain tokenization. Tokenization is the process of representing the ownership of real world assets digitally on a blockchain. This method of financing real estate avoids unruly pressure of traditional bank financing, making project development more stable for the project and all of the stakeholders. Tokens represent the condo unit’s debt and can be traded as private security.

The two Brooklyn-based companies Propellr and Fluidity partnered up to offer products and services for the creation, distribution, and transfer of digital securities. They claim that their method could depict a better alternative for the project and investors. Conventional security structures and issuance frameworks have not evolved in a long time. With the usage of blockchain technology, a transparent and trustless ecosystem can start to solve the information asymmetry that hinders the market’s potential for liquidity.

Maybe this method truly is paving the way for a new forefront in real estate development. As Stephen McKeon, a finance professor at University of Oregon, says: “One day you might be able to buy $10 of a single commercial real estate asset like the Empire State Building, or invest $100 in the development of a LEED-certified housing project.”

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In Berlin, Even Fake Real Estate Now Attracts Investors https://popupcity.net/in-berlin-even-fake-real-estate-now-attracts-investors/ Mon, 14 Oct 2019 14:59:23 +0000 https://popupcity.net/?p=54732

A local artist in Berlin has put up fake real estate advertisements to prank international investors. Read more →


A local artist in Berlin has put up fake real estate advertisements to prank international investors.

Once a housing paradise for artists, squatters and activists, the city of Berlin is now suffering from exponentially rising rents taking over the city. Whilst still attracting international trendsetters, who also play their part in driving up the prices, the Berlin municipality is running behind in building housing. The lack of affordable apartments is not only a frustration for those who freshly arrive, but even more severe for those who are now struggling to afford their neighborhood, after having lived there all of their lives.

Private foreign investors are being blamed for trying to maximize their profits without concerns for local communities. Newly built residential projects often remain anonymous investments, which they also manifest in the ever same anonymous architectural designs. Berlin based artist Dorothea Nold has counteracted this with her own visions of future housing projects — put up as fake real estate ads at various locations in the city.

Nold created organic and colorful renderings for the fictional buildings, which in her opinion would be a better choice to develop into real estate: “We missed the chance to develop all those empty space differently.” The fake ads have been placed in front of those last remaining spaces, only for one of the ads Nold was given official permission. “Citizens are not being asked for their permission when investors make such drastic changes in their city, that’s why I thought it is okay to put them without permission up to give attention to this issue!”

With her art project, she also criticizes the high level of anonymity that surrounds most new real estate developments in Berlin. Probably bought off by international investors and left empty, there is hardly any life happening in and around these “glass and concrete towers”. Because these fake ads actually contained her real phone number, Nold received over 200 calls from interested investors all over the world. Most of them were German, who obviously didn’t get the joke, but she also received calls from Sweden, Hong Kong and Australia, which proved her impression that Berlin’s housing market has turned into a playground for international investors.

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The Future Of Urban Living May Be Robotic https://popupcity.net/the-future-of-urban-living-may-be-robotic/ Thu, 03 Oct 2019 14:13:10 +0000 https://popupcity.net/?p=54720

IKEA and Ori have developed a modular furniture system that can change your living space with the touch a button. Read more →


As cities continue to densify, rents to skyrocket and living spaces to get smaller, people are forced to make compromises in the functions of their homes. IKEA and MIT spin-off Ori have developed a modular robotic furniture system that can change your living space with the touch a button.

This new technology — named Rognan — aims at creating a more flexible living space under shrinking spatial conditions. The movable storage unit, controlled by a touchpad, can divide a small room into two living spaces. It contains a bed, desk and a couch. The first few times it slides across the room, the system uses machine learning to map out the space. IKEA claims the Rognan can save an extra eight square meters of living space.

Rognan is expected to be launched in China and Japan next year. The concept smoothly fits with a larger emerging trend of micro-living in metropolitan areas. With 1.5 million people joining the global urban population each year, and cities becoming increasingly cramped, people are turning to solutions that fit the shrinking size of their homes.

Ori claims it wants to change the very nature buildings by integrating flexible robot systems into the initial architectural design, rather than installing them after completion. The company’s ambitious mission could provide a glimpse of a future for real estate in which buildings become highly flexible and hybrid due to robotic systems that could easily change the shape and function of the spaces inside.

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Beehives In McDonald’s Billboards https://popupcity.net/beehives-in-mcdonalds-billboards/ Mon, 30 Sep 2019 09:38:54 +0000 https://popupcity.net/?p=54709

McDonald’s and creative agency Nord DBB built the world’s smallest McDonald's restaurant doubling as a beehive. Read more →


McDonald’s is doing its part to create more living spaces for the declining bee population.

Bee populations around the world are decreasing at alarming rates which will result in further degradation of our environment as bees are indicator species. For this reason, actions are needed to secure one third of our food that is provided by bees.

Restoration of habitats for Sweden’s bees began with the utilization of McDonald’s restaurants’ roofs as beehives. To celebrate this initiative and World Bee Day, McDonald’s and creative agency Nord DBB built the world’s smallest McDonald’s restaurant doubling as a beehive called the McHive. To expand this initiative, the duo set out to build billboards serving as bee hotels in Järfälla outside of Stockholm.

These billboards will have holes integrated into the surface of the advertisements leading to beehives inside and to the backside of the structure to “accommodate thousands of wild guests”, as stated in the advertisement. Applying these concepts in rural areas is crucial as urbanizations usually harbor more ecological niches because of the monocultures or single-crop production found in rural areas that deplete biodiversity.

Initiatives for preserving bee species such as the bee brick are springing up around the world. Even if campaigns such as billboard hotels are initially for marketing purposes, sustainability measures around the world should be addressed more inclusively by allowing corporations, governments and citizens to work together.

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Helsinki Becomes The World’s First ‘City As A Service’ https://popupcity.net/helsinki-becomes-the-worlds-first-city-as-a-service/ Tue, 24 Sep 2019 10:46:40 +0000 https://popupcity.net/?p=54699

Helsinki is advertising itself as the latest digital lifestyle subscription service in a humorous city branding campaign that wants to attract tech talent to the Finnish capital. Read more →


Helsinki is advertising itself as the latest digital lifestyle subscription service in a humorous city branding campaign that wants to attract tech talent to the Finnish capital.

The campaign City as a Service — CaaS — is a collaboration between the City of Helsinki and a number of top tech companies looking for expats to fill their open positions. The website is targeted towards high-skilled tech professionals, that Helsinki wants to become part of “over 600,000 daily users” — referring to its population number.

The convincing website includes an enthralling video, featuring all advantages the city has to offer plus the mayor of Helsinki appearing in the role as “CEO”. As the voice-over mentions the technical “bugs”, such as “winter darkness, nightless nights in the summer, a flat skyline with no skyscrapers and silent locals sitting in saunas”, the Mayor interrupts that these are in fact “carefully considered features”.

Scrolling further down the page, they are offering a free “life-changing demo experience”, that everyone can apply to. The lucky winners will get the chance to take a three-day trip to Helsinki in November attending the world’s leading tech event Slush, who is a sponsor of the campaign.

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